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Tool-assisted game movies
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Submission #3517: FatRatKnight's SNES Yoshi's Cookie "V.S. Mode" in 05:11.62

Console: Super NES
Game name: Yoshi's Cookie
Game version: USA
ROM filename:
Branch: V.S. Mode
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 05:11.62
FrameCount: 18728
Re-record count: 1130
Author's real name: Leeland Kirwan
Author's nickname: FatRatKnight
Submitter: FatRatKnight
Submitted at: 2012-03-31 20:04:08
Text last edited at: 2012-04-09 21:42:07
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (6363 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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(Link to video)

It's me versus my alter ego, in this game of Yoshi's Cookie! TASer versus TASer! ... Well, one TASer versus oneself. Will I win, or will it be me? Watch and find out!

Vitals

  • Emulator: lsnes rr1-delta5epsilon2
    • I wish to support development of this SNES TASing front-end
  • Goal: Fool around in V.S. mode
    • Time is not a primary goal (but I still go at speed of TAS)
  • 2 player run
    • lsnes used to be broken here. Not anymore

Why SNES and not NES Yoshi's Cookie

  • To support development of lsnes
    • Bizhawk already has enough support going for it (by my impressions, I'll try it soon!)
  • Better visuals for this run
    • Not just graphics; SNES is slow and smooth enough for viewers to follow!
  • Multiple characters to select from
    • This allows for a contrast between two vastly different stats.

Aside from that, I wanted to create a decent MtEdit. I do love the implementation of lua in lsnes, especially the gui.gap functions and on_keyhook callback, and now I have a very useful form of MtEdit. Even better, I don't have to worry about leaving this thing paused in the background while I wander off into other stuff in my computer. Someone, steal ideas from lsnes and add them into Bizhawk, quick!

Mechanics of the game

I will state a few details concerning the mechanics behind this game. By "a few", I mean voluminous.

Controls

To move the cursor, you need to hold down a direction for 4 or 5 frames. Up or right needs just 4 frames, while down or left takes 5. If you continue to hold a direction down, each repeated step takes 8 frames from then on, so you are encouraged to release for 1 frame then spend another 4 or 5 frames moving in that direction.

Additionally, lsnes snooping reports that the game reads controller data "out of sync" with the actual frames. A, right, and left are "on time", while up is one frame "late". Down is a special case, since it goes back and from between being late or on time. This oddity in input applies to both players equally.

When moving a line of cookies, you need to hold A for three frames and a direction on the last of these three (up and down may need to be done one frame early). If shifting a second time in a row, you only need to hold A for two frames.

Stats

Who? ATT DEF MES LIM
Mario 1 2 5 2
Yoshi 1 1 8 2
Peach 1 3 3 2
Koopa 2 2 5 1
For this run, I picked Peach (p1) and Koopa (p2).

The attacks BLIND, PANIC, and SLAVE each has a base time of 210 frames. You multiply your ATT and the target's DEF when you use one of the earlier mentioned attacks. Since I'm using Peach and Koopa, Peach versus Koopa will last 420 frames, while Koopa to Peach lasts a scary 1260 frames.

MES simply states how many seconds it will take before the special is rerandomized. Since I'm using Peach and Koopa, these specials will change every 180 and 300 frames, respectively. Clearing a line at the time may delay this, and clearing a line of Yoshi's Cookies will activate and then change the special.

LIM indicates the time limit before you lose. It is reset when you clear a line, and is frozen while you are not in control (line being cleared, or under effect of SLAVE or PANIC). This is also adjusted by the Time Speed setting, but Koopa at Low still runs out faster than anyone else at Hi. It "rarely" matters under TAS conditions, but this run has Hi Time Speed set for both players: Koopa has only 480 frames to react, while Peach can take her time with 880 frames.

I picked Peach and Koopa because of how ridiculously long Koopa's attacks to Peach are. But you know, stats aren't everything. It's how you use them, or something.

Gameplay

Hold A to charge your laser move cookies around. You will shift a line in one direction with A and the d-pad. Cookies going off one side will reappear on the opposite side. Form an unbroken line of the same type of cookie, from side to side, to clear the line and score a point in V.S. Mode.

You can clear multiple lines at once. The game will check for new lines formed after clearing a line before refreshing the 5x5 grid. It's quite possible to empty out the entire grid, should the clever player find a way, and get double the points for doing so. That isn't easy to do, but it looks so easy during Round 3 of this TAS.

There is also a special type of cookie, one which looks like Yoshi's head. If you clear a line involving these, you trigger whatever special is shown below the player's character. When the game is restoring the 5x5 grid, it will add in 1 Yoshi cookie if you clear one line of any normal cookie (that is, not a Yoshi Cookie), or 5 Yoshi cookies if you clear two or more lines of normal cookies in the same combo.

The available specials are BLIND, PANIC, SLAVE, +3, +7, -3, and -7. The numbers simply add or subtract from the target's current score. The other three are attacks that impair the victim in some way. BLIND covers the 3x3 area around the center. PANIC scrambles the cookies around for the duration, effectively paralyzing the victim. SLAVE grants control of the opponent to you, copying your actions. You can hit yourself with these, using both your ATT and DEF. The effects of ATT and DEF are already explained earlier.

SLAVE is a special case when hitting yourself with it. You do not grant control of yourself to your enemy doing this. Instead, if you begin the combo, then the enemy hits you with SLAVE before it finishes, and you happen to be hitting yourself with SLAVE when your combo finishes, it cancels out the enemy's SLAVE completely.

You can't choose the special -- The game randomly picks from one of several after some time passes or you clear a line of Yoshi cookies. The fact it's randomly decided means a TAS can manipulate it, though my tests have shown it is difficult to do, being largely frame-based. It will, however, always switch between targeting yourself or the rival.

If you clear multiple lines of Yoshi cookies at once, the effect of the special is multiplied. The numbers changes score to a greater extent, and duration of other specials are extended.

I believe that's everything. Oh, right. I forgot the D-pad. I believe that's everything other than the directional pad. ... Please tell me you don't need me to explain the directional pad.

Round-by-round description

You know, since you're reading this text and not necessarily watching the run, I may as well spoil the whole thing here. That way, you know exactly what you're missing!

Round 1

The round of well-timed blinds.

It starts off simple enough. Koopa opens with a very quick BLIND. Of course, being a TAS, this doesn't faze Peach at all. When it ends, the viewer sees just what kind of combo Peach has set up. Koopa gets BLINDed, and retaliates with his own superb combo... That includes +3 special to Peach and two Yoshi's Cookie lines. How frustrating it must be to lose by 1 point and by your own attack!

Incidentally, SLAVE was fired twice in this round, but for the observant, there is a defense against it! Time your match well, and you will end it before you feel any of its damage! For the rest of you, this will go entirely unnoticed.

Round 2

The round of eternal servitude.

Koopa used one attack against Peach (SLAVE). The 21 seconds of helplessness was well more than enough to stop her from making a single move while Koopa went straight to 25 points. Nevermind the fact Peach did a grid-clearing combo worth 16 (!) points! It just shows that, under TAS conditions, the first successful disabler (PANIC being unresistable) wins the round single-handedly.

Round 3

The round of simultaneous supreme matches.

Peach and Koopa both decide they want those super combos. Sadly, it would appear that when two TASed players both aim for 25 points quickly, the game can't decide who wins. Thus, a draw. There's actually a pretty large timing tolerance for this draw to come up. This is why when both super-players aim for speed, neither can win.

Round 4

The round of turnaround.

Koopa opens with PANIC. Normally in a TAS, this would be game-ending, if I didn't TAS Koopa to be so darn lazy and clear one line at a time. Must have been overconfident from the previous SLAVE-lock or something. Once Peach breaks free, she counters with her own SLAVE, followed shortly by a double-length PANIC. Koopa, in between these attacks, manages to combo 3 lines with 2 of them being Yoshi, the special being +3 to himself... Only to end one point short. Peach wins.

Round 5

The round of forced gift.

I tried to have Koopa go from zero to win in a single match in this round (using +7 special), but wasn't able to. Rather, I just played around with more SLAVE and showing a typical use of using the other person's power to give a benefit to yourself. Koopa ends up winning, because SLAVE is pretty potent in his hands.

Round 6

The round of denied matches.

Koopa opens with a grid-clearing match. Peach manipulates luck by giving herself a -3 in order to manipulate her next special into PANIC. Just in time, too -- Koopa was just one frame away from completing his second (and winning) grid-clearing match. Peach then throws another PANIC just before Koopa can recover his time limit, then manipulates the PANIC into preventing Koopa from making a match before his time limit runs out. Yes, in TAS conditions, one can make use of the time limit.

Closing

For whatever reason, in this submission text, I picked the names Peach and Koopa instead of Princess Toadstool and Bowser. I just liked the idea of having to use exactly five letters for each name.

Whether this run is accepted unlike my other April Fools' "It's only 3 seconds long!" submission, that is up to the judges as usual. There's less breaking rules and more playaround this time.

I had intended to submit on April Fools', but you'll just have to deal with an early submission. This is totally going to draw a thousand 'no' votes by itself! I'll more or less be unavailable for a day or two, right around this date, so that's why the submission now.

Why V.S. Mode? Well, why not? Puzzle Mode can't be TASed in fewer moves than a real-time speedrun, and there's no breaking it better than real-time anyway. As for Action, seeing me clear level after level in a similar way each time probably would get old after something like the 12th time. V.S. Mode was chosen for variety and short length. TASing against a CPU player would be rather one-sided, don't you think?

Of note, LEK and FRK in the name entry took an identical number of frames to input. Clearly, both me and my alter ego are equally optimal. I wouldn't have it any other way.


Nach: I don't think random versus modes in games are good choices. Maybe in fighting games where there's tons of action, but so far, I've yet to see it in puzzle games. The entertainment isn't high, the game being TAS'd isn't that noticeable (maybe if it was constantly series of match chains), and other than beating yourself (where you get to make up your own difficulty), you don't complete any objectives. If you want to TAS a competitive puzzle game, may I suggest Tetris Battle Gaiden? Rejecting.

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