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

Submission #2734: FractalFusion's DS Space Invaders Extreme 2 in 07:56.48

Console: Nintendo DS
Game name: Space Invaders Extreme 2
Game version: USA
ROM filename: 4645 - Space Invaders Extreme 2 (U)(BAHAMUT).nds
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 07:56.48
FrameCount: 28506
Re-record count: 19495
Author's real name: Justin Chan
Author's nickname: FractalFusion
Submitter: FractalFusion
Submitted at: 2010-07-08 19:20:18
Text last edited at: 2011-02-27 04:30:29
Text last edited by: FractalFusion
Download: Download (9668 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
FractalFusion's Space Invaders Extreme 2 (スペース インベーダー エクストリーム 2 [TAS]) in 7:56.

I encoded this run myself using Avisynth. Here are the scripts and images in a ZIP file. Included is an AVI of the Space-Invader-oriented logo I used.

MKV: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?z1y3wymywhz
MP4: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?tmkqymwmmmt
(~84MB each) (I made a mistake about the name; it's supposed to be Space Invaders Extreme 2)

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRP5lrRqEgo

Note: I placed a color 0x100000 bar of height 24 to separate the screens.

Emulator: DeSmuME 0.9.6 x86.

Important: Under Config -> Emulation Settings, you must uncheck "Enable Advanced Bus-Level Timing"

Aims

  • Hardest path in Score Attack (1-2-3B-4C-5D)
  • No death
  • Fastest time

No death

Dying allows you to beat some bosses faster because all action freezes for a few seconds while you take shots at them, thus avoiding delay cycles. Of course, dying also looks bad.

About the game

There's really too much to describe about this game but gameplay does not resemble the original Space Invaders anymore. Check out its own Wikipedia page (actually, that's the page of the first game, but it's similar). Also, the music and sound effects puts the Extreme in its name.

Anyway, you kill invaders. You "level up" as your score increases; this increases the efficiency of your normal shot. You can get powerups if you kill 4 straight aliens of the same color (red, blue, green, or black). These powerups (except black) are very destructive and can kill waves easily. You have a powerup bar that limits the amount of time you have on the powerup. You can hold R to stop the bar, but you cannot use the powerup when pressing R. The powerups are:

  • Blue: Laser, penetrates most small enemies, allowing you to take out columns. It destroys block/bomb shield enemies very fast. It doesn't work well against reflector enemies or large enemies. When using Laser, you can't move as fast.
  • Green: Broad Shot, five shots grouped together in a row. You are limited to two groups per screen, although the limit goes up to three as you level up. Most effective against large enemies.
  • Red: Bomb, when it hits anything, it explodes doing damage within its radius. You are limited by its firing rate, which is very slow. However, you can speed it up a bit by alternating normal and bomb fire using R. That's why sometimes I miss normal shots. It destroys reflector enemies easily. It doesn't work well against block/bomb shield enemies.
  • Black: Shield. Not useful in this TAS.

A flashing UFO appears if you kill 8 straight aliens: 4 of the same color immediately followed by 4 of the same color (color can be the same or different to the first 4). You get a Round Start if you kill the flashing UFO, (unless at least one of the colors is black, in which case you get roulette instead). SIE2 differs from the first game in that the "round start" occurs during the normal waves on the top screen, rather than separately.

Depending on the color combination you used, a Round Start puts some enemies up in the top screen, and your goal is either to kill them all, or kill the most important one.

  • Red, red: A UFO is surrounded by tons of aliens orbiting it. Destroy the UFO.
  • Red, green: Five sets of aliens, each is three orbiting an exploder]. Destroy them all.
  • Red, blue: Three big aliens. Destroy them all.
  • Green, red: An "invader worm" with a UFO head. Destroy the UFO.
  • Green, green: Four big aliens. Destroy them all.
  • Green, blue: "Push" the large alien with the smaller ones.
  • Blue, red: Two big aliens that split into smaller ones. Destroy them all.
  • Blue, green: Alien rectangle. Some reinforcements spawn as you kill them. Destroy them all.
  • Blue, blue: Many bouncing small aliens. Destroy them all.

For this run, the best ones to aim for are RR and GR as you need only destroy one UFO. The RR one needs a laser though, since you have to penetrate the orbiting aliens (I haven't tested spawn killing with the Broad Shot, but I know it's impossible with Bomb).

If you complete Round Start, you get Fever Time, which is a limited-time bonus event where you kill enemies with the last powerup you collected. Your powerup abilities may be amplified:

  • Blue: Same as normal Laser.
  • Green: Three Broad Shot groups allowed on screen.
  • Red: Bomb firing rate severely increased. You can have up to five bombs on screen.
  • Black: Legacy mode, with shield, and two shooters, one which you can control.

The best one and the only one I use in this run for Fever Time is Bomb. Because of its increased firing rate, you can carpet bomb entire waves of enemies in under three seconds each. OK, it depends on the enemies, but, yes, you can clear 4-6 waves in the time it gives you.

As an aside, if you complete three-in-a-row on the bingo sheet above, you get a special Round Start, which, if completed, gives you Bingo Fever. This is not used in the TAS because it occurs in isolation from the main waves. The only point is to rack up score.

Other notes:

  • Most waves move from left to right, this is why I tend to kill them from right to left, though there are exceptions.
  • When a flashing UFO is due, you cannot shoot down aliens for powerups, even if you kill four of the same color.
  • You cannot shoot down aliens for powerups in Fever Time.
  • There are a set number of waves in each stage; however, if you complete the last wave when a flashing UFO, Round Start, or Fever Time occurs, it will delay you and start reusing waves. That's why I had to plan out the end of the second stage and not shoot flashing UFOs. A number of stages ended with one or two extra waves because of Fever Time.

Tools used in this run

RAM Watch was especially useful for finding the HP of bosses, although giving them here is useless because, in modern games, addresses are dynamic.

A lot of planning was required, and precious little information was available on the Web. I continuously used a Japanese SIE info site http://www6.atwiki.jp/si_extreme/ to help identify the number of waves and its colors, as well as a dump of my previous WIP to identify invader types.

Run info

Pre-game

When naming, it is faster to touchpad the last character and press A, rather than press right, up, A to select "End".

Stage 1 (Waves: 11)

I get a BB Round Start here. There's nothing but blue aliens. Laser is useful here though. One Fever Time and it's over.

As for the boss, when it does its sweeping motion, I get the most shots in by starting on the close edge.

Stage 2 (Waves: 13)

I delay hitting the blue enemies because I need Laser for the RR Round Start. For the ending of this stage, I don't trigger any more Round Start, but I trigger flashing UFOs at a specific time because the last wave contains only red aliens. That's why I wait on the third last wave. Also, for the last wave, I was running out of Laser; that's why I used normal shot.

For the boss, you can hit the blue cells as it is materializing; that's why the one shot that appeared to miss actually hit (hitting the boss there doesn't do anything). I shoot down four red enemies it sends out, collect Bomb, and finish it off. And yes, those missed shots were because I alternate Bomb and normal shot with R to speed things up.

From now on until Stage 5, it is faster to touchpad the hard branch when it asks you.

Stage 3B (Waves: 16)

I get a GR Round Start here. Laser is useful for the block shield enemies but not the reflector ones. At the end of Fever Time, I managed to get the bombs from Fever Time to hit four blue enemies just as it ran out, yielding a powerup. I did another RR Round Start.

At the boss, I get the Laser from the enemies above, and use it to help beat the boss.

Stage 4C (Waves: 22)

I get Laser and a GR Round Start. I delay a bit because of the block shield enemies that need killing by Laser. Next time, I get a RG Round Start. Note that just before Fever Time here, I switch to normal shot to kill the bomb shield enemies.

I manage to have all my shots hit the boss. Remember that my shots can be blocked by all the trash it throws around, so the shots have to go between them. When the boss dives, I avoid it barely and show off. Yes, I can shoot the boss when I'm inside the boss's crevice, but shooting it causes it to recoil up and kill me, so I don't.

Stage 5D (Waves: 25)

I get three GR Round Starts. Also, watch out for the almost-invisible aliens (only the eyes can be seen in the invisible phase). You can clearly see the invader diversity in this level. I miss a couple Broad Shot groups just to show off.

Final Boss

Yes. A boss that deserves its own section.

The boss is composed of three parts that I must hit. Each part has more HP than any one boss previous. I do everything I can to hit the center part (the most HP) because it is the worst one when it is attacking.

Note all the trash the boss throws at me; my shots have to go between all of this.

  • First, the boss makes an overhead pass. I shoot all the parts, but aim for the center one. The exploding stuff does some damage to the part if it is close enough.
  • The left part attacks with its bouncing balls. I manage to get all shots to avoid these balls.
  • The right part attacks with aliens. I have to shoot some of the aliens to get them out of the way because of obstruction. But nothing is as bad as the center one.
  • The focus switches between the left and right until both are destroyed. Every time it switches, I hit the center with 7 shots.
  • After I destroy the left and right ones, the center attacks, sending out a large UFO. This UFO is a problem as it blocks me from shooting the center as it moves. I manage to avoid this UFO by switching between attacking the left and right edges of the center part. I have to shoot the exploding things or else they interfere with my shots.

Ranking

As you can see, the game awards staying in the levels as long as possible. That's why I didn't get S, if you were wondering.

Credits

You can play the credits? Cool! However, problem is, I have to play the credits or it will not advance. The credit roll lasts for 3.5 minutes. On the other hand, I can just skip it by pressing Start. I'd rather do that instead.

Title Screen

If you wait long enough on the title screen (shown in the encode), the high score/fastest time lists pop up. You can see that a guy named "A" destroyed the second-place person with a score almost 7 times more.


Baxter: Accepting for publication.

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