Mothrayas' Mega Man ZX Advent in 1:19:26.35
(in-game time: 1:15:24 at final input, roughly 1:18 after credits)
Whew. Finally, this is done. I have been working on this project since DeSmuME 0.9.6 was released, 6 months ago. Now it's finally done.
- Emulator used: DeSmuME 0.9.6 with Advanced Bus Timing OFF
- Aims for fastest time to the credits, on Normal mode
- Takes damage to save time (only a few times)
- Manipulates luck
- Abuses programming errors (one slight case)
Watch on YouTube:
About the game
Mega Man ZX Advent for the Nintendo DS is the second game of the third spin-off series of the Mega Man franchise, Mega Man ZX. The Mega Man ZX series took away from the "select your level and beat boss there" setup and replaced it with a more Metroidvania-like setup, with one open world with all areas connected.
Both games of the series allow you to choose between two characters, a male and a female one (Vent and Aile respectively in the first game, Grey and Ashe in this game). Ashe is chosen in this game, because despite having a weaker charge shot she wins a significant amount of time by having shorter cutscenes and a shorter intro stage.
In ZX Advent, the user is given much less freedom to pick an order, with only three situations where you have different options to go with. These are choosing in which order to do Arctic Ice Floe and Tower of Verdure stages, choosing in which order to do Highway, Floating Ruins, Scrapyard and Control Center stages, and choosing in which order to do Mysterious Lab, Waterfall Ruins and Bio Lab stages. Everything else goes with a predetermined route.
Mega Man ZX Advent allows you to use Biometal Model A, which instead of copying boss weapons, allows you to copy the bosses you defeat completely. There are in total 15 forms available (disregarding post-game completion extras), way more than is practical: several are only used when the game specifically require you to use them.
Some of these tricks are documented in the Mega Man ZX Game Resources page
When the player uses an attack while in wall climbing motion, he'll regain directional control sooner. This allows the player to kick wall faster, making you climb faster.
In addition, Model H also has the ability to air-dash in between the wallkicks, eliminating the 1-frame short downwards movement in between wallkicks. This allows you to wall-climb even faster.
In the ZX games, certain forms have an array of moves that can be chained into one another for a lot of damage. This is especially important in ZX Advent because individual moves don't do much damage, and can't be enhanced for massive damage like in Mega Man ZX.
- Model A
- Homing Shot > Charged Shot (7 damage)
- This basic combo is used to all bosses after I get Model A until I get other, better transformations that can combo, such as Model F.
- Model F
- Buster shot > Buster Shot > Megaton Punch > Megaton Punch (14 damage)
- This combo does up to 14 damage. This is why I use Model F in some battles such as Model P and Model L. Sometimes the hits won't connect, though, for odd reasons. (This may possibly have to do with the time between certain hits being too long, causing the combo to fail).
- Model L
- Ice Block (Ice Dragon if Grey) > Jump Slash > Ground Slash (12 damage (16 damage on electric bosses)
- Used against Model H. Takes a while to pull off, because charging the ice block takes 120 frames.
- Model H
- Twin Tornado > Air Slash / Air Dash Slash > Walk Slash / Dash Slash > Triple Slash (18-23 damage (21-26 damage on fire bosses)
- Here's where combos start getting interesting. Model H is the most effective user of combo's (and thus damage-dealing) until you get Model ZX. It also takes them much further than
- Model ZX
- Charge Shot > Air Slash > Spin Slash > Walk Slash / Dash Slash > Triple Slash (lots of damage)
- This is the ultimate boss-killer in the game. Charge shot does 6 damage when fully charged, air slash and spin slash can be linked with TAS precision for 16 damage (when you don't extend the spin slash), and then there's also the walk/dash slash and triple slash to follow up to that.
- Model ZX: Air Slash to Spin Slash link
If you press Y right after gaining control after slash hitlag after hitting a boss with an air slash, you'll perform the spin slash after that, continuing to deal damage with the spin slash. This allows you to do 4 more damage from a spin slash.
- Model ZX: Extended Spin Slash
Pressing Y at certain moments during the spin slash extends it for a few more rounds, allowing it to theoretically do infinite damage in 1-damage increments until you land. However, it's usually not possible to keep the boss close enough to hit with more than a few added rounds.
- Floating Ruins 3 mini-zip
Hitting the bottom of floating ground in Floating Ruins near where tornados spawn causes you to zip to the edge of the platform. This allows me to take an unusual route through Floating Ruins 3, by going under a platform, using the tornado and zip to get back up past the platform.
Forms usable in Mega Man ZX Advent:
1. Human Form
You start the game with this, before you get Model A. Can't dash, wall jump or shoot charged shots, but can crouch, which is a bit useful for some shortcuts later on. Doesn't get used a lot after getting model A.
2. Model A
The main form of the game. When a cutscene starts, you will always transform back to Model A before the cutscene starts (and thus also end up after the cutscene with Model A, most of the time). Therefore, when transforming isn't needed (it takes ~64 frames to transform) I use this form instead. Can dash, wall jump and shoot charged shots. Ashe has a reflect laser as charged shot, which bounces off surfaces like the Gemini Laser in Mega Man 3.
3. Buckfire the Gaxelleroid (JPN: Deerburn the Gazelroid)
The first form Model A can "A-Trans" into, specializing in blitz tactics. Has a dash, a dash attack, a triple flame arrow attack, an impractically big wall jump, a dive attack, a jump attack, jumps a bit higher than normal, doesn't slow down in water and has some other things I didn't use. One of the most varied of the Pseudoroids (non-human transformations). I use it quite a bit early game but later on it becomes pretty useless in comparison to other options.
4. Chronoforce the Xiphosuroid (JPN: Chronoforce the Tridenroid)
It can only move in water, has a ice spear attack and, as a charged attack, can slow down time (but is a slow move in itself and is therefore not used in this run). Only used the one tme I really need to use it early in the game.
5. Rospark the Floroid
A pink rose Pseudoroid, it's horribly slow unless it's latched onto poles. Used only when I need to get past such poles and there's a bottomless pit or spikes below, and in the Queenbee fights because he has the useful ability to shoot electricity upwards, which is Queenbee's weakness.
6. Atlas (Model F)
The first Model boss (Mega Man) form you get. These can all dash, wall jump and charge up shots. Model F is useful, having two powerful busters, allowing me to alternate firing buttons to shoot every frame (this works especially well on minibosses). Also has punching attacks and a bomb attack.
7. Siarnaq (Model P)
The second Mega Man whose form you take. Can cling to platforms, shoot kunai, shoot homing kunai, and when playing as Ashe can use a shield attack. The shield attack comes in useful a few times in Scrapyard and (briefly) Bio Lab stages.
8. Thetis (Model L)
The Ice Mega Man, has increased mobility in water (similar to Buckfire) and can swim and dash-swim in water.
9. Aeolus (Model H) (JPN: Helios)
The Wind Mega Man, and the most useful form you get at this point to fight bosses (before you get Model ZX). Has an airdash (also a vertical variant, useful for wall climbing quickly), and several slash attacks, including an air dash slash, dash slash, walk slash, air slash and triple slash. Some of these can be chained together for a good amount of damage.
10. Vulturon the Condoroid (JPN: Condorrock the Vulturoid)
Can cling to walls, which is necessary to have in a few places. Otherwise unused.
11. Queenbee the Hymenopteroid (JPN: Kaizemine the Wasproid)
Can fly, which is useful in real time (not in a TAS, though) and pull up certain things with her rearside, which is needed a few times. Otherwise unused.
12. Vent (Model ZX) (Aile when using Grey)
The best bosskiller of all forms, with a charge shot, an air slash, spin slash, walk or dash slash and a triple slash, which can all be chained in that order for massive damage.
13. Hedgeshock the Erinaceroid (JPN: Tesrat the Hedgeroid)
The crack child of Sonic the Hedgehog and Pikachu from Pokémon, this has electricity attacks and rolling attacks. When it's available, it's only used for going through small corridors.
14. Argoyle & Ugoyle the Shisaroids
You control Argoyle, and can summon Ugoyle's ghost with a special attack, dash and throw bombs. Never used because there never is a reason to.
15. Bifrost the Crocoroid
The slowest of all forms. Only used once to get past a mandatory obstacle shortly after beating him.
Stage by stage comments:
Raider Pursuit (boss: Dogu The Giant)
At this point I only have human form, and with little options but walking, jumping and shooting, I do just that. I manipulate luck for nearly every enemy to drop big energy crystals (sorta equivalent of money in many other games) to activate a warp point before the train stage.
Train (boss: Buckfire, also get Model A here)
Short stage, blasted through quickly with almost everything Model A has to offer. For Buckfire I use a homing shot > charged shot combo, which does 7 damage, and a few 4 damage charge shots.
Arctic Ice Floe (boss: Chronoforce)
I switch to Buckfire halfway through Arctic Ice Floe 1, because he doesn't have a speed reduction penalty in water. Chronoforce is defeated with Model A like Buckfire, because Buckfire's attacking power is too weak. Mega Men Atlas and Thetis (Model F and L respectively) are introduced here.
Tower of Verdure (boss: Rospark)
Only Model A is used for the stage and the boss (except the part after the boss, where Rospark form is necessary). With pixel perfect precision it's possible to wall jump off spike walls (although not repeatedly), which saves quite a bit of time in the miniboss battle. Mega Man Siarnaq and Aeolus (Model P and H respectively) are introduced here.
Oil Field (boss: Atlas (Model F) )
Pretty straightforward, aside from Oil Field 3, where you need to turn on a generator using Rospark to unlock doors and an elevator and then open the doors to rescue people. However, due to some oversights it's possible to go up the elevator shaft using Buckfire and one door isn't even locked. The route I take here requires the least backtracking. I discovered that it's possible to do more damage with a homing shot if it's locked on to more targets, which saves a hit in this battle.
Legion HQ (boss: Siarnaq (Model P) )
The first area of this is pretty straightforward. There are conveyor belts here, I jump over them if they go against my direction and I dash over them if they go the same way I go. Siarnaq is fought halfway through the stage. I use Model F because it has more damaging attacks that can be chained: two buster shots into one (and rarely two) fist(s). The second half of the stage I use Model F for the miniboss and Model P for the stage, because the ability to cling to a platform is useful a few times. The rockets move slightly faster than dashing forward, so I utilize them for as long as possible.
Highway (boss: Thetis (Model L) )
From this point I get to freely choose which stages to pick between Highway, Floating Ruins, Scrapyard and Control Center. I do Highway first to get Model L to beat Model H in Floating Ruins faster (Model H isn't very effective in the fight against Model L anyway), and then use Model H for the other areas. I use Model A and Model F here, Model A for the stage parts and Model F for the minibosses and the main boss, Thetis (Model L). Ironically, despite Model F having an elemental advantage over Model L (fire > ice), Model F as Ashe has no fire moves to work with, leaving me to just bustering and fisting again like with Siarnaq.
Floating Ruins (boss: Aeolus (Model H) )
The winds in areas 2 and 3 can't be manipulated, which is only a good thing for area 2, but hinders me a little in area 3. I use a small mini-zip in area 3, when I jump off a moving platform, into a tornado and zip a bit through a floor. Otherwise the stage is pretty simple, as I don't need to use any form besides plain Model A. Aeolus was defeated with Model L, actually using elemental advantages effective in this fight.
Scrapyard (boss: Vulturon)
This is a bit more puzzling stage than the others so far. Most of the stage was done using Model P and later on Model H. Model P as Ashe can put up a shield, which helps a lot against the falling scrap shafts. Model P is also necessary for some switches which you need to cling on. Model H was used for the boss alongside Model F, because Model F can do combos in the air better than Model H.
Control Center (boss: Queenbee)
Model H has a vertical air dash, which speeds up wall climbing by around 20% by air dashing upwards during the frame I would normally release the jump button. The miniboss was quickly dealt with using Model F. Against Queenbee, I use Model F to destroy her hive, then use Rospark, who can conveniently shoot electricity upwards (upwards) onto her weak point, dealing 9 damage per hit.
Quarry (boss: Vent (Model ZX) )
To reach this stage I have to use each of the four forms I acquired earlier. I wait for a split second while as Model L because this makes the door that's triggered by the orb open faster.
Halfway through Quarry 1 I transform into Model H just to make a jump which is just too high for Model A to jump over. I used Model H over the other choices (Buckfire, Model P) because he can wall-climb faster. I used Model H to defeat Model ZX.
The digger miniboss in Quarry 3 is the first instance in the game where I take damage (the other two cases are the Prometheus & Pandora fight and Albert's second form). It has 160 health and unlike every other miniboss uses invincibility like regular bosses. Because of this I had to use ZX's slash combos against it, but because it constantly moves I need to take damage to get proper ground combos off.
Mysterious Lab (boss: Hedgeshock)
I had the option between going to Mysterious Lab, Waterfall Ruins or Bio Lab here. Since the transerver to the next stage after these three is in Bio Lab, it's obviously faster to pick that one last. Which of the other two stages to do first hardly matters, since I need to pick up the Waterfall Ruins warp point first anyway. But there's 10 pixels of difference from where the warp point can be collected and where you end up when you warp there, which makes doing Mysterious Lab first advantageous by 2-3 frames.
The stage itself is simple, or at least the first part is. I use Model F for the second part because you need to shoot certain objects to move them to open doors, but they can be sent flying much further if you punch them - often right where you need them to be in one punch. Hedgeshock is a typical case of how I use ZX to defeat practically any boss after this.
Waterfall Runs (bosses: Argoyle & Ugoyle)
The stage branches into two at Waterfall Ruins 2 and 3: I could either go left or go right. I went with the right path, which contains spike traps that you /should/ use Argoyle for, but with some TAS precision it's doable without. The other way has a few more door transitions and separate rooms and has water navigation puzzles through spike traps which take much longer. Otherwise, not much to mention here.
Bio Lab (boss: Bifrost)
The first part was blasted through with plain Model A, destroying everything that can be destroyed without losing time. The second part needs Queenbee for some parts, as well as Hedgeshock at some point, and I also use Model P (for its shield, which is the only thing that can bypass some falling obstacles without losing time) and Model L (for the water sections, because it moves faster there) here. After beating Bifrost I dash along the ice ground inside the water rather than jumping over, because due to the mix of ice and water I can't get high enough speed to dashjump out.
Underwater Volcano (bosses: Prometheus & Pandora)
The entire first 2/3rd of the stage is underwater, which leaves only two fast options, Buckfire and Model L. Model L is more evasive and can hit an annoying enemy placed below him in one part, so I picked him. Then there's another branch in the third area, with to the left a vertical zigzagging stage with lots of enemies, and to the right the stage I go through, an area with lots of poles and instant death spikes. Instead of using Rospark and the poles to carefully maneuver through, like you're supposed to, I use Model H and use walls and airdashes to fall through the section quickly. I only use Rospark at the end part, a horizontal section with spikes below that I can't cross with Model H alone.
I use limited ZX combos in the Prometheus & Pandora fight, because the lightning shields get in the way a lot and moves tend to miss quite a bit. I take damage so I can go inside the shield and empty the health bar before Pandora can warp out.
Ouroboros (bosses: Pseudoroid refights, Albert Dragon, Model W Albert)
The first part is surprisingly simple to blast through, similar to Bio Lab, although I don't destroy as many enemies as they tend to be in inconvenient places to hit.
As for the boss refights in Ouroboros 2, I don't use elemental advantages but rather just use ZX to combo the heck out of all Pseudoroids except Queenbee. I used new tactics for Vulturon, Buckfire, Chronoforce and Rospark (because I didn't have ZX when I first fought them), and repeated the same tactics for Argoyle & Ugoyle, Bifrost, Hedgeshock (the latter mostly; I couldn't manipulate him to stand still like last time without severe delays for luck manipulation, so the end combo is a bit different) and Queenbee (the only one I don't use ZX on). Ouroboros 3 has the infamous regenerating blocks and spiked regenerating blocks, but these don't really form a hindrance to just moving forward using Model A.
The final boss consists of two phases, Albert's three-headed dragon and Albert himself. The dragon has 450 health but doesn't have invincibility, which means the battle is over pretty quickly with Model F. I wait for a short time in between the 60Hz autofiring to let it use another attack, because otherwise it would go into its desperation mode, which renders it invincible for several seconds.
Albert himself is finished surprisingly quickly. It has a shield, with 110 health (although it takes more damage than usual, especially from Model A's homing shot, and there are 10 targets that can be used to lower its HP), which regenerates fairly quickly (1 damage per 15 frames). I use Homing Shot twice, each time hitting enough targets to bring the shield's HP to 0. Then I must hit Albert before the shield regenerates itself, which I use Model ZX for. Then I combo him down using ZX pretty quickly. Enjoy the ending cutscenes and credits.
Enjoy the run!
- Probably some 1-frame savers here and there
- Some boss battles might be able to be optimized better, such as Vulturon's first fight and Thetis (Model L) fight
Mister Epic: Added Dailymotion module.
: While the amount of cutscene and downtime was quite ridiculous in the earlier parts of the run, this became more balanced as the movie went on. I particularly enjoyed the usage of the various forms; one would expect overuse of the most powerful form, but as far as I could see there was decent variety here. Due to this I found this game more interesting to watch than the Zero series, despite the extra length. Accepting for publication.
Mister Epic: I'll make this submission a new born baby.