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

Submission #2377: Shinryuu, pirohiko & FinalFighter's NES Rockman 2 in 23:54.75

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Rockman 2
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Rockman 2 - Dr Wily no Nazo (J).nes
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 23:54.75
FrameCount: 86227
Re-record count: 137879
Author's real name: Timo Taipaleenmäki
Author's nickname: Shinryuu, pirohiko & FinalFighter
Submitter: Shinryuu
Submitted at: 2009-08-16 17:38:57
Text last edited at: 2010-01-11 22:05:50
Text last edited by: sgrunt
Download: Download (15558 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Welcome to read and watch our newest cooperative work V2 ;)

This obsoletes previous version by 2192 frames / 36,53 seconds.

Watch online without registration to nicovideo here


Finally we managed to squeeze last drops of bluebomber Rockman in our dry throats. Once again we feel great by rampaging and completing through this game. Everything started when FinalFighter discussed about Clashman's delay screen scrolling technique and I got excited by it. We began to find a solution how to save Item1s till the end of the stage. We advanced further and further and optimized Item1 rising speed in our way. I don't think this needs much more introduction than this because we stated many things out last time. Please read Techniques & glitches section and FinalFighter's comments if you're amused or wonder how few tricks works out. We began to understand new tricks fast because FinalFighter was able to gather much information beforehand about the whole mechanism.

Goals

  • Aims for fastest time as possible
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates luck
  • Abuses programming errors in the game
  • Uses no passwords

Improvement list

Gained Difference
Flashman 0 0
Heatman 0 0
Airman 0 0
Crashman 378 378
Quickman 7 385
Metalman -8 377
Bubbleman 3 380
Woodman 1764 2144
Dr. Wily Stage 1 0 2144
Dr. Wily Stage 2 8 2156
Dr. Wily Stage 3 9 2165
Dr. Wily Stage 4 3 2147
Dr. Wily Stage 5 22 2085
Dr. Wily Stage 6 7 2192

Techniques & glitches


How to make Item1s to rise faster?

As stated in this http://tasvideos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=325&start=800 thread FinalFighter proved the mechanism how it works. It is really simple to understand when you know the values. Weapons have different patterns how'll they react with x4c2, x4c3, x4c4 values. If you need to use Airman's weapon to optimize x4c4 you have cross certain X position before value will change to another one, see Woodman stage's gate/boss room for more information.

Zipping with Item1, Item2 & Item3s

These glitches are most known ones in Rockman 2. You can enter inside a wall by any of these items to start beging to zip throught walls. In my run first zipping happens in the Heatman's longest room, when I drop and place Item3 to left side of the wall and place Mega Man well before zipping. Rockman 2's engine thinks that you aren't supposed be in the wall and pulls you out, there exists few possibilities that may happen if you don't do they correctly like, you'll zip out of the wall because of the bad positioning, you got stuck in the offscreen because you didn't jump and press left in a correct time. Using Item1s for zippings are classic and they appears almost everywhere in our run. It is good to use 3xItem1 before zipping placing highest Item1 to a bit upper because you can jump on it to gain some time, optimized performation should save arond ~ 20 frames. Also it is possible to zip with Item2s and this only occurs in Bubbleman's stage last rooms when you've taken some damage and placed Item2 in a good position below the spikes and turn left when you are on Item2, it is good to find a good spot if you want to get your zipping longer with this technique. In the next room from the first Item2 zipping there is a corner and it means that if you place your Item2 up there you can zip throught the entire ceiling.

Screenscrollings

FinalFighter showed this trick a long time ago and demonstrated it in .mpg movie file. This trick was done in the second screen of Dr. Wily 2 stage which explained how to scroll/teleport to next screen by abusing lag. This was somewhat experimental progress back then but turning many years in the future these techniques are used almost everywhere. To get this trick to work it requires a glitch and good delay from soundcode. The original and most known founder of this technique is Terimakasih who found this from Heatman's boss room.

How to save a subpixel with a highest jump as possible

This is a simple technique but won't help much in the end. When you know that you can perform the longest jump as possible I recommend to do that one frame later to gain subpixel if you need it for something. Even though this is not really needed anywhere but still :)

How to save one frame in the beginning of Flashman's stage

When you are close to first place where you do have to jump down just test few frames with (<-) and then (A) pressing to see if you can land one frame earlier on the ground in front of that shooting enemy.

Optimizing the teleport area in Heatman's stage

When you zip in the Item3 part I lose a frame on a purpose because it seems that it affected timing of the teleporting block, also it is essential to jump so right as possible to get blocks to appear fastest time as possible. When I did that zipping one frame later my time was equal but a bit later I lost 1 frame and then 7 frames to nowhere.

How to shoot few bosses and Metalman faster

This is somewhat interesting glitch or a frame rule I found during my journey. When you hit your first shot be sure that it looks that it won't hit at the earliest possible frame (even it does) because it seem to make some kind of error or something in the game so you'll be able to hit Metalman few frames faster. This is a good technique if you want to break stage's frame rule. Also it seems that you can hit Flashman in the re-fight room by same technique.

Starting from the uppest part of the screen

This can be only done if you are placed yourself almost in the offscreen and you are able to beat the boss from up there, after boss is beaten you must to jump up at least for one frame. After that you'll start in the uppest part of the screen when you select a stage. This is really helpful in Woodman's stage because you can't zip throught the first room really fast.

Skipping the black screen after dying

This technique was found by Japanese player cstrakm. When you change your weapon to Heatman's weapon and drop in the gorge and shoot few frames earlier before you die you can skip the black screen and save around (134) frames or so.

Shooting 2 bullets at the same frame

This occurs when you are going on the ladders and press B button at the same time. This time around it was not needed because we used different techniques and route to achieve our goal.

Known facts

Our work is impossible to beat anymore in it's current situation, also there is no possibility to mimic Woodman's actions because we timed our actions beforehand to make it perfect so in a word everything is planned carefully from a scratch. Certain values are calculated from high ranges to find absolutely correct NMI aimings to sync with screenscrollings and delay screenscrollings. Item1 rising speed is corrected for their maximal states as possible and when needed to. If you want to improve this game you'll have to gain at least a bit over 10 frames between Flashman, Heatman, Airman, Clashman, Quickman, Metalman and Bubbleman stages to even think or imagine to succeed well in Woodman's screen and delay scrollings. In the Wily stages frame rules does exists, most extreme rule is in Dr. Wily Stage 3 because frame rule is 16 frames. In a word you'll have to improve 8 frames between Dr. Wily and Dr. Wily 2 to succeed to save 8 frames.

Stage info (* = Adopted from previous submission)


Flashman *

Simplest and easiest stage to play throught. As you can see in the beginning I turned 1 frame left and jumped to gain 1 frame when landing in front of the enemy. For entertainment I picked extra lives by manipulation I accidentally found :) For the boss battle I used a strategy that let me to hit him 1 frame faster by facing left before entering the room. Also I was able to broke the whole stage because for some reason I gained frames by optimizing and mixing subpixels up! My only theory is that I've had 1 frame less lag in the boss battle or so after Flashman is beaten because in Rockman 2 there is a frame rule that affects to your output time after finishing the stage.

Worksharing:

Stage & Boss: Shinryuu

Heatman *

Hey it's time to hear some funky music! This stage is somewhat similiar to Flashman's stage because all you have to remember is to jump minimalistic jumps as possible. When you go to the ladders, shoot Item3 and perform zipping I lost 1 frame there to attain fastest completion time after teleporting block area. When I tested that zipping 1 frame faster I was about 8 frames slower in the end. It had some kind of effect to teleportation time. Boss fight may not be so entertaining but at least it is really funny and I performed suicide in the end to get frame or two.

If you are curious or want to know more about the Heatman's randomness generator see 00B2 address. There are 3 values 30, 60 and 90 these numbers are frames and tells how long it will take from Heatman to move after damaging him.

Worksharing:

Stage & Boss: Shinryuu

Airman *

Yay time to abuse Item1s! This stage is one of the favourites I had to play through. Stage is most likely same as in the published movie but this time Air devils are going to get disappear into nothingness by pressing 1 frame left -> 1 frame right when they are in the screen! This trick was found by Japanese player Cstrakm. I performed the screenscrolling by testing everything I got and if I recall or remember correctly I was able to win Bisqwit's BisqBot because bot wasn't able to find output(s) like I did.

Worksharing:

Stage & Boss: Shinryuu

Clashman

This time around it was time to punish Rockman 2's engine more further to it's own destruction. New strategies are used to attain correct amount of Item1s to succeed with the stage. Main improvement comes from the delay ladder tech FinalFighter found out which saved about 6.2 seconds in total. In the #3 screen after the death abuse scene I decided to use one Item1 and jump to the rightside of the screen to go to next screen -> zip -> eliminate helmet enemy to gain a one huge refill for my Item1s. Delay ladder tech is related to screenscrollings because mechanism is exactly same but this time around when it happens you have to wait for a correct Y position to press up with (to appear in a good place in the next screen) this time Y=37 value was perfect to use. Because we were out of Item1s we weren't able to use Item1 before the boss room to appear inside the floor.

Worksharing:

Delay ladder tech: FinalFighter (succeed first)

Downscrolling: Shinryuu (succeed first)

Stage & Boss: Shinryuu

Quickman *

Forward.. no backward zipping!? Yes! This time Quickman is going to get punished really hard by Cstrakm's backwardzipping and my own personal quickzipping, these appears in the second and third rooms of this stage. Because of the frame rule I had to lose to gain some time. This stage doesn't include anything special expect those two first glitches in the stage. I copypasted and tested different combinations to see what's the fastest route in the end.

Worksharing:

Stage & Boss: Shinryuu

Metalman *

Okay because of the better positioning with Item1s I was able to zip 2 frames faster in the beginning of the stage (They were modified in Quickman's stage). Also I gained 1 frame from the final screen by zipping one frame faster by pressing left 1 frame earlier. From the boss battle I got much time and I found out how it's mechanism does work, it is simple. When you hit the boss like it was "delayed" but it's the fastest time as possible it let's you to hit faster and faster if your positioning and timing is good. When you shoot your final bullet it is recommended to find a correct positioning and timing to kill Metalman 1 frame faster.

Worksharing:

Stage & Boss: Shinryuu

Bubbleman *

Classic and somewhat nostalgic stage. This stage is really similiar as seen in the current published run but I was able to optimize really small changes due the better manipulation that came from nothing. This time there exists screenscrolling by four metalblades and two crabs and it maked this stage even more faster! For a boss fight I had to shoot one metalblade in the beginning to hit Bubbleman 3 frames faster even it may look a bit slower.

Worksharing:

Stage & Boss: Shinryuu

Delay down scrolling: FinalFighter & pirohiko (pirohiko succeed)

Woodman

Woohoo be sure to check this stage out! It's time to gain 29.4 seconds by FinalFighter's and pirohiko's extremely well planned calculations. This stage is full of surprises and many screenscrollings, including delay screenscrollings are used. Before the battle I manipulated Item1 rising values by shooting some extra bullets out to attain good positioning in Wily 1.

Worksharing:

Stage: Optimized, calculated and perfected by FinalFighter & pirohiko

Boss & Item1 manipulation: Shinryuu

Dr. Wily stage 1 *

This stage is a classic but there won't happen anything special until you get to Mechadragon battle because you will see a huge time saving there. I did couple of test movies from the part where I waste my Item1 after taking damage from the bullet. When I shoot that Item1 it saves exacrly 20 frames. Also if I don't waste this Item1 and save it for Dr. Wily stage's final zipping... it also saves exactly 20 frames! This was a bit complicated but I just had to make two versions and see which scrolling can be done faster.

Worksharing:

Stage & Boss: Shinryuu

Dr. Wily stage 2 *

Glitching continues! As seen in Wily stages seem to be a bit more complicated bu their randomness seeds for frame rules because even if I gained some time it would be equal in the end. In the worst case it is slower. I did the boss battle on my own with a different more action based strategies (at least I think so) to make it to look a bit more entertaining.

Worksharing:

Stage & Boss: Shinryuu

Dr. Wily stage 3 *

Sewer time dudes! Nothing special pops ups from this stage either. Just a bunch of manipulations and stuffs that wasn't impossible to find throught. This time around Item1s are optimized as well to beat the rest of the frames out from the frame rule.

Worksharing:

Stage & Boss: Shinryuu

Dr. Wily stage 4

Few words. This stage is identical or actually it is but this time around before actions affected to frame rules and it's now 3 frames faster than before ;) So nothing more to say about.

Worksharing:

Stage & Boss: Shinryuu

Dr. Wily Stage 5

Few words. This stage is almost identical as before but I did optimize Heatman fight better than before and had luck because of that. Frame rule changed and I gained 22 frames. Also Item1 rising speeds are optimized through the stage.

Worksharing:

Stage & Boss: Shinryuu

Dr. Wily Stage 6

How about some cave exploring? I improved this stage a bit by improving x4c2, x4c3 and x4c4 values to make Item1 to rise every 2 frames. Example. when x4c2 is at number 50 it means third Item1 rises every 3 frames this means it is 1 frame slower than x4c2 being under 30 value. I manipulated everything beforehand in the 8 Bossroom by shootings things in good places to get better numbers especially in Flashman and Wilymachine fights. Also it seems I was able to skip few lag spots to attain 4 frame faster fight than ever before.

Worksharing:

Stage & Boss: Shinryuu

FinalFighter's comments and rest of the submission


Subtitled lua script

I made LuaScript that play at the same time as our fcm. The explanation can be seen at the same time as fcm :)http://www.yuko2ch.net/rockman/mm2subtitle.html

Reference image of route

I made the explanation of the stage where the route was not understood easily.

Quicman Stage: http://www.yuko2ch.net/rockman/quick_route.jpg

Woodman Stage: http://www.yuko2ch.net/rockman/wood_route.jpg

Crashman Stage: http://www.yuko2ch.net/rockman/crash_route.jpg


Impressions

Big improvements of this TAS is "delay ladder tech","delay scroll" and "rise of item1 rule". I think that the update of the Crashman stage and the Woodman stage surprises the people who see. Especially, the Woodman stage saved much time and was interesting even for me.

Crashman Stage

I made the "delay ladder tech" succeed. Rising signal of the ladder is deleted by delay momentarily. As a result, the time of the switch of arms becomes unnecessary and time can be saved considerably.

Bubbleman Stage

Mr. pirohiko made the "delay down scroll" succeed almost last time in a similar way. The "delay down scroll" in this part became not difficult for us by a quantitative observation. :P

Woodman Stage

The route was changed very much. Mr. pirohiko made all delay scrolls succeed. A "delay up scroll" seems to be the most difficult. (Because the adjustment of Y coordinates is more than necessary.)

Wily Stages

Mr. Shinryuu played by power to remove the lost frame completely. Especially, by having understood rising rule of Item1,There is no lost frame in WilyStage and It became only a stage where time had been saved.

About the "delay scroll"

There were still a lot of failure examples though the success rate increased by custom FCEU. I proceeded with the investigation further, and constructed "Theory" of the delay scroll with Mr.pirohiko.The method for our success was made.

Method of raising success percentage of "delay scroll" more information can be found at:

Japanese: http://www.yuko2ch.net/rockman/howtodelayscroll.htm

English: http://www.yuko2ch.net/rockman/howtodelayscroll_eng.htm

About the rising rule of Item1


$04C4(item1-1st)

$04C3(item1-2nd)

$04C2(item1-3rd)

These values are adjusted by the game against the boss in the previous stage. Rising rule of Item1 can be changed. As a result, it comes to never lose the number of frames by Item1.

See more details at:

=forum/viewtopic.php?t=325&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=814

About the frame rule of the blackout

There is a frame rule in blackout (Guts Tank and Mecha Dragon). It is a counter by which B2 controls becoming of Rockman and sticks from the blackout.

w4 $1C v2 $1C
$B2=#$0D 69872 #$B7 69878 #$BD
destruction 69873 #$B8 69879 #$BE
$B2=#$0C 69881 #$C0 69881 #$C0@ <-You understand the subtraction in timing as which B2 is the same.
blackout 70074 70074
$B2=#$00 70073 70073
stick 70613 70613

The value of $B2 is subtracted every 16 frames.

9131 LDA $1C

9133 AND #$0F

9135 BNE $9164

915B DEC $B2

9164 RTS

$1C: It is a counter that keeps increasing the number of frames, and circulating. Because the value of $1C is not revokable according to the user's operation, When the frame is lost by the frame rule, we give it up.

History


2009-01-16

I found a new route in the Woodman stage.

2009-01-17

Mr. aglasscage found "delay CurrentBeginScreen changed", and I began to investigate "delay scroll" more deeply.

2009-01-21

I found "delay direction change" by examining the scroll in detail.

2009-01-22

I completely understood rising rule of item1.

2009-04-29

I almost understood the processing of the scroll, and found delay ladder tech. As a result we had to re-do again from Crashman Stage.

2009-07

We captured the "delay scroll" part.

2009-08

New TAS of Rockman 2 was finally completed.

Special thanks


Mr. Shinryuu

He did not compromise this time. A small saving was piled by the effort. He is enjoying the Japanese culture.I am expecting him to come to ComicMarket sooner or later. :P

Mr.pirohiko

http://zoome.jp/pirohiko/ An overwhelming ability was demonstrated as "delay scroll" workman this time. There were a lot of places where I thought, "The amount of the instruction is very insufficient". He made the delay scroll succeed one after another. His ability is terrific. I exactly think that it was a moment when pirobot(BOT) became pirogod(GOD).

Mr.TaoTao

http://www6.atpages.jp/appsouko/ He contributed to the knowledge construct very much last time. There might not have been completion without his contribution.

Mr.DARS

The memory list that he had made eased our investigation

Mr.aglasscage

The motivation was filled by having discovered new delay tech(delay CurrentBeginScreen changed).

#TASers

IRC Channel in which TAS player of Japan gathers. I have been always indebted.

Shinryuu's special thanks goes to:

  • Morimoto & FinalFighter for making the most historical movie.
  • aglasscage for respecting our work and being really active in discussions where many different ideas came up.
  • FinalFighter for demonstrating, finding and architecturing most of the glitches and being co-author.
  • Bisqwit for being part in Rockman 2 history, investigating for screenscrollings and helping me with them.
  • TaoTao for contacting Rockman 2 TAS Help site first to impress everyone.
  • pirohiko for he's motivation towards screenscrollings and was able to make them perfect with no time!
  • AngerFist for cheering me up and kicking my nuts in the butt!
  • cstrakm for finding a little techniques such as getting Air devils to disappear and backwards zipping in Quickman
  • And all of you :)

Thanks for reading and paying attention to our latest submission and who have ever read, posted or discussed in official Rockman 2 thread. This can be our last time we're working on this game. Still we do not let our hands off from this game, we're guarding it till end of the time. Now it's time to put this game to sleep... at least for a while and move to other Mega Man games as well!


adelikat: FM2ifying the submisison. It is now 9 frames longer since it doesn't take advantage of soft reset to do the start sequence faster.

And accepting for publication as an improvement to the published movie.

ShinyDoofy: Will process...


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