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Submission #3266: Rolanmen1 & Nitrodon's GBA Fire Emblem in 1:25:02.9

Console: Game Boy Advance
Game name: Fire Emblem
Game version: USA
ROM filename: 1235 - Fire Emblem (U).gba
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 1:25:02.9
FrameCount: 306174
Re-record count: 49027
Author's real name: Rolanmen1 & Nitrodon
Author's nickname: Rolanmen1 & Nitrodon
Submitter: Rolanmen1
Submitted at: 2011-08-22 15:54:38
Text last edited at: 2016-09-12 14:01:10
Text last edited by: Rolanmen1
Download: Download (12772 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Rolanmen1 and Nitrodon's Fire Emblem TAS in 1:25:02.9

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This run improvemes Nitrodon test run by 85415 frames (23:43.58 Seconds). For those who are interested, the In-Game time at the end is 1:16:19 and the final turn count is 140.

Recorded using: VisualBoy Advance 1.7.2 v22

Aims

  • Aims for fastest time

  • Manipulates luck (a lot)

  • Genre: Tactic RPG

About the game

When the Marquess of Pherae goes missing, his son Eliwood leaves in search of him, along with his allies, Hector and Lyn. However things are made complicated when he discovers a conspiracy to overthrow Ostia as the head of the Lycian League. The trail for both his father and the conspirers leads him to the island of Valor, where he will meet his ultimate foe.

This game introduce some different modes, each mode takes a part of the story of the game, these modes are: Lyn Mode, Eliwood Mode and Hector Mode, and each mode has a Hard Mode aswell, with a total of 6 modes.

From clear SRAM, to beat the game you must beat first Lyn Normal Mode and then Eliwood Normal Mode, the other modes are unlocked after beating the game.

Commonly Used Terms/Abbreviations

  • RNG = Random number generator
  • Crit = critical hit. These do 3 times the amount of damage of a normal hit.
  • 1HKO = One hit KO
  • 1RKO = One round KO, meaning an enemy is killed after one round of combat.
  • Rout map = These are maps that are completed by demolishing all the enemies
  • Seize map = These are maps that are completed by moving the main unit in an specific seize point.
  • Pre-promotes = Units that start the game as a promoted class.

For Viewers Unfamiliar With The Game

If you want to follow my submission notes properly, I highly recommend you familiarize yourself with the following characters:

Lyn: Protagonist of Lyn Mode, she resembles pretty much a Swordmaster, her use in this game is simply to Seize some maps (only she can finish seize maps in Lyn Mode). She is also used to kill some bosses, since she can use the Mani Katti, a Sword that can deal heavy damage on Armours and Hourse Units and give the user a boost on critical when equipped.

Eliwood: He is the main protagonist in Eliwood Mode, and he is only used to Seize maps.

Kent: He is a Cavalier, I used as the main killing enemy units in Lyn Mode, after, in Eliwood Mode he becomes useless.

Florina: She is the main flyer of this TAS, in Lyn Mode she is used a little bit to give her some exp and level ups, she normally is weak, but if trained, she can be really usefull because of her high flying movement. In Eliwood Mode she appears again and she later promotes, being really usefull.

Marcus: He is the main killer in Eliwood Mode and also usefull to carry Eliwood from Point A to Point B since Paladins have great Movement, this old bastard kicks ass in this TAS.

Here are some other characters to familiarize yourself with, though it’s not nearly as important as the characters mentioned above.

Nils and Ninian: They are used to give units the chance to move again in a turn by singing/dancing(or stripping), you only get the chance to use one of them because of how the story changes, so they share the same stats and items.

Isadora: She is a female paladin, and she sucks, but because of her high Movement, she is usefull here and there.

Pent: He is used to kill units and use magic staves.

Louise: She is only used to suck Pent's Penis when both are between 3 spaces.

Athos: The most powerfull unit in the game, though, he only becomes available in the final map.

Techniques/Tricks

Luck Manipulation

Luck is manipulated in the run by abusing the game’s path drawing algorithm. When there are multiple ways to reach the same location (eg/ by pressing a diagonal input), the game’s random number generator determines which path to take.

It should come as no surprise that the most efficient way to burn RNs is to draw a diagonal path as far as a character can move, then “wobble” the cursor back and forth between 2 spots, forcing the RNG to make as many decisions about the path drawn as possible.

Just to give a quick idea how efficiently RNs can be burned, a 7-move unit can use about 4.3 RNs/frame on average, assuming there are no obstructions in their path such as enemies, walls or special terrain. When performing calculations I generally assume 5 RNs per frame can be burned.

There are two ways I track what I like to call the game’s RNG state. From a cleared SRAM, the initial 3 values of the RNG are 8, 56 and 21, and every subsequent RN is determined by applying some formula to the previous 3 RNs. Thus, I would say the RNG’s state is 53/21/12 if those are the last 3 RNs the game used.

Thanks to Nitrodon, I am able to use an RNG table as an invaluable tool for planning RN manipulations. Not only can I track the game’s RNs for any RNG state I want, I can also run simple tests to determine the points at which complex conditions are satisfied.

After amaurea made a lua script that shows on-screen a list of RNs and some battle stats, i modified it to do more stuff:

Filter Mode: The Battle Data dissapears and it allows you to Turn On the Input Mode.

Input Mode: It allows you to introduce conditions into the script, so the script will tell wich nunmbers satisfy said conditions, for instance, you want to look for a critical, 75% Hit and 3% Critical.

You just need to introduce 75 in frame advance using the number keys in the middle of the keyboard, after you introduce the 2 numbers, a "<" will appear, you can press left and right to change between 6 different operators, so i choosed "<" and later stablish if the number you introduced is to calculate Hit (Hit are calculated different from all other) by pressing H, afterwards i press Enter. Then introduce 03 and choosed "<", afterwards i press Enter and then "O" to deactivate Input Mode, this will go back to Filter Mode, and it will show wich numbers satisfy the stablished conditions, in adittion, it will tell the distance of the 3 nearest numbers that satisfy the conditions between 500 numbers.

Another method is to use an Excel spreadsheet that has the algorithm and can be used to look for multiple conditions at the same time.

For Enemy Phase manipulation, DarkKobold made a script that creates a savestate when it starts running (must start running at the start of Enemy Phase), then when the whole Enemy Phase finish, it loads the savestate and now burn 1 RN before the Enemy Phase starts and it keeps doing this, this allows the TASer to look multiple Enemy Phases to choose a desired one, since the script also tells how many RNs have been burned, it let's the TASer knows how much RNs are needed to manipulate.

I also modified this script, it now shows the RNG Table in amaurea's original script and also battle stats, in adittion, if you press the key "Q" it skips one whole Enemy Phase.

And something more, if im looking for an specific condition (like one of my units to get 2 level ups on Magic) i search for a memory adress that has the value desired, then at the end of each Enemy Phase, it will record the RNs needed on a list, so the TASer can go out or get to sleep while the script tells 10 usefull Enemy Phases, though this can only be usefull for TASers that can program in lua, since the condition must be built from inside the script.

Moving 2 Units In The Same Square

Basically, when you draw a path for one unit that’s 1 space away from another unit, you can move the cursor towards the impeding unit for one frame, then move the cursor away from said unit while pressing A. This results in both units occupying the same square.

Mine Glitch

This is an easy glitch to do, basically, i make someone drop a Mine in a spot, when the enemy moves to that place, you must restart when the animation of the mine starts and before it ends, when you resume the game, you will be able to control enemies as how you like, you can make them drop items, move to specific spot, make them rescue themselves, etc.

Another way to trigger this glitch is using PWASE (Panels Wich Affect Something Else), as far as i know, the only panel that have this are the fire tiles in Chapter 28, wich has the same animation of the mine glitch. So when an enemey lands on a PWASE, you can reset to do the mine glitch and control enemy units (this must be with frame precision).

Avoiding Tutorial Steps

Lyn Normal Mode is sort like a Tutorial, and it forces you to do some actions by forcing you to select specific units and by disabling the B Button. I was able to use the B button by holding A, L and R, so if you hold/press B it will be usable, also if you press those 4 buttons the game would restart, so any other button would be need to be holded, so i used Start aswell.

So, when i select the unit the game want me to choose, i de-select him with the above input, and the game thinks you already used him, moving you to the next step of the tutorial if there is, if there isn't, im able to choose whoever i want and moving it, though, sometimes it crashes the game, so im also a bit limited.

The Luck is also forced in some parts, like making Sain miss on a Bandit in Chapter 1 and making Lyn Critical the Boss of the Prologue. This can only be skipped by moving an unit.

Chapter By Chapter Comments

To follow what i saved in each map compared to Nitrodon test run, download this Excel Spreadsheet.

Prologue

Victory Conditions: Seize

Had to follow all the steps of the turorial, any other change would end up in Lyn being killed or the game crashes. I also manipulated Lyn's level up.

Chapter 1

Victory Conditions: Rout

Skipping tutorial steps made possible for anyone to hit in the first attack (normally, Sain would miss), and later skipped some more, forcing everyone to hit in tutorial steps, in the case of the enemies that got crit, luck wasn's forced in those momments. Sain also needed +1 Strenght.

Chapter 2

Victory Conditions: Seize

Kent needed +1 Strenght in the first enemy he kills, so both him and Sain could destroy the wrecked wall putting them in the same space, this strategy allowed to save a turn compared to how it normally would be done. Of course, that's what TAS is about :)

Chapter 3

Victory Conditions: Rout

I am forced to recruit Wil since the game would crash otherwise. Because i skipped some tutorial steps, when Kent attacked the archer, he was able to counter back from 1 space, wich is normally impossible, the rest is self-explanatory.

Chapter 4

Victory Conditions: Survive

Because i moved Lyn in a different space that i should (because of tutorial), Dorcas (enemy unit that can be recruited) didn't attacked her, the mercenary that attacked the wall missed, something impossible in normal conditions, since attacking a wall fixes your Hit to 100%.

After i recruited Dorcas, he is supposed to crit the above enemy, becuase i didn't did this, i could make Kent crit the wall, wich is also impossible under normal conditions, since attacking a wall fixes your Crit to 0%. After, i moved all my units below the NPC to block all enemy units, thus, only getting an attack per turn.

Chapter 5

Victory Conditions: Rout

I skipped a tutorial step where Serra should heal Erk. I gave Florina Wil's Iron Bow to sell it to buy a Javelin that will be used later, the rest is self-explanatory.

Chapter 6

Victory Conditions: Land on Switches

Again, i can't skip Matthew's recruitement because the game would crash. I got the Angelic Robe because it will be of use later.

Chapter 7

Victory Conditions: Kill Boss

Had to make Lucius attack the shaman below tutorial steps because Florina wouldn't kill him, and she needs the level up. Afterward, i used Nils to sing to Florina so she can move again and use her new Javelin to kill the boss.

Chapter 8

Victory Conditions: Rout

No tutorial steps in this map. Used Florina and Kent to kill the units in the lower part of the map so Lucius kills the mage and shaman above. Afterwards, made Florina kill the archer in the ballista and kill the other archer using Nils singing. This saves a turn and gives Florina more experience.

Chapter 9

Victory Conditions: Seize

I skipped Wallace's forced promotion by using the Angelic Robe (this could only be skipped by using an item), and just went ahead to kill the boss with Lyn's Mani Katti and seized the map.

Chapter 10

Victory Conditions: Seize

Used Florina to carry and drop Lyn near the boss, Lyn needed Strenght in every level up she got to barelly kill the boss (yes, she got that low ammount of level ups just because she won't be needed in the future).

Chapter 11

Victory Conditions: Seize

Very self-explanatory, just carry Eliwood and drop him so he can seize, the triple critical was the fastest option i had.

Chapter 12

Victory Conditions: Rout

Used Marcus only because he can 1HKO every enemy on the right side except for the boss, then, Hector and Oswin 1HKO the upper enemies.

Chapter 13

Victory Conditions: Seize

Only the Lords and a few more classes can cross a River, so i used Hector to Rescue/Drop Marcus in the other side of the river, and later Eliwood, then Eliwood went ahead and seized. Lowen and Matthew where used to kill a few units below to make Lowen get the Mine from the village.

Chapter 14

Victory Conditions: Rout

Gave Marcus Dorcas's Steel Axe since Marcus can 1HKO every enemy with it, used Serra to Recruit Erk, Lowen to kill the Knight below and Hector and Bartre to kill the cavaliers to the right.

Chapter 15

Victory Conditions: Seize

Used the mine glitch here to make the still weak Florina survive while carrying Eliwood, in the proccess i made some enemies drop their weapons and rescue themselves, this makes them not attack and not move in some cases, i also moved the boss out of the castle. I also used Kent to get the Horseslayer that will be used later.

Chapter 16

Victory Conditions: Seize

Used Marcus to carry Eliwood to the throne, i also gave Erk some experience for future purpourses.

Chapter 17

Victory Conditions: Kill Boss

This strategy make units not move at all, carrying Eliwood with Florina to spots where no one can reach in the first turn, and moving where only 1 Shaman can reach me, and i made Florina don't counter him, if he don't die at that momment, no one else can reach her.

Chapter 18

Victory Conditions: Kill Boss

Nitrodon did this map, his strat is to move Florina to kill the boss with the Horseslayer (she can only kill him with that weapon), and he also used Dart to kill an enemy that normally would attack Florina.

Chapter 19

Victory Conditions: Seize

Florina kills the first enemy so Marcus can more more deep in, and Hector rescues Eliwood, later, Hector passes Eliwood to Marcus, then Marcus went more near to the throne, afterwards Eliwood seized. Matthew was needed to Steal a Door Key that will be needed.

Chapter 20

Victory Conditions: Kill Boss

Marcus went ahead and Florina had to kill the first monk to get the last ammount of exp needed to get to level 10 to be able to promote she later got a stripped by Ninian to move further, then Florina went more ahead. Florina then got the Elysian Whip, wich is used to promote flying units of lv10 or higher. Then Marcus moved so the boss attacks him, but he counters back, killing him.

Chapter 21

Victory Conditions: Kill Boss

Promoted Florina, uses Matthew to Open the left door so Ninian can go and recruit Heath with comes with a mine. Used Isadora to kill the boss.

Chapter 22

Victory Conditions: Rout

Moving units towards the desert lowers their movement by a lot, only Flyers and Magic Unmounted units can move freely in the desert. Used Marcus, Isadora and Heath to kill nearby enemies, then used Florina to kill the enemies deep in the desert, Pent also killed a good ammount of them. Later procceded to get Luna and Filla's Might that will be used in a future.

Chapter 23

Victory Conditions: Kill Boss

Used Marcus + Strip Dance to make him kill the Boss real quick.

Chapter 24

Victory Conditions: Survive

I went ahead to kill every enemy that moves. Then used Florina, Heath and Hawkeye to block some reinforcements that appare in the mountains later. NOTE: Only Flyers, Brigands and Berserkers classes can move/be placed in mountain spaces.

Chapter 25

Victory Conditions: Seize

NOTE: There are 2 Chapter 25, this one is achieved when the total exp gotten in Eliwood Mode of your magic units (Erk, Lucius, Priscilla and Serra) is higher than your phisical units (Dorcas, Bartre, Raven and Guy) you get this map wich is a seize, otherwise you would go to another map that is a rout map being really slower.

Used Florina to carry Eliwood to the throne, while i used Louise to kill a mage that drops Bolting, that will be insanely usefull later on, i also used her to kill a Bishop that has a Purge, being faster because he could attack 4 more times.

Chapter 26

Victory Conditions: Guard Zephiel

I Used Marcus to kill the Boss, doing this makes reinforcements to stop appearing, then used Florina to rescue Jaffar, and later Marcus to rescue Zephiel. I also manipulated the stats of a mage so he is able to kill Nino. While i was doing all this, 2 thieves were stealling arround, i killed them to get the Boots and the Rescue Staff.

Chapter 27

Victory Conditions: Rout

NOTE: There are some "invisible squares" that activates reinforcements, these can be activated if one of MY units wait inside of the squares. There are a total of 4, each one activaes an specific reinforcement. Only one of these are mandatory, but i skipped it anyway since i killed all enemies before they appeared.

Used the Boots on Florina and made her go towards the village, used an Energy Ring on Pent, Rescue Pent with Marcus to latter get stripped to latter move north, moved Hawkeye northeast to kill some upcomming enemies. Later i used the mine glitch. I used it here because the INSANE ammount of enemies that i would kill in enemy phase, i moved each one to crit themselves, move the Boss south and dropped his Iron Rune (wich allows him to null enemies criticals) and his weapon. This saves a whole turn and a great ammount of time. Later i used Florina to get the Warp Staff, and the rest to kill the rest of enemies.

Afterwards, there is an scene that can't be skipped, and Eliwood promotes.

Chapter 28

Victory Conditions: Claim A Space

This strategy needs Pent to use his Rescue Staff to bring Eliwood to Pent and later use the Warp Staff to move Eliwood near the target. Used the mine glitch using PWASE to move the boss out of the way (Eliwood can't dream to kill him in his current conditions) and to right away finish the enemy phase.

After comes a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG scene that can't be skipped.

Chapter 29

Victory Conditions: Survive

I rescued every NPC except one to skip the Other Phase message, then used Louise, Marcus, Pent, Isadora, Hawkeye and Florina to kill all the enemies to skip the Enemy Phase message. Keep in mind that the druid with the sleep staff put the NPC that i didn't rescued to sleep, skipping the Other Phase message anyways. I also had to manipulated all the enemy archers carrying Poison Bows to miss because that consumes a good ammount of time.

Chapter 30

Victory Conditions: Sieze

Used Florina to carry Eliwood to the seize point and also used the mine glitch to move the boss out of the seize point (Florina nor Eliwood can't 1RKO her) and to unequip/rescue some enemies to avoid attacks and movements.

Final Chapter PART 1

Victory Conditions: Kill Boss

Basically, you have to clear all the enemies arround to be able to kill the boss, and i made it as fast as possible using all my units, as you could see Bolting was a great help with Athos and Pent. Fun Fact: A Unpromoted Lord of Lv1 (Hector) killed a promoted enemy of Lv19. Later used Athos with Luna to kill the boss.

Final Chapter PART 2

Victory Conditions: Kill Boss

Just killed the boss using Nils and Filla's Might on Athos, this gives Athos +10 Mag, then Athos used Luna to get a critical on the boss. Take in mind that battling with the final boss turn on battle animations, Athos would've needed 2 attacks to kill him, but not with Filla's Might effect.

Another scene that can't be skipped and FIN.

Other Comments

Some Stats

Lyn Mode:

  • Rank: A
  • Time: 16:15
Assets: 26112G

  • Tactics: 5
  • Survival: 5
  • Funds: 4
  • Exp: 1
Combat: 5

Eliwood Mode:

  • Rank: B
  • Time: 59:00
Assets: 275612G

  • Tactics: 5
  • Survival: 5
  • Funds: 2
  • Exp: 1
Combat: 5

Gratefulnesses

You guys may be thinking, why Nitrodon is an author if he only did one chapter? Well, simply because his constant help onthis TAS, helping plan strategies, having insane knowledge on the game, constantly advicing from advance, and helping me calculate future formulas, etc.

So yeah, i feel so gratefull towards him that i just think he deserves being a co-author aswell. So my thanks goes to him and the following people:

Vykan12: Even if Vykan is an ass sometimes, i can't negate that Vykan has been a great help on Fire Emblem in general, when i met him i started to learn how Fire Emblem really worked, so because of him, i learned how to do good stuff like lowturns strategies and speedrunning.

Toothache42: This Pokemon speedrunner here, we have been discussing TASing stuff about this series, being helpfull on getting used to the process of TASing this game.

DarkKobold and amaurea: They made the scripts that sucked me into TASing and programming in lua, thanks to DarkKobold i was able to do really usefull stuff in lua, thus being great help on improving their scripts.

Serenes Forest and Fire Emblem War of Dragons being really usefull sites containing data of the Fire Emblem series.


Toothache: added encode DarkKobold: Judging

DarkKobold: Nice work, accepting.


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