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

Submission #2594: TheRandomPie_IV's Genesis Kid Chameleon in 12:47.52

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Kid Chameleon
Game version: USA/Europe
ROM filename: Kid Chameleon (UE) [!].bin
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 12:47.52
FrameCount: 46051
Re-record count: 35556
Author's real name: Thomas Robson
Author's nickname: TheRandomPie_IV
Submitter: TheRandomPie_IV
Submitted at: 2010-03-06 17:55:08
Text last edited at: 2010-03-07 04:57:56
Text last edited by: sgrunt
Download: Download (4994 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Kid Chameleon is lengthy and challenging platformer. In it you switch between a wide variety of different forms, each with its own moves and attributes, by collecting the helmets found in the various stages. You can also spend the diamonds you collect to generate powerful effects that depend on your helmet and how many diamonds you have.

  * Aims for fastest time

Comments (A.K.A. Notes on Score Tallies)

Most of the tricks used in this run have already been detailed in the comments for the maximum levels run. However for this run I decided to aim purely for real time, I.E. minimising score tallies where appropriate, which took a bit more thought than it first seemed.

Fortunately (and, yes, I checked this before choosing this as my goal) delaying the end of a stage to avoid getting the speed bonus or to get less time bonus is always considerably slower (~8 seconds minimum for speed bonuses) than not doing so (one seconds worth of time bonus is less than the amount tallied in one frame). Bizarrely the score tallies actually lag, and skip tallying for a frame, a surprisingly large amount. This only really occurs when you get 4+ different types of points in a single stage, but in these cases can easily amount to 50+ additional frames lost in addition to the actual tallying. This was most problematic in levels that awarded Path Bonus just for finishing them, but only really resulted in one dubious looking item collection.

Additionally for every 50,000 points you collect you get awarded an extra life which costs three seconds (regardless of how far through the tally you are when you get it). In the end I got fairly lucky here and there are only two places where I loose time to avoid points for this purpose and only lost 13 frames for this purpose. Skipping another life would require missing multiple speed bonuses or taking a route with fewer flags neither of which are close to being fast enough to save time in this way.

You can also save a few frames during the transition to grey boxes by minimising the number of blocks on screen. The best way to do this is usually to ensure that the edges of the screen line up exactly with the blocks instead of having a half block on both sides. This wasn't always faster though as it only saves ~3 frames per instance. Also the flags aren't as tall as they look and this prevented it form being used in some cases.

The points collected in the first few stages are necessary for performing the warp in Under Skull Mountain I.

Stage by stage comments

Blue Lake Woods I - (15s)

Probably one of the most surprising instances of doing a level the exact same way as a previous run.

Blue Lake Woods II - (13s)

Not much to say about this one. I found no improvements over the max levels run.

Highwater Pass I - (34s)

Collecting the clock here is gives me the necessary number of points for the warp later, this method saves 2 frames over skipping the hit in BLW I. I also saved two frames in the ending section.

Highwater Pass II - (17s)

I saved 3 frames against the max levels run here, though 2 of those frames may depend on the extra hit I take.

Elsewhere - (11s)

Restarting the level takes less time than detransforming from the Iron Knight. You can collect more diamonds here without loosing time but I wanted to end the game with none remaining.

Under Skull Mountain I - (23s)

Collecting the fourth 10,000 point box (giving me 100,000+ points) is what triggers the warp here.

Woods of Despair I - (11s)

Some nice enemy bouncing in this level. I save a frame near the end of the level by using the downwards sword thrust to bounce off the ghost blocks instead of jumping so that I go lower.

Woods of Despair II - (17s)

Another good level. The airwalk at the start saves ~30 frames as the extra speed I have going into the first bounce as a result is kept for the entire bouncing sequence.

The Valley of Life - (11s)

The pull-back jumping method allows me to avoid hitting the drill midway through the stage with no loss of time. This is probably the ugliest score optimisation in the entire run, but they really do lag that much.

The Black Pit - (22s)

I collect the Skycutter helmet from a different P box to the previous run saving time, though not taking the hit at the end costs 6 frames.

Lion's Den - (16s)

Collecting the diamond here costs ~10 frames, but is necessary to avoid an additional extra life later.

Wind Castles I - (2s)

Pretty self-explanatory

Wind Castles II - (8s)

This is the other instance of diamond collection costing time, though only 3 frames this time. Reverting back to kid doesn't cost any additional transformation time as the "revert to kid" and "kid to [helmet]" transformations are just stapled together when transforming between helmets.

Blizzard Mountain - (15s)

A fairly straightforward climbing level.

Caves of Ice - (29s)

Grabbing onto the wall on the way down is necessary to swing out past the next obstacle.

Nightmare Peaks I - (11s)

This route costs about one second of level time but completely avoids a score tally. The climb looks a little ugly but there's nothing I could do about it.

Elsewhere - (6s)

I saved two frames at the end with a small climbing optimisation but lost them due to being unable to take a hit.

Nightmare Peaks II - (5s)

Not much to comment on here.

Bagel Brothers - (21s)

The largest improvement over the max levels run, using a completely different strategy.

Diamond Edge - (36s)

I only have one frame to spare at the ghost blocks due to the number of diamonds I collect.

Towers of Blood - (7s)

It was nice to fit a level in here that wasn't in any other run of this game. This route change only saves level time and has no effect on my score.

Alien Twilight - (12s)

I lost one frame half way through due to having to manipulate the second alien, but saved two frames from not having to manipulate Secrets in the Rocks

Secrets in the Rocks - (14s)

Destroying things from below is not symmetric with destroying them from above unfortunately.

Ice God's Vengeance - (27s)

No improvement over the max levels run, though I think I did a bit better stylistically.

Beneath the Twisted Hills - (36s)

Somewhat surprisingly I wasn't able to collect a prize during all the downtime at the end of the level without slowing down as 10,000 point blocks don't count against the No-prize Bonus.

Alien Isle - (28s)

In spite of my best efforts I was unable to match (or improve) the luck I got in the max levels run. I was ~15 frames slower than that run here.

The Land Below - (19s)

My favourite level from the run. This was the only real chance I got to show off how much speed the game really allows. Collecting Eyeclops is ~25 frames faster than avoiding two of the hits (which is much more difficult than it looks). This method doesn't save time in the max levels run as Eyeclops is horrible in Sky Fortress and actually only saves about a ~70 frames here due to the long extra helmet animation.

The Final Marathon - (40s)

I don't loose any time collecting Skycutter and the points here due to the unbeatable timed ghost blocks a third of the way in. Collecting the points takes me over a 50,000 boundary skipping an extra life.

Plethora - (31s)

I saved a surprising (~45 frames) amount of time over the max levels run here. The level ended a time unit sooner in spite of the time lost from ending input as soon as possible (which I opted not to do in that run).
adelikat: Accepting as an improvement to the "any%" published movie.

sgrunt: I'll publish this momentarily.


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