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

Submission #3177: AB1's SNES Super Earth Defence Force in 22:55.28

Console: Super NES
Game name: Super Earth Defence Force
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Super Earth Defense Force (U) [!].smc
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 22:55.28
FrameCount: 82517
Re-record count: 3295
Author's real name: Riko Savolainen
Author's nickname: AB1
Submitter: AB1
Submitted at: 2011-06-12 22:35:57
Text last edited at: 2012-06-12 16:39:23
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (15141 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

The Game: "Super Earth Defence Force" a horizontal shooter based on a arcade "Earth Defence Force". Super Nintendo version has adjusted graphics and eight selectable weapons instead of four. What separates S.E.D.F for example from Gradius is the game mechanics. From the beginning of the game your ship has two indestructible drones. Instead of collecting power ups from defeated enemies, you choose a weapon in the beginning of each level that affects only to those drones. Much like in any of the horizontal shooters, you get points from killing enemies, but this time they really matter, for they level up your droids. Level ups make droids more powerful and give them new movement patterns. The plot of the game is the usual: Aliens attack and you are the only hope of the mankind.

This run: Because of the nature of the game, there are only four ways to affect the frame count: proper menu usage in the beginning of the game and between the levels, quick boss killing, lag reduction and quick killing of the last enemies before the bosses.

The biggest time-saver would be the bosses. The drones make minor damage if they hit enemies. This could be used to save time in bosses and is good for general fooling around (as it's much done). Instead of using the most powerful weapon in every level, I wanted to make the run more varying and viewable and used different weapons in every level. Because most of the game is going through the levels to the bosses, I tried think which weapon would look best in each level (speed wasn't never my primary goal but if a run needs a goal, so be it). The game contains 6 levels and 8 weapons so 2 of them couldn't be used. I decided not to use homing and S.laser. Homing is the most underpowered weapon in the game and S.Laser aims itself to enemies, which can't be controlled properly. Afterwards thinking S.Laser could have been good choice because it is pretty powerful and using it could have resulted quite interesting gameplay after all. The weapon choises in the levels are more or less arbitrary but I'll try to reason them anyway in the level section :)

Maximum lag reduction would require keeping the amount of enemies in minimum and preventing them from shooting. I didn't want go for that because I found that bad for the entertainment value. I did pretty much the opposite of what lag reduction would have required, there are plenty of enemies in the screen at the time and the gaps between the enemies are kept minimum (except in minibosses that are dealt as fast as could). Better lag reduction could have been used in bosses, though. The run contains 3195 lag frames (before the credit screen) and most of them are come from menus and thus can't be avoided.

Bosses don't appear if there are other enemies in the screen and because of that the last wave of enemies should be dealt as fast as could... I found this out quite late, so I completed the run and fixed things afterwards with "Tas Movie Editor". That's why the record count is so low, it's only for the edited part, the real rerecord count is 24094. The same "appearing thing" works backwards too, for if miniboss isn't dealt fast enough, some enemies don't appear (this wasn't really a problem because I tried to destroy minibosses also as fast as could.

Glitches: I didn't found any major glitches but there are some minor noteworthy:

Commentary for the levels:

If I would redo the run, I'd choose the weapons completely differently:

Hope you liked my first tas, it was more or less a learning process but I think the result looks kinda nice :)

Mukki: Judging...

Mukki: I think that you should redo. This was a pretty nice shmup; there are many opportunities for playing with enemies and it has decent music and visuals. I agree with sgrunt in that this is a good run that lacks polish. Shmup TASes are notoriously difficult to make; not squeezing out the maximum entertainment, taking hits or missing shots may seem trivial, but when the run is a shmup you can drive a train through these kinds of errors. If we are to publish 20+ minutes of autoscrolling the entertainment value and polish must be as high as possible. As pointed out in the thread there is room for improvement here. You were also honest in respect of your weapon choice and the ways in which it could be improved, thank you for this. Your estimate was 30 seconds, which is rather large for an improvement of this nature in a shmup (mostly shmup improvements come from reduced lag, or new glitches, perhaps you can find further improvements like this?) and so the weapon improvements should definitely be included. I think a run of this game can be published, and this seems like a good test for such a run, I hope that you decide to improve this. Rejecting...

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