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Submission #3228: cpadolf's SNES Metroid Super ZeroMission in 20:43.28

Console: Super NES
Game name: Metroid Super ZeroMission
Game version: JPN/USA
ROM filename: Super Metroid (JU) [!].smc
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 20:43.28
FrameCount: 74597
Re-record count: 77627
Author's real name: Filip Roskvist
Author's nickname: cpadolf
Submitter: cpadolf
Submitted at: 2011-07-18 21:48:05
Text last edited at: 2011-07-22 04:35:20
Text last edited by: Brandon
Download: Download (8403 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

Emulator details

  • Emulator used
    • Snes9x 1.43v12(beta 10)
  • Sync settings
    • Use WIP1 timing
    • Allow Left+Right Up+Down
    • Fake Mute desync workaround

Run Specifics

  • Any% item collection
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Manipulates luck
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses programming errors

About the run

This is my first venture back into TASing after an extended period of inactivity, brought on by schoolwork and an addiction to the Starcraft progaming scene. I've always been very drawn to TASing Super Metroid, but the original has at this point reached a level where it's essentially all work and no play (which makes me a dull boy), so the prospect of running an incredibly well made hack, where there was still a lot of room for experimentation was very intriguing. Hoandjzj's previously submitted run then pushed me over the edge to the point where I felt I had to make a run, whether it got published or not, and the summer holidays allowed me to do so.

This is an improvement of 15147 frames over the previous run submitted by Hoandjzj, achieved by updating the route to not include X-ray or Power Bombs, as well as implementing a substantial amount of new tricks and general optimizations (I'd say that it's about 11000 frames for the route and 4000 frames for optimization). The new ingame completion time is 11:57, and the item collection percentage is 11.

About the hack

The IPS patch can be found here. The ROM needs to be unheadered (3072KB, not 3073KB).

This Review speaks many kind words towards the hack, and is worth reading if you are interested in the hack.

Differences in mechanics:

There are a couple of notable differences in mechanics from the original. You are allowed to re-enter spinning mode in mid air, which helps a lot at times, allowing you to walljump up places you would otherwise not have be able to, or turning around faster in mid air (when not spinning this takes several frames, compared to the instant turnaround while you are spinning). Cool-downs for weapons has also changed, the normal beam going from 15 frames to 6, and normal missiles going from 10 to 6. The cool-down for your beam is also dependent of what beam you have equipped. Ice beam, which is the only one I pick up, increases to cool-down to 20 frames.

The speedbooster is the most notable change. To begin with shinespark does not drain any energy, and more importantly, if you hit a slope while shinesparking, you can start running again, which in turn lets you chain shinesparks, and maintain incredibly high speeds.

The re-entering running mode function also has a glitch, or rather an oversight in how it is programed which can be abused. The way it is intended to work is that it takes you back down to the normal max running speed when you start running again (5px/frame speed + 2.75px/frame "momentum" (momentum being a secondary speed value with different, usually fixed, values for different kinds of movement, but if you only press dash for one frame to start running, you will keep the speed that the shinespark had at the moment (it oscillates between 8-9px/frame), and also regain the normal ground running momentum of 2.75px/frame (when you shinespark your momentum is 0px/frame), plus the 1px/frame you gain from armpumping. This makes you max running speed significantly higher than it is supposed to be. (this makes so much sense in my head, why is it impossible to write it down in a coherent way!)

There are another two notable things about the speedbooster. One feature which was probably not intended, and one glitch that has an unexpected application.

The glitch is that you can become stuck in an infinite shinespark, as the game can, for whatever reason, sometimes fail to notice that you hit a wall. When this happens, you'd normally have to enter the menu and un-equip speedbooster (or in the case of a TAS, simply avoid it). But in the case of Draygon (or Meta Ridley, as he's supposed to be here), you can use it to kill him in one round by simply getting stuck in a shinespark on the wall he appears at. As soon as he touches you, all of his precious health is drained in about half a second, and because his death resets the state Samus is in you conveniently get unstuck as soon as he dies.

The (presumably) unintended feature of speedbooster is that you get a 14 frame spark timer after you re-enter running mode after a shinespark, which lets you do another shinespark without crouching down to charge. This is most notably used after I return from norfair. Seeing the result of it makes me sad that there are not slopes everywhere. And for the record, the reason I think it is unintended is that this 14 frame timer exists in the original game as well (it automatically goes to 14 when you shinespark), but you can't use it for anything there.

The sequence break:

The name of this section could refer to the run as a whole, since pretty much nothing is done in sequence (I stay on route for a grand total of a minute and a half, in realtime, or up to the point where I morph through a broken down robot, which you are supposed to destroy with Charge Beam). But more specifically it is the sequence break in the pirate ship that is the center piece of the run, and the main difference between the three runs of the hack that has been sumbitted. The first run did what you are supposed to do (although of course, not in the way or order that you are supposed to do it). The second run used X-ray to glitch through a ceiling at two spots, thus removing the need to release all security locks that guard the different parts of the pirate ship, and the final boss. This run instead manages to do the same skip without X-ray by freezing an enemy in a very specific vertical position, which makes it possible to glitch through the ceiling anyway. This shortens down the route considerably, since you no longer need to take a long detour to Tourian for the X-ray, nor do you need to grab any Power Bombs, which where only explicitly necessary to get X-ray in the previous run.

Special thanks

  • SB, the author of the hack, for making a incredibly fun and well made game
  • Hoandjzj for making a great run to have as a frame of reference, as well as a clever improvement to the final boss
  • Kriole for hunting down some missed frames here and there
  • Everyone who has contributed to the discussion in the forum thread for the hack, and for the original
  • Not me. God damn I'm horrible at making a coherent and well structured submission text

Nach: Judging.

sgrunt: Replaced the submission file with a 75 frame faster version at the request of the author.


Nach: I got into this run thinking to myself: "Oh great, Metroid Zero Mission in Super Metroid's clothing to an extent, we already have the real deal, who needs this?"

Well, I'm happy to say that my preconception was completely shattered. While some of the graphics are from MZM, and many areas I easily recognized as being ripped straight out of MZM, so much was fresh material. This seems like a well made hack, and many parts of the run showed me what an awesome game I'm missing out on. Only downside is that the run flew through the game so quickly not much of it got a chance to be shown off properly, if at all.

I applaud how you exploited existing Super Metroid glitches, and further found ways to push the new physics engine to all new heights (speeds). Hack is great, run is entertaining and well played, positive audience review. Accepting.

DarkKobold: From [1651] SNES Super Metroid: MockingBird Station (JPN/USA) by Hoandjzj in 31:00.42 -
mmbossman: While I'm in no particular hurry to have a Super Metroid hack published, enough people seem to find this one entertaining to warrant acceptance. However, both Nach and I were less than impressed with the overall level design and "polish" of the hack, so I would suggest that a future run of a more impressive hack should probably obsolete this run. Anyway, congrats to the author for the first accepted Super Metroid hack on TASvideos

Thus, I'm adding to this decision that it should obsolete the previous SM hack.


Brandon: Publication underway.

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