TASVideos

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

Submission #2292: nineko's Arcade Puzzle De Pon! R! in 08:47.25

Console: Arcade
Game name: Puzzle De Pon! R!
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: puzzldpr.zip
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 08:47.25
FrameCount: 31635
Re-record count: 9241
Author's real name: Tom
Author's nickname: nineko
Submitter: nineko
Submitted at: 2009-06-18 11:12:31
Text last edited at: 2011-12-27 08:56:39
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (3537 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:
This is a Tool-Assisted Speedrun of Puzzle De Pon! R! for the Neo Geo. It is intended to beat the game as fast as possible, while retaining an acceptable degree of entertainment.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: FBA-RR v0.0.3.01 (alpha version) built on Jun 2 2009
  • Plays all the 39 levels
  • Gets to the "The End" screen as fast as possible
  • Some stylistic choices might be labeled as Speed/Entertainment Tradeoffs (see below)
  • Manipulates luck
  • Plays at hardest difficulty (level 8, set by entering Service Mode at the beginning of the movie)
  • Genre: Puzzle

Comments

Puzzle De Pon! R! is similar to Puzzle Bobble (Bust A Move) in many aspects. In fact, Taito is involved in both of those games. The difference here is that the goal is to free a shape from the bubbles; every three levels, it's a Zodiac sign. Since there are 39 levels and only 12 Zodiac signs, the 13th sign is the Solar Symbol; once that level is beaten, the player becomes the sun god. Luck manipulation plays a very important role in this TAS. The rerecord count of 9241 (in before someone screams an over 9000 joke) for a 8:47 movie is not a world record, I'm aware of that, but I hope it denotes how many attempts (up to 100 sometimes) I did before shooting every bubble in order to get a convenient bubble sequence, I tried my best. The RNG here is tricky. While it only depends on the current frame and not on the keys pressed, most of the times it just doesn't want to give you bubbles of a specific color unless you fulfill a specific condition. To "unlock" some colors, sometimes you need to make a certain number of shots, sometimes you have to delete a specific set of bubbles, sometimes you have to delete all the bubbles of a specific color. Sometimes it's just faster to waste a shot than to wait for the first natural occurrance of a color. As a general rule of thumb, when I couldn't get a color I needed, I attempted to delay the shot up to ~50รท60 frames; after that it would mean I'd have to stand still on the screen for more than a second in real time and I thought it would have affected the entertainment level. Call this Speed/Entertainment tradeoff, but it's not quite that. In the end it's just faster to shoot a couple of random bubbles most of the times. Except in a couple of levels where I obviously delay a shot for a long time in order to get a star or a bomb (they can't appear in all the levels though). In some levels, notably level 3 (Aries), I'm known to take a seemingly slower sequence. While that might be true, it helps me on a long term luck manipulation. I'm not blindly saying that all my choices are optimal, and I'm sure there might be other possible sequences. I tried to pursue alternate/unexpected combinations to keep the viewer entertained, as long as those sequences weren't too much time consuming, in fact, most levels are faster when done in a way that wasn't intended. The result is a speedrun which is tightly optimised and (I hope!) pleasant to watch. The last input is used to get a faster curtain fall on level 39. That's not necessary, the last input could have been the last shot since the curtain falls anyway. But, I only add a second or so to the movie file in this way, and, more important, I get to the "The End" screen ultimately faster. Since the "The End" screen appears before than the name entry for the high score table, a name isn't entered. That would require the movie file to be 2+ minutes longer because of the unskippable ending credits. Also there is no "game over" nor "congratulation" screen after you enter the name, so the "The End" screen is a reasonable place to use as a landmark.

This is by far my most serious attempt at a TAS. I worked up to 16 hours per day on this and I tried to do the best that I could. I put a lot of effort in this movie, but ultimately it was fun to make this. Which is why I uploaded it to my Youtube channel. Even if it won't be approved here, it'll have some spotlight anyway. I hope this time I can make it, though.

Other comments

  • Explain here things the audience would probably like to see: I love Puzzle games, do you?
  • Explain also things that could be improved in your movie: You can sacrifice more speed for more entertaininment. But those tradeoffs caused me troubles in the past, so this time I went for pure speed as much as I could. Say that this is 98% pure speed an 2% tradeoffs. Of course one may say that even 2% is too much, but I stand by my choices.
  • Youtube'd: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zII_kC-RnEg (not labeled).

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