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Tool-assisted game movies
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Submission #3656: TheAxeMan's NES Final Fantasy in 1:09:57.7

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Final Fantasy
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Final Fantasy (U)
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 1:09:57.7
FrameCount: 252277
Re-record count: 44636
Author's real name: Frank Amoroso
Author's nickname: TheAxeMan
Submitter: TheAxeMan
Submitted at: 2012-07-13 03:34:42
Text last edited at: 2012-07-20 13:33:31
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (39324 bytes)
Status: published
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(Link to video)

http://archive.org/details/TheaxemansNesFinalFantasyIn10957.7

Final Fantasy TAS by TheAxeMan

  • Takes damage
  • Heavy luck manipulation
  • Uses soft and hard resets

On TASvideos perfect runs are continually improved, often through very unexpected changes. This run improves the current Final Fantasy TAS by 547 frames (about 9.1 seconds) by getting lower stats and spending more time at inns and item shops.

The original reason I started working on this was to use some tricks from Vcimdarf who does realtime speedruns on this game on SDA. It took some work to fully incorporate those techniques and along the way I discovered a couple other unexpected improvements.

  • 1 frame gained by entering names sooner by pressing start instead of A at the beginning.
  • 40 frames saved by changed pirates battle so that neither surviving character gets INT on levelup.
  • I stay at the Pravoka inn and hit the reset button as soon as my game is saved. After loading the game I am outside of town 170 frames faster than if I had walked.
  • The remaining 336 frames are the net result of some more significant changes in item usage. After beating the pirates I head to the Pravoka item shop. The items I get are used in a new luck manipulation technique. In the outer world I can save my game just before getting into a random encounter. I start to move and then reset. On loading my game, the encounter mechanism has moved past that encounter so I can move on without a battle. The downside is that this adds a step that needs to be managed. Adding a battle destroys any gain from this trick. After accounting for the time needed to buy and use the tent there is no time saved. However, the battle RNG does not get used. This can work in my favor if it cuts a cycle of the RNG before a boss. But if I just have to wait for the RNG to increment in battle then it actually loses time. After upgrading my optimization scripts to consider this I was able to find enough places where this helped to make the considerable detour in Pravoka worthwhile.

Here are the details on how the save-reset fight skip trick affects this run:

I buy 8 tents and a cabin in Pravoka.

The tents start getting used after beating Astos. The three tents used between Astos and Vampire save one cycle on the RNG and reduce the number of preemptives I need. A big bonus worth about 100 frames is that I can equip the Dragon sword on one of those menu trips.

On visiting Elf Castle to get the key, I step in and out of Elfland to save 5 steps. I use some of those steps to sail all the way into the docks at Coneria and Elfland.

In Dwarf Cave I do not pick up the house and cabin from the treasure room, only the Dragon sword.

Before entering Earth Cave the second time I skip another fight to save a cycle. In this case the fight is against the shadow enemy group with very high initiative.

After exiting Earth Cave I still need to deal with that shadow group because one more step would add a fight before reaching the ship. But between Lich and Eye I use 3 fight skips. I need to save steps for this by using the dock trick at the Crescent Lake dock.

After beating the Eye that trick is no longer useful as it does not save an RNG cycle on any stretch for the rest of the game. Conveniently everything at that point on is the same as the previous run so I just copied.

The reason the Dwarf Cave treasure is skipped is because it is faster to buy the items in Gaia. I need to pick up another treasure chest in Ice Cave but it is still worth it. Takes too long to walk around to the chests. Also, buying a cabin in Gaia is 2 frames faster than buying a tent in Pravoka so I maximize the number of items bought in Gaia.

Bonus!

This year marks the 25th anniversary of this game's release. So I decided to put together a few extras to make this a 25th anniversary edition TAS.

First of all, I have included subtitles in the fm2 with a lot of information about this game and the run.

As I did with Crystalis and the white mage run, I am releasing all the code I used to make this run. That includes the pathfinding script that plans encounters, the battle planner used to optimize Garland and the pirates and the run analyzer that optimizes running from random encounters.

Finally, there are many choices to make in an RPG run. One of the most difficult is always what to name your characters. So I have created a program that will generate a custom TAS that uses whatever hero names you like. I noticed early on that once names are input at the beginning of the game they do not affect the timing of anything. So all that is necessary to allow for this generation is to generate the controller input that inputs the names. The rest of the run is the same, but the names will be whatever you like. Windows users can run the executable version. Linux users and the curious can download the source and choose between command-line or GUI (wxpython).

Thanks

Big thanks to Vcimdarf for the reset button ideas.
adelikat: Claimed for judging

feos: Added HD and SD streams.


adelikat: Accepting for publication as an improvement to the published movie.

feos: Processing...


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