TASVideos

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

Submission #2911: MUGG's DS Kirby Squeak Squad "any%" in 36:40.55

Console: Nintendo DS
Game name: Kirby Squeak Squad
Game version: USA
ROM filename: 731 - Kirby - Squeak Squad (U).nds
Branch: any%
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 36:40.55
FrameCount: 131650
Re-record count: 48592
Author's real name: Christoph H.
Author's nickname: MUGG
Submitter: mugg
Submitted at: 2010-11-16 13:17:07
Text last edited at: 2011-11-07 00:14:46
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (31439 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
It's early afternoon in Dreamland and Kirby is about to eat some piece of cake. But before he gets the chance it gets stolen. Kirby sets off to get his cake back.

This game - which is known as Kirby Mouse Attack in Europe and 星のカービィ 参上! ドロッチェ団 (Kirby of the Stars: Calling on the Dorotche Gang) in Japan - is much like a sequel to Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, however, in my opinion it's not such a great game. Many rooms or places of Kirby & The Amazing Mirror were recycled into Squeak Squad, but the game itself doesn't really provide anything new or innovative. The bubble system, while being an interesting feature, is making the game really easy. Enemies are placed loosely throughout the rooms and there also isn't much to discover in this game (unlike in Amazing Mirror, which consists of a maze rather than ordered levels). In my opinion the era of GBA and NGC games was the best time for a Nintendo fan: So many good games, remakes of old NES & SNES classics and excellent games like Super Mario Sunshine, Super Smash Bros Melee or Paper Mario TTYD. It was so much better compared to now. Nowadays games are so purposefully easy, aimed at casual players and short or non-innovative, that one gets the opinion that these games were produced to just "get more money out of the franchise". There are exceptions, but the Wii console is primarily aimed at family or children or casual players so there aren't so many good games... This is the way I see it. Nowaways, I'm not playing videogames much anymore. Well, I think Squeak Squad is still a good game since I played it many hours and it's also a game suited for speedrunning.

Kirby Squeak Squad uses the bottom screen of the NDS to store bubbles. Bubbles contain items that you can use whenever you want it (food, projectile stars, ?-item and abilities). The ?-item gives you an ability roulette, however certain items don't appear in it such as Hammer. You can mix ability bubbles or food bubbles.

cherry + cherry = energy drink
cherry + energy drink = meat
cherry + meat = maxim tomatoe
energy drink + meat = maxim tomatoe
meat + meat = maxim tomatoe
maxim tomatoe + maxim tomatoe = ?-item

When mixing two abilities, there are 8 levels of mixing that you go through when you keep rubbing the bottom screen.

1st level = Wheel, Laser, Ninja, Sword, Hijump, Cupid, Bomb, Cutter, Parasol, Tornado, Beam, Spark, Ice, Fire, Metal, Animal, Fighter
2nd level = Wheel, Laser, Ninja, Sword, Hijump, Cupid, Bomb, Cutter, Parasol, Tornado, Beam, Spark, Ice, Fire, Metal, Animal, Fighter
3rd level = Bomb, Fire, Sleep
4th level = Ice, Sleep
5th level = Beam, Spark, Sleep
6th level = Cutter, Sword, Sleep
7th level = Ninja, Bubble, Metal, Animal, Sleep
8th level = Hammer, UFO, 1-up, ?-item, Metal, Bubble, Animal, Ninja, Magic, Throw, Sleep

About the run

  • Any%
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses programming errors in the game
  • Manipulates luck
  • Genre: Platform

  • Used emulator: DeSmuME 0.9.4+ svn2964 x86
"Fast-Fetch Execute" was enabled to remove emulation lag. The movie will desync on other versions.

Why 0.9.4+?

Because this run was initially started on that version but I lacked motivation to finish this run for a long time. There is a slight graphical emulation glitch whenever the screen fades out at level-ends or after bosses. It can be easily ignored.

Planning

I attempted to make small TASes of this game when DeSmuME became available for TASing. I also began planning what bubble items to get throughout the game. While I was creating that route, I found the item bug so I had to create a new plan. I didn't create this new plan in a long time due to lack of motivation... At some point, I made a TAS of the Boss Endurance when I saw WaddleDX' TAS of it.

Just recently I gained motivation to run this game again and I'm really surprised that I could TAS entire worlds within a few days! The Boss Endurance TAS helped as a reference when doing the boss battles, and everything worked out well in the end.

See this ( http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/1277/newroute.png ) for the first version of the route.

Luck-Manipulation

Enemy behavior can often be manipulated by moving bubbles around in Kirby's stomach. Enemy behavior cannot be manipulated by having Kirby interact with the level (e.g. have him bump into a wall or start running), unlike it was the case in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror.

If Kirby touches an item in the Bonus Screen, there will be 5 lag frames so the top plate (that Kirby flies through) should be manipulated to be empty. This can only be done by waiting, by mixing items or touching a ?-bubble in Kirby's stomach or by dealing damage to an enemy. Very rarely, enemies or bosses can only be manipulated by mixing bubbles or using a ?-bubble (for example Dark Nebula).

Horizontal movement

Moving in mid-air is faster than running. But sliding is even faster, depending on the ground conditions. Due to how the game works, it is faster to press "down", "A" repeatedly for sliding instead of "right", "right-down", "A" since the game prioritizes the horizontal movement (Kirby starts walking before crouching).

Movement in water

There is no momentum when you start diving into a different direction, unlike in Kirby & The Amazing Mirror.

Glitches & Tricks

Take damage

If you take damage while crouching, you won't lose your ability and there will be no lag.

Slide-boost

When Kirby is close to a ledge, have him slide off it and hold "up". Kirby will start hovering with great horizontal speed. The closer you start at a ledge, the better the boost, but the harder it is to perform (in real-time).

Item bug

When you use a bubble during the same frame that you obtain a new item (food, 1-up, bubble, treasure chest), you will keep the bubble. For example: Kirby has a Hammer bubble. Kirby obtains a Wheel bubble and uses the Hammer bubble simultaneously. He will now be Hammer Kirby and have a Hammer bubble and a Wheel bubble in his stomach. This glitch is very useful for keeping important items. In most cases, when a mini-boss battle starts, you can use this bug to keep your Hammer bubble without losing any time.

Cutscene Skip

There is one single frame before a cutscene starts loading where the game already accepts input. If you press "Start" or "A" on that frame, the cutscene will go away faster (the screen will fade in, and then immediately turn white). I accidently didn't use this after World 6 due to being confused by how the single frame was placed... I lost 1~10 frames (not sure, but it's very tiny).

Standing state

Before a level starts loading, there are 3 frames where the game is already accepting input for the level. During the first 2 frames, Kirby is in standing state so you can use those frames to jump or start sliding (which means that you can use a slide-boost at every level start). Press "down", "A", "up" on the 3 frames and Kirby will perform a slide-boost.

There are also those 2 frames where Kirby is in standing state after he travelled with a warpstar and after losing his ability (by pressing "select").

Skip the first Squeak Squad sequence

The sequence that starts when you touch the big treasure chest in 1-3 is a bit long, so I save time by not grabbing it. The only known way to skip it is to have 5 bubbles in Kirby's stomach so he can't grab the chest or by having Animal Kirby do a dash jump over the chest.

Ladder Jump

At the upper end of a ladder, you can jump after letting go of it if you moved down. Example: Climb upwards, climb downwards one frame at the upper end of the ladder, press "right" or "left", press "A".

Wheel jump

When pressing "A","A-B" Wheel Kirby will perform a high jump while going into wheel mode. This is useful to reach high places.

Get "catched" to a floor when transforming

Kirby will set foot on a floor if he is close enough to it during his transformation sequence.

Hover cancel

A well-known trick. When you start blowing up, you can cancel this by using your B-move. This is useful for keeping high in mid-air (see the Kracko boss for application).

RAM addresses

All the RAM addresses in this game are variable. This means that they change from level to level. I couldn't use lua because it wasn't available in 0.9.4+. This game doesn't really require RAM addresses to do decent optimizisation, but I still looked for them sometimes while TASing (for example, Y-Velocity when I needed to float upwards).

Dark Nebula luck-manipulation

This boss was hard to set up. He can do a certain attack where he gets close to the floor, within reach of Hammer Kirby's Up-B. Nebula needs to do this move twice in a row (less than 0.5% probability) so I get enough time to kill him off. Nebula could only be manipulated by mixing bubbles, and I only had 2 bubbles left to get Hammer from so I could only manipulate him to do the attack once... I tried for a long while different ways of mixing bubbles and adding bubble movement in the previous room so I could get more attempts at manipulating him. I eventually did it though.

The alternative strategy would have been to use the item bug on the Cherry Bubble and keep Wheel, and use the item bug on another bubble to keep Hammer so I would have 2 more bubbles to mix and manipulate *during* Nebula's first attack. It would have been only 10 frames slower.

I wouldn't have known that Nebula can perform the floor attack twice in a row if I hadn't seen him doing it while playing casually. I was glad to see him do it so I planned to use Hammer on him, from the beginning.

Possible improvements

I lost a few frames here and there. Greatest flaws that come to mind may be the Dedede battle that I think could be improved (I'm not sure), and the missed cutscene skipping after world 6. I think that one can save a few seconds by further optimizations. I would still be surprised to see an improvement greater than 10 seconds.

Closing

I'm sorry if people think this run contains too much Wheel-driving or Hammer-smashing. I was just aiming for the fastest time so I had no choice. I might plan to do some small playaround videos for Youtube (fighter Kirby and Metal Kirby). Maybe if I ever decide to make the 100% run in this game, you may keep your hopes up. But I'm currently not planning to do this run.

Well, have fun! Feel free to ask questions.


Mister Epic: Added Dailymotion module.

Mister Epic: Replaced Dailymotion module by YouTube playlist module.

DarkKobold: This looks like it might be difficult to verify, so I'll go ahead and claim it.

DarkKobold Accepting due to good viewer feedback.

Mister Epic: I will publish it. Y'know, for fun! And also, I've removed the YouTube module.


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