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

Submission #2350: ketomei's SNES Ultima: The False Prophet in 07:56.07

Console: Super NES
Game name: Ultima: The False Prophet
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Ultima 6 (US).smc
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 07:56.07
FrameCount: 28564
Re-record count: 1541
Author's real name: C. Mallory
Author's nickname: ketomei
Submitter: ketomei
Submitted at: 2009-07-22 22:12:25
Text last edited at: 2009-09-21 22:45:01
Text last edited by: Raiscan
Download: Download (2443 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Snes9X v1.51
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Manipulates luck
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Kills no enemies

About the Game

In the sixth installment of the Ultima series, the avatar is summoned back to Britainia to find the world in disarray; gargoyles have seized control over the shrines of virtue and Lord British wants you to find out why and to ultimately put an end to the problem. The game involves tracking down runes of virtue, navigating huge dungeons, engaging in combat with gargoyles, demons, and dragons, locating a pirate's treasure, meditating at shrines and dealing with hundreds of more or less helpful people in your quest to restore peace between humans and gargoyles.

But, largely thanks to an inventory corruption glitch, I am able to skip most of these things and waltz into the final area and complete the game in just a few minutes.

About the TAS

This TAS was inspired by a bug that allows the avatar to access a glitched area of the inventory, and by modifying certain glitched items it becomes possible to edit your existing items into items that are required to clear the game. Using only items that the character starts with and a few that are found around the castle, I transform 12 torches, a lute, the ankh, a scroll, and a pair of leather boots into the vortex cube, eight moonstones, five invisibility rings, four balloons and a glass sword.

In order to finish the game, there are a few requirements. The vortex cube, eight moonstones, a human lens and a gargish lens are required to perform the final ritual which ends the game, but a few things need to be noted first. While it is possible to use the inventory glitch to obtain the two lenses, it is pointless to do so as you won't be able to use them unless you go through the actual process and get them in the normal way. Thus, I have to obtain the two lenses manually, which I set out to do after leaving the castle. A glitched vortex cube and eight glitched moonstones, however, will work for the final ritual and saves quite a lot of time.

One spell is needed in this game, "dispel field," and unfortunately spells work somewhat differently than the other items, so I am forced to go on a detour and buy this spell. Fortunately, the starting gold of 200 is just enough to get it.

The final requirment to finishing this game is to meditate at the shrine of Singularity, which requires you to complete three dungeons. I have manipulated the enemies in all of the dungeons to get out of the character's way so as not to create blockades, but invisibility rings still must be used as the daemons will engage in combat if you pass next to them otherwise; and with the small corridors of the dungeons, it is impossible not to be in close quarters with dozens of enemies at once. Invisibility rings will normally randomly break over time, which opens an ugly time-wasting dialogue box, but by changing the character's movement I have manipulated the rings to not break, thus finishing the game whilst invisible.

For moving around on the map, I use the balloon for several reasons. Even though opening up the inventory, using the balloon, and hopping aboard does take a noticable amount of time, the fact that it is twice as fast as walking and that it can travel over obstacles such as mountains and water makes up for its shortcomings. Using the balloon allows me to get to areas with a more direct route, which is neccesary because if I were to spend as much as ten extra steps anywhere on the map, I would not be able to reach the human lensmaker in time, which would mean that I would have to wait an entire extra in-game day to see him again. Much attention was paid to reaching this NPC within the allotted time, and so, I have manipulated the other NPCs to move closer to me so that I can talk to them from as far away as possible (often through walls) without having to walk up to them myself, which would cost valuable time.

This is my first TAS, and I have tried to use all of my knowledge and expertise of this game to create something enjoyable. I remember doing speedruns of this game on console years ago that finished in just under two hours... I thought it interesting that frame-perfect it can be done in under eight minutes. Though all of the text skipping and warping in this TAS may make the plot hard to follow, it is an enjoyable non-linear RPG and I would reccomend this game to anyone. Enjoy.

adelikat: Accepting for publication.
Raiscan: Processing.

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