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

Submission #3590: VanillaCoke's DS Sonic Colors in 26:37.8

Console: Nintendo DS
Game name: Sonic Colors
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Sonic Colors (USA).nds
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 26:37.8
FrameCount: 95590
Re-record count: 117861
Author's real name: James Francis Ryan IV
Author's nickname: VanillaCoke
Submitter: VanillaCoke
Submitted at: 2012-05-04 23:54:51
Text last edited at: 2012-06-28 16:29:57
Text last edited by: Guga
Download: Download (21124 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

Sonic Colors is a 2010 platforming game released for both the Wii and Nintendo DS. Dr. Eggman has opened an amusement park in outer space with small planets as attractions. Sonic and Tails decide to investigate and meet an alien named Yacker, who informs them that Eggman has kidnapped his alien race known as 'Wisps' and is using them for their energy. To assist Sonic, these wisps can lend their unique powers to help free their race from the evil Dr. Eggman. The Wii and Nintendo DS versions share some of the same wisps, but also hold their own exclusive wisps as well.

Details about this run

DeSmuME 0.9.7 used

There are two important values to tend to in this game: Speed and X-Velocity. X-velocity is how fast you're actually going while Speed is a little more complex. It's useful for slopes as an indicator of what X-velocity would actually be on a flat surface, but its real importance lies in landing. The game chooses the larger value between Speed and X-Velocity when landing and that becomes both your Speed and X-velocity values. This mechanic is important for rails and the zipline glitch. Speed's value gets stored when jumping and holding the direction you're traveling in. Unfortunately, holding that direction, or no direction, while airborne will instate the aerial x-velocity cap of 40960 for Non-Boost or 49152 for Boost.

Sonic tricks and glitches

Boosting - The most versatile tool Sonic has in this game. Boost instantly sets Speed to 49152 if the value was lower the previous frame. It allows for faster travel in the air by raising the aerial x-velocity cap to 49152 versus 40960. If Sonic's Speed and X-velocity are both below 49152, using it in the opposite direction of travel will instantly send sonic in that direction.

Aerial Boosting - This is exclusive to Sonic Colors and has a lot of nifty attributes. It resets Y-velocity to 0 for 20 frames and slows Sonic's descent to the ground if kept active after that. It gives lessened X-velocity decay for 20 frames and also restores Sonic's ability to Airdash if it was used already. It's very handy when it comes to making big jumps

After-Images: I couldn't decide if I should list these on their own or not. They're a side effect of either hitting a Booster pad, using Boost or triggering a "fake" Boost. When they are active, Sonic will accelerate up to 40960 instead of 36864. They also have an effect on Airdashing.

Backwards Airdash - Airdashing makes X-velocity much higher for a single frame, then is set to the air speed cap of 40960 if that value exceeded it the next frame. By holding the opposite traveling direction on the second frame onward, the cap is ignored. Airdashing while Boost is activated doesn't work in Sonic Colors, so the effect is lessened compared to those games. In addition to the X-velocity increase, airdashing gives 10 lessened frames of decay when holding backwards. The reason this and boost are spammed sometimes, but not during others depends on if X-Velocity and Speed are above 60544. If they are, it's faster to just run.

  1. Maximum without After-Images 56832
  2. Maximum with After-Images, 60928

Lessened Decay - Lessened Decay is gained by airdashing, aerial boosting and booster pads. Instead of x-velocity being reduced 2064 each frame when holding backwards aerially, it's instead reduced by 96 (doubled if boost is active). It's applications on the ground are sliding up slopes with slower decay and moonrunning.

Stomp - By pressing Down + A/B, Sonic will fall down to the ground at a Super acclerated rate, capping at 61440 y-velocity. X-Velocity is changed to 0, but Speed's value is stored until landing when it will then changed to 0 as well.

Rails - Flat rails and slight incline rails will add Speed and X-velocity and will exceed the ground cap of 61440. Decline rails and vertical rails enforce the 61440 ground cap however. Jumping while on a rail makes Sonic fall down through it. In order to get back onto that rail, he'll have to either land on another rail or the ground first. Rails are the only place that the Speed value stored after Stomping is useful. Depending on the angle of the rail (Decline only), it's possible to get a tremendous x-velocity boost if Sonic jumps the frame after landing. Because of the way that Speed and X-Velocity are related, it's possible to land on rails with stomp and get tremendous X-Velocity (Like in Starlight Carnival 2).

Slope Slide Boosting - Sliding on a declining slope then holding forward and jumping gives an x-velocity value of 64448 when optimal. By using Aerial boosting's lessened decay, it's possible to extend this out and land with 61440 x-velocity to boot.

Zipline Glitch - Performed by pressing the opposite direction the frame Sonic lands on a Zipline, then holding forward and jumping the frame after. The Speed Value jumps up greatly to about 185000. The opposite direction has to be held the frame before landing to avoid the 61440 ground cap.

Red Burst Mechanics

Red Burst is a flaming wisp that packs a powerful explosive... burst. You can use Burst the frame after transforming. There are three levels of Burst. These levels differ by how many frames X/Y/B/A are held.

  1. 1-9 Frames - Level 1 Burst
  2. 10-29 Frames - Level 2 Burst
  3. 30+ Frames - Level 3 Burst

Level 3 Burst - Level 3 has a delay that has two interesting tricks. When releasing the button for Level 3 Burst, it's possible to press any other button during that delay and charge and release another burst. The other is delaying reverting back to Sonic by 31 frames if used on the very last frame of Burst's transformation.

Charging a Burst - While Burst is being charged, descent is slowed down significantly.

Transformation - Speed's value becomes the new X-Velocity when transforming into Burst.

Orange Rocket

This is the most straight forward wisp in the game and it doesn't go forward! Orange Rocket has a pretty long start-up delay before it begins traveling upward. So, it's only used when it's necessary for a faster route.

Start-Up Delay removal - Only works in the Orcan fight. By transforming while extremely closed to Orcan, Orange Rocket will skip the start-up and go straight into its hit animation which is much shorter.

Yellow Drill

A useful wisp for going underground and underwater. It can go in 64 different directions. Holding down Y gives a 70% increase to Velocity. Values for X and Y Velocity are transferred to Sonic upon exiting. Attempting to use Yellow Drill to enter the ground while traveling at an X-velocity >64000 will immediately eject Sonic back to the surface.

Cyan Laser

This wisp turns Sonic into a laser that travels at fast speeds (61440)and will bounce off surfaces that it comes across.

Crystals - touching a crystal will change the trajectory of Laser into a predetermined angle. Depending on the value prior to touching a Crystal, it will either reduce (if touching it with a high value) or increase (touching it with a low value) time left in the transformation. So touching these things should only be done with as low a value as possible to get the biggest benefit.

Bouncing - Listed not to explain how bouncing works, but because of it's added benefit of freezing the transformation value. The first bounce will freeze the timer for 60 frames, then 30, then so on and so on. Eventually bouncing will not freeze the timer at all (instead of just freezing it for a single frame). It's almost always beneficial to bounce immediately upon transforming to increase the transformation time.

Transformation Glitch - Causes Laser to move and fall while selecting angle. It's only usable during the boss fight with Admiral Jelly.

Black Void

Out of the whole Sonic universe, this wisp sucks more than anyone or thing else. Grows in size after sucking in three enemies or 60 rings in normal stages or one rock and 10 rings in the Skullian fight. Can grow two times total to increase suction range and top velocity.

Increasing Velocity Faster - After sucking in enough rings/enemies/objects to go up in size, releasing and repressing the direction being traveled at/after a specific frame will begin increasing Velocity about 30 frames sooner.

Stage times and comments

Tropical Resort 1

  1. TSC 0'48"05
  2. TAS 1'17"25

Tropical Resort 2

  1. TAS 0'37"20
  2. TSC 0'45"20

Easter Egg: Boost's color differs while running on water. It alternates between Blue and Green like in Sonic Rush/Rush Adventure.


  1. TAS 0'12"93
  2. TSC 0'16"71

Sweet Mountain 1

  1. TAS 0'50"11
  2. TSC 0'57'64

Sweet Mountain 2

  1. TAS 1'14"15
  2. TSC 1'25"81

Captain Jelly

  1. TAS 0'12"32
  2. TSC 0'14"94

Starlight Carnival 1

  1. TAS 1'02"37
  2. TSC 1'09"79

Starlight Carnival 2

  1. TAS 0'42"98
  2. TSC 0'56"98


  1. TAS 0'21"84
  2. TSC 0'23"16

Planet Wisp 1

  1. TAS 1'12"25
  2. TSC 1'22"21

Planet Wisp 2

  1. TAS 1'03"23
  2. TSC 1'11"28


  1. TAS 0'08"77
  2. TSC 0'16"87

Aquarium Park 1

  1. TAS 1'03"69
  2. TSC 1'12"25

Aquarium Park 2

  1. TAS 1:03:28
  2. TSC 1:09:45

Admiral Jelly

  1. TAS 0"17"55
  2. TSC 0'25"76

Asteroid Coaster 1

  1. TAS 1'27"57
  2. TSC 1'35"89

Asteroid Coaster 2

  1. TAS 1'52"45
  2. TSC 2'09"27


  1. TAS 0'22"54
  2. TSC 0'23"79

This was the most frustrating boss to figure out the strategy, which is:

Terminal Velocity (Running)

Terminal Velocity (Boss)

  1. TAS 1'28"52
  2. TSC 1'28"77

Thank yous (In no particular order)

Nach - Mein F├╝hrer, thanks for always being a great leader and willing to lend a hand. I might not always understand your jokes, but don't stop cracking them. I hope that this run is satisfactory.

Aktan - Thanks for the amazing encode and being a surprisingly cool guy to converse with. I'm looking forward to doing more business with you in the future.

Sonikkustar - Thanks for your interest early on, it really helped get me started on taking this run seriously.

Paused - We're engaged, hurray! Seriously though, thanks for your undying interest in the run. It really made doing this TAS easier knowing that people kept tabs on it through the numerous hiatuses and getting bored of TASing and restarting the run multiple times.

GoddessMaria - Our challenge made my run really sloppy in the sections I worked on after we started and I had to redo it after I lost. Although I'm glad I lost for that reason. As for a thank you, thanks for being a distraction when I was bored with working on my TAS.

ALAKTORN - Thank you for finding the RNG address all on your own. I'm sorry it took so long for me to put it to use, but DX:HR came out right around that time and I stopped working on the run for awhile. Also, thank you for your support and interest in this run.

CoolKirby - Thanks for being a CoolGuy and letting me ramble to you all the time. Looking forward to working on Kirby's Mass Attack together someday.

SkyLights - Thanks for the simplistic, cryptic but very accurate answer for the Skullian strategy.

Cruizer - Thank you for everything. Your thoughts and input on some of the bosses helped save me a great deal of time. Although you could of been a little bit more clear with Skullian hahaha, but SkyL was cryptic as well. It definitely made figuring out the strategy for him a lot more rewarding not having the strategy spelled out for me though, so thanks. Sorry for bugging you on Twitter so much. I tried ripping the level maps myself and never could, so I would have been SOL without your's xD. All your contributions are much appreciated, thank you Cruizer.

Nitsuja - If it weren't for your and Swordless Link's TASes, I would have never come to this site. So thank you for the inspiration. Also, thank you for the lua script and then updating it when 0.9.7 was released before I even knew it was broken. Your very detailed explanation of how the whole Rush engine worked was amazing and I appreciate the time you spent educating me on what you knew. I discovered multiple glitches just from your explanation of how Speed works and this run would not be close to the quality it is without your knowledge, critque and help. Thank you buddy!

Zeupar - You really pushed me by challenging me to not leave out any improvements I found out, even if that would mean restarting the run. During the time it caused me to become discouraged due to all the wasted time caused by an improvement. I took a hiatus as a result, but I thought about the run and your challenge often. I came back with the mentality that I wouldn't leave any stone or option unturned, regardless of the smallest chance of improvement. Most of the time optimizing every deviation wasn't worth the effort, but sometimes a unsuspected route ended up being faster and it was worth all the trouble. I like to think that I did live up to the challenge and didn't leave out any improvements I found during the making of this run. Thanks for your challenge (except for your last one lol) and your unsuspected friendship Zeupar.

Guga - Thanks for trying to learn to encode DS runs just because of me and for rolling with the punches.

and since it's tomorrow, Happy Birthday Mom.

Nach: Quite a nice first run. Good audience response too. I even personally liked this run, even though I had no clue what was going on with some boss fights. Accepting.

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