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

Submission #3015: Aglar & Andrewg's NES Super Mario Bros. 2 "warpless" in 18:29.26

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Super Mario Bros. 2
Game version: USA PRG0
ROM filename: Super Mario Bros 2 (U) (PRG 0).nes
Branch: warpless
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 18:29.26
FrameCount: 66665
Re-record count: 26553
Author's real name: Mikael Johansson & Andrew Gardikis
Author's nickname: Aglar & Andrewg
Submitter: Aglar
Submitted at: 2011-02-25 15:18:23
Text last edited at: 2011-03-01 01:14:44
Text last edited by: sgrunt
Download: Download (14108 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

This run beats the currently published one by 4131 frames (~1 minute and 8.9 seconds). If you're very familiar with the previous run you might want to watch this before reading about it here since most things serves as heavy spoilers.

Aglar's comments

I'm very glad we could finish this run much faster than I had hoped. After submitting the warped run, things that at the first glance looked really dark started to lighten up because of a strategy that didn't force us to redo the same level 50 times in order to find the best solution for the previous strategy. So much effort was put into this, and of course the rerecord count here is far from right as an uncountable amount of movie files starting from scratch were created during the process.

Andrewg's comments

I had fun experimenting and finding new tricks for this. Some tricks I found while playing in real-time helped me discover various things for 1-3 and some other levels. This run is extremely hard to optimize, but I'd say Aglar and I, (aglar especially) did a great job in optimizing. Towards the end of the run, I was just out of ideas. Luckily, aglar came to the rescue in some cases to make world 5 really cool. :)

PS: Guanobowl, you can warp from 3-1 to 3-2 directly, you're not crazy... the only thing is that it requires a game over. Unfortunately, this cannot save time.

Improvements for the levels that aren't- or are played differently than in the warped run

Level Frames saved
1-3 1214
2-1 23
2-2 0
2-3 94
3-1 95
3-2 1239
3-3 238
4-2 29
4-3 26
5-1 297
5-2 4
5-3 233
4 frames was lost in the process at the character selection screen.

Level by level comments

1-3, Toad becomes a burglar and smuggler

We found that the vine glitch used to break through the floor in 1-1 can also be done using an enemy. This trick was actually the reason why we started the warpless run in the first place. The boss fight was EXTREMELY hard to get things right with, not to mention thinking up the strategy in the first place. After the first bomb has exploded you might want to watch it in frame advance to see what's actually happening.

2-1, Impatient Toad couldn't wait for the star

Optimized the sand digging area and took the star from a different location which first seemed slower but turned out to be faster. The optimization here made it just barely possible to save time from getting the star where the previous run didn't.

2-2, Sand fun continues

Sand digging is quite hard to optimize. 2 frames gained in that area but lost due to Birdo's jumping frame rule.

2-3, Another way of smuggling and more

The sand digging area here was one of the few places in the game that showed how extremely careful the character's subpixels need to be followed. We gained more than 30 frames here only by better precision. The rest of the improvement came from manipulating the beezos at the beginning, an improvement that had been mentioned by tmont in 2006, but had been forgotten. Later on in this level, we also managed to save time with a new technique to take enemies through doors.

3-1, Top floor please

The elevator served as a faster substitute for the carpet because it doesn't stop during screen transitions.

3-2, Toad - the mole

This trick is very extreme. Considering how pixel perfect everything has to be, it's surprising we even managed this. Kids, don't try this at home!

3-3, It's a me!

Playing it this way, we could be faster in every area of the level.

4-2, We nailed it

Taking an extra cherry by the whale area and activating the star before taking damage at the spikes was the key here.

4-3, I cry, you cry, we all cry for Fry Guy

A really annoying boss, but he was taken down faster to end our pain earlier, as if that made any sense.

5-1, Going out for some fishing

Comparative to level 3-2, this is a very simple first room. We found clever methods to speed up the cave and the boss. :)

5-2, The rule doesn't rule

Unfortunately Birdo's frame rule made any bigger improvement impossible. The level was instead played through to reduce as much lag as possible (otherwise we could've gotten to Birdo 25 frames faster but it wouldn't matter).

5-3, More carpet fun!

It turns out that a super jump was faster in the vertical area, how strange. Reducing lag here was quite a challenge, but it should now be reduced as much as possible. Super-speed carpets and enemies don't mix!

New tricks/glitches in the warpless run

Elevator glitch

If you trow an enemy at another enemy that's upside down, the result is that they both rise upwards for while until they start falling downwards.

Falling throw floor using a falling enemy

Glitchman introduced a way to fall through the floor by usng a vegetable to stand on. The same thing can also be done with an enemy if you manage to make the timer at address C1 (which is reset everytime an enemy or object is thrown) to tick up to at least 76 before the enemy hits something that kills it.

Getting pushed down the floor by an enemy

Pretty much the same as the trick with the bombs in the warped run. You can't grab the enemy if it falls at you while climbing, so the result is you getting pushed down.

One more way of taking an enemy to the next room

This must be down in combination with another glitch, namely while entering a door before the screen has started scrolling. Then just pick an enemy before the next room loads and you'll be carrying it there.

Pausing at Mouser in level 3-3

Mourser moveent, from the beginning, isn't fully in sync so that he can take damage while throwing all bombs as fast as possible. By pausing you'll advance his movement counter a little while still making the time it takes for the bombs to explode stand still. This way he could be beaten much faster than normal.

Thanks to

Adelikat and Cardboard again for their previous efforts, Randil for his help in RAM aspects toward the end of the project, GlitchMan for his findings, CtrlAltDestroy for his efforts in discovering new tricks (namely, the carpet glitch), Kirkq for his efforts in experimenting with the "Wart-glitch", again, Guanobowl for giving me several ideas to test, and finally tmont for the 2-3 improvement.

Thanks Everyone!


DarkKobold: 'tis claimed.

feos: Added YouTube HD encode module. Enjoy ;)


DarkKobold: Looking forward to seeing the Black Sheep of the NES Super Mario Bros possibly taking a star. Amazing run. Unquestionably accepting.

sgrunt: Assuming all's well, I'll publish Brandon's encode once he's done.


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