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

Submission #3428: RachelB's Wii Muramasa: The Demon Blade in 1:12:54.32

Console: Wii
Game name: Muramasa: The Demon Blade
Game version: USA
ROM filename: RSFE7U_Muramasa The Demon Blade (U).iso
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 1:12:54.32
FrameCount: 262459
Re-record count: 1357
Author's real name: Rachel Bryk
Author's nickname: RachelB
Submitter: RachelB
Submitted at: 2012-01-17 13:02:32
Text last edited at: 2013-01-01 19:21:37
Text last edited by: Nach
Download: Download (29276 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:
Temporary 720p encode at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8A3E2E6F74E3E286

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Dolphin 3.0-305 (more-save-fixes)
  • Takes no damage
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Starts from a saved state or SRAM (.dtm or save file)
  • Forgoes time-saving death
  • Uses hardest difficulty
  • Manipulates luck

Emulator details

  • Dual core off
  • Idle skipping off
  • Progressive scan on
  • DSP LLE recompiler (this requires you to dump files from a wii or gamecube. If you need help with this, or otherwise cannot do it, PM me, and i'll help).

It should sync on any version prior to 3.0-365

Comments

With no glitches, most of the run is pretty straight forward, but there are a few things worth mentioning:

Random encounters

There are 4 forced encounters that absolutely cannot be avoided. I use a smoke bomb for all but the last one, right before the final boss.

Other than those, there are two different ways the RNG is used to determine these. For the first, the rng is cycled constantly, and varying my movement in any way can manipulate these. In most cases this is done by holding back for 1 frame, or not pressing any direction for 1-3 frames. Despite how it looks, neither of these methods slow me down at all. Sometimes it is necessary to do other things, such as jumping or crouching though, which costs between 1 to 4 frames.

Other times however, encounters are locked in, as soon as the area is entered. Manipulating these can only be done prior to entering the area, and can be done in much the same way as before.

Unfortunately, there are often fights that cannot be avoided without wasting more time than it would take to simply fight them. And some times there are areas where although i can manipulate which enemies appear, and where, i cannot get past them entirely. Dealing with these situations was easily the hardest part of the entire run. There were many times where i made mistakes, but when i tried to go back and fix them, it ended up being slower, because i was then unable to avoid encounters that i had previously.

Taking damage

What? My max hp is 1 for the entire run. Well, turns out that doesn't matter. By holding A while in the air, right after taking damage, i can instantly recover any damage taken, so long as my weapon does not break.

Dynamic difficulty

Bosses have 2 HP bars. One main bar that decreases with each hit, and a secondary one that decreases when the first is depleted. The first has a set hp, based on level. The second however, decreases by different amounts, based on how fast you are killing it. This is why i stand around doing nothing for several seconds against a few bosses.

Dying to save time

There were two encounters i fought, that would have been faster to die to, then simply run past without a further fight. I chose not to do so, because it looked terrible, and the time saved was only around 0-3 seconds each.

Stage by stage comments

Act one

Nothing happens. I hold right to get to the boss, then mash A to kill it.

Act two

A short detour was necessary to do some quick shopping. The fight with the flying eyes was intentionally manipulated in to reach level 3, so i could equip a stronger blade for the boss. Otherwise, again, not much to talk about here. Note that neither fire nor poison does any damage in shigurui, which is how i jump into the fire without taking damage during the boss.

Act three

Huge ass detour here, to get to the shrine in Suruga. This saves quite a bit of time in the next act, by warping to it, rather than the previous shrine.

The boss can only be damaged while his blade is broken, otherwise he simply blocks all attacks. Because of this, i keep him in the air as long as possible, to prevent him from switching to a new one.

Act four

I ended up not needing the first bronze mirror i picked up, which cost me ~120 frames.

Act five

Here's an interesting fight. I repeatedly die, but don't actually die, and despite the limit of 2 jumps before landing, i jump around a dozen times at one point without touching the ground for nearly 30 seconds. Certain attacks, such as 3 aerial dashes, or the upward slash attack will, for some reason, allow you to jump again.

Act six

This boss...

I honestly expected it to take to take longer than the entire rest of the game combined. Instead, it was the fastest. While in it's stomach i deal about 5-6x more damage than normal, and of course he doesn't do any attacks that prevent me from hitting him. So obviously i had to manipulate him into eating me twice. Fortunately, i didn't have to manipulate it; he just did it, without me doing anything other than mashing A. Unfortunately he won't eat you during the final hp bar, so my initial attempt spent more on that last bar than the rest of the fight. When i went back to try to save a few seconds, i managed to save 2000 frames, by getting him to stand around doing nothing.

This is probably the most boring boss, since most of the time, he doesn't even attack at all, but it is easily the best fight, considering how much worse it would have been with even a little worse luck.

Act seven

'dat combo.

Final act

Nothing to say here: Enjoy.

Other comments

Possible improvements

Much of the run is spent traveling, which is mostly not possible to improve. The most significant improvement here would probably be using air dashes to jump higher without landing, as i did in act 7. This can only be done in limited places (while in a battle), but could probably save around 5 seconds throughout the run.

Bosses can obviously always be optimized better. Though it's easy to fight perfectly, it's difficult to get the bosses to stop attacking in ways that slow your damage down.

Random encounters are not always optimized very well. Because these have multiple enemies all spread out, it's extremely difficult to do these perfectly. Most fights could probably be improved by around a second or so.

And finally, the only real significant improvement would be by better luck manipulation. If someone were to find a way to avoid all but the few forced encounters, it would probably save somewhere around 5 minutes. I did my best to avoid all encounters that i could, but there are still quite a few of them. And even when using a smoke bomb, they still take up quite a bit of time. Although i know some of the encounters i had were possible to avoid, and i suspect most, if not all were, i have no idea if actually avoiding them all would be possible, let alone practical.

Thanks

A huge thanks to Nitsuja. When i first started on my first play through of shura, i averaged one desync every 5000 frames or so, and there was no read only, so the only way to check for desyncs was to play it back from the start - at 20-25 fps. By the time i started my actual run, read only was fixed, and i never once got a single desync, throughout the entire run. Without his fixes to dolphin, i still wouldn't have even started my run yet.

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