TASVideos

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

Submission #2416: marzojr's Genesis Sonic 3 & Knuckles "Sonic 100%" in 55:48.8

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Sonic 3 & Knuckles
Game version: any
ROM filename: Sonic and Knuckles & Sonic 3 (W) [!].bin
Branch: Sonic 100%
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 55:48.8
FrameCount: 200928
Re-record count: 42009
Author's real name: Marzo Junior
Author's nickname: marzojr
Submitter: marzojr
Submitted at: 2009-10-05 20:10:57
Text last edited at: 2010-08-15 00:08:37
Text last edited by: marzojr
Download: Download (15770 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Sonic goes hunting for the Chaos and Super Emeralds in order to truly defeat Dr. Robotnik. The powers obtained from the Chaos Emeralds make him slightly faster in general; the powers obtained from the Super Emeralds break the game so horribly it stops being funny.

Warning: The awesomeness of Hyper Sonic may hurt your eyes or trigger seizures on susceptible people.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Gens 11a
  • No death
  • Aims for fastest (primarily in-level) time
  • Ignores delays caused by bonus effects
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses programming errors in the game (a lot)
  • Manipulates luck (a little)
  • Grabs all Chaos and Super Emeralds
  • Avoids underflowing the horizontal position (see comments, below)

Comments

After grabbing all Chaos Emeralds, most levels benefit slightly from the Super Sonic transformation: Super Sonic accelerates faster, jumps higher, has a faster spindash and a higher top speed, and this usually translates to a lower in-game time for the level.

After grabbing all Super Emeralds, almost every single level benefits from the Hyper Sonic transformation. Hyper Sonic has the most broken abilities ever: his hyper launch. This allows getting into walls and floors in places where other characters can't (although some can be replicated with Sonic and the bubble shield -- if you can find it), and wall zipping ensues.

This run uses almost all of the known glitches and abuses: the only exception is the underflowing of the horizontal coordinate; this is the technical form of saying "teleporting from the start to the end of a level" for this game. The reasoning behind it is to show more of the game, and to better showcase the abilities of Super Sonic and Hyper Sonic. The drawback is that this restriction costs dearly on a few levels in terms of time.

For the same reasons, Sonic goes solo on this run -- a fact that also costs dearly in terms of time on a few levels.

The special stages use the same input as the Knuckles 100% run by Upthorn, and are used with permission.

A few levels are similar to the existing Sonic and Sonic + Tails runs; a few levels (Hidden Palace and Sky Sanctuary) are carbon copies of the other runs.

Timetable

Level Time
Angel Island 1 0:56:20
Angel Island 2 1:23:55
Hidrocity 1 0:45:27
Hidrocity 2 0:58:42
Marble Garden 1 0:39:30
Marble Garden 2 0:58:35
Carnival Night 1 0:41:24
Carnival Night 2 0:42:53
IceCap 1 1:19:34
IceCap 2 0:41:18
Launch Base 1 1:36:41
Launch Base 2 1:03:33
Mushroom Hill 1 1:02:07
Mushroom Hill 2 0:58:54
Flying Battery 1 1:20:42
Flying Battery 2 1:16:48
Sandopolis 1 1:33:57
Sandopolis 2 1:02:47
Lava Reef 1 0:57:14
Lava Reef 2 0:47:42
Hidden Palace 0:26:52
Sky Sanctuary 0:55:49
Death Egg 1 0:57:03
Death Egg 2 2:08:46
Doomsday 1:34:36[1]
Total 26:51:09

The table shows the in-game timer values. The value after the final colon indicates the in-game frame counter, and is restricted to the 0-59 range. It is updated every frame (except during lag frames), and increments the in-game second when resetting to zero.

[1] The Doomsday timer stops at this value; the last hit (i.e., the point where the movie ends) is at time 1:30:40. Moreover, the last time visible on-screen is 1:33(:57).

Stage by stage comments

Angel Island 1

At the end, in the crumbling platforms before the mini boss, it is possible to save 5 frames with a spindash; but these frames cost a lot more time in Act 2.

Angel Island 2

The swinging wine at 0:15:08 is left in an inconvenient position if I arrive here earlier. I decide to grab the fourth emerald here, despite the loss of time, in order to have Super Sonic as early as practical.

Marble Garden 1

There is no convenient place to lose the shield after I grab the last emerald; thus, becoming Super Sonic in this level loses more time than it is worth.

Marble Garden 2

Losing the shield at 0:23:34, however, is faster than waiting for an opportunity to go around the spiked ball. Especially since I quality for Super Sonic transformation after grabbing the 6 rings right after it. At around 0:30:00, I am slightly faster than I would be if I were to hit the red spring.

Carnival Night 2

New wall entrance at 0:20:00 allows me to skip a large section of the level then run around at very high speed right until the end, saving 26 seconds compared to the current Sonic + Tails run.

IceCap 1

Super Sonic shows up to do some snowboarding. Lots of vertical screen wrapping abuse, I reach the boss. The 3 ring monitors from the flag really speed up the next act.

IceCap 2

Super Sonic glitched transformation at 0:12:00 -- I am on the ground and manage to transform anyway! This saves a good deal of time. Sadly, it is impossible to reach the ledge at around 0:22:50 as Super Sonic, meaning I lose about 2 seconds at that point.

Launch Base 1 & 2

The fire shield I grab on the way at the start of Launch Base 1 serves only to get me faster to the first giant ring in Launch Base 2. At around 0:45:40, I go slightly higher up to have slightly more speed at 0:47:00; this way, I can glitch past an invisible wall at about 0:47:55 and kill the middle boss unhindered.

Mushroom Hill 1 & 2

Lots and lots of emerald grabbing. In act 1, grabbing the second emerald determines the rest of the way -- all other paths to the end are slower. I grab the fire shield and ring monitors after the boss to speed up act 2. In act 2, I lose the shield at around 0:36:30 so I can turn into Hyper Sonic as quickly as possible; since I would have to wait for the giant ring to form anyway, I lose no time in the process. At 0:44:14, I hyper launch into the ground for a large speed boost.

Flying Battery 1

Lots of ring grabbing at the start for earlier Hyper Sonic; the fire shield is very useful at this start too.

Flying Battery 2

Using the anti-gravity glitch to get inside the ground, I zip right until about 0:14:00, where I cancel the glitch. Hyper Sonic makes short work of the level then. I lose the rings on purpose after the boss is killed to make for a faster score tally.

Sandopolis 1

At about 0:16:00, I loiter around a bit: the next timed object is in the way however fast I get to it. The ring monitor and fire shield monitor are grabbed to manipulate the placement of timed objects in the next act.

Lava Reef 1

A bit of loitering at 0:14:40 to wait for the rings. After that, the shield is lost. The ring monitor and fire shield after the boss are essential to the next act; I push myself into the ground to gain a large speed boost at the start of the level.

Lava Reef 2

At 0:20:27, the fire shield loses its usefulness and I drop it. At about 0:33:00, I take the way around because the timed objects are in a very bad position. I then skip the boss, which would be about 2 minutes of dull, repetitive gameplay.

Hidden Palace & Sky Sanctuary

Basically identical to SprintGod's Sonic solo run. But with all emeralds in the former, and some luck manipulation in the latter to get the boss to use the same attack pattern.

Death Egg 1

This is the fastest route to Hyper Sonic. The level is broken after that, and the boss is a breeze.

Death Egg 2

Again, fastest route to Hyper Sonic. Staying in the ceiling is faster than being on the ground in the mid boss; hyper launch from anywhere hits the shield and makes a noise. The egg robo is identical to SprintGod's.

The Doomsday

Both bosses are incredibly annoying: they are liable to desynch on any changes to earlier levels due to differences in the RNG. The first boss is easy to abuse as his missiles move strangely when you are moving around the screen: you can cause a hit much faster simply by moving appropriately. I had to delay a couple hits in the second because a 1 frame delay in the hit caused a much faster recovery time. Last hit happens with only 13 frames of Hyper Sonic left on the clock.

Other comments

You may want to download and use this LUA HUD for Genesis Sonic games. It has a lot of useful information for a TAS, including a jump predictor for Sonic and for Tails (in Sonic + Tails games).

I want to thank Nitsuja, Upthorn and SprintGod, without which this run would not be possible. Orkal also helped indirectly with a couple tricks in his S3&K glitch videos.

What could be improved

It might be possible to improve Doomsday by a few frames in the mid-boss fight, but it isn't easy.

Switching to Sonic+Tails would save a lot of time, as would eliminating the "avoids underflowing the horizontal position" restriction. Also, allowing death as a shortcut would save some time in a couple of levels. I am not aware of any other improvements that don't require these changes.

Suggested screenshot:


mmbossman: Replaced the submission file with one which better conforms with goals at the request of the author; please note that Lava Reef zone has changed. If you believe this will change your vote, please rewatch.


adelikat: Popular vote wins. I accept this submission (as a new category for this game).
Raiscan: Encoding. What should the new category be called, though?

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