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

Submission #3824: Johnnypoiro's SMS Asterix in 26:20.57

Console: Sega MasterSystem
Game name: Asterix
Game version: USA/Europe
ROM filename: Asterix (UE) [!].sms
Emulator: Bizhawk 1.3.0
Movie length: 26:20.57
FrameCount: 94712
Re-record count: (unknown)
Author's real name: Victo Jarzy
Author's nickname: Johnnypoiro
Submitter: Johnnypoiro
Submitted at: 2013-01-09 15:25:38
Text last edited at: 2013-01-16 09:51:53
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (9559 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Asterix on Sega Master System, done in 00:26:20,57. Using Bizhawk 1.3.0.

(Link to video)

Asterix on Master System is a platform game released in 1991 by Sega, and remains my favorite Asterix game. To reach the end of a level, the player must first find the key to open the exit door. Sometimes, he will have to use some objects, mostly potions, to reach some places. There is no major skip or warp zone in this game, and the character can seems quite slow compared to other platform games, but there are some things that makes the game TASable:

-Most levels can be done with different path by selecting a different character

-Enemies spawn and objects drop can be manipulated

-A small glitch allow the player to reach some shortcuts

-Some shortcuts greatly improve the time needed for finishing a level

-Most important, the game was not made to be runned through in the first place

I apologize for every grammatical mistakes I can make in this text, I'm french. But I'll do my best to make it understandable. Feel free to correct me if necessary.

There is no rerecord count, because the movie was mainly made frame per frame. I lost track of it at about 30,000+, in the first half of the game.

The game is separated in 21 levels, the player can choose between 2 characters at levels 3-21. The main goal was, at first, to reach the better in-game time for each level. But, some levels can be done with better in-game times with more frames. So the main goal became "just" to reach the less amount of frames for each level, and to make it entertaining.

-Round I-I; Asterix The first level of the game. Not much to say about this level. Most enemies are ignored because, at the end of the game, all your lives will be added to your final score. The last input can be entered only after this sequence. It takes about 30 frames per life, and a life is earned every 10,000 points. Points are earned by punching enemies and collecting items. One of the goal of this run is also to manage the total amount of lives, to save some frames at the end of the game. The key is collected at first available frame. The door opening is kind of tricky, and is always done differently in each level. The boss is quite simple, only need three hits. All hits are done at first available frame.

-Round I-II; Obelix First stage for Obelix, and we can see the problem with this one: the game will slow down as soon as there will be too much object on the screen. The first part is just running, passing through an enemy by taking damage. The player is usually ejected backward, so the character has to change direction before taking the hit. This is done by pressing the opposite direction for two frames at a precise timing. The platform can be reached without stopping, but the next one can't. This pattern can not be modified with luck manipulation. Breaking this wall of brick must be the most boring part of the game, but we can see an interesting thing: the "particles" animations, that slow down the game as hell, are reseted when hitting a new block. The blocks must be broken at first available frames to saves times. The way to get the key may not seems optimal, but it is the best time I've got after hundreds of rerecords. The boss here is quite simple too, mostly if you use savestates. It takes three hits to defeat, and the fastest way seems to hit him in the first half of his animation. Can't really save time here.

-Round II-I; Asterix In this level, the potion is needed, the way to get it is the same as the key, and it is collected at first available frame. Asterix don't stop running until he needs to throw a potion to reach the end of the level. Throwing a potion in the water create a temporary platform, that need some time to be accessible. Every obstacle of this kind need a lot of rerecord to get the perfect timing. The boss, as usual, need three hits to be defeated. He can't harm the player while he is blinking, but it needs some luck manipulation to trigger the right pattern. Otherwise, he jumps and he can't be reached at first available frame. This level is about 2seconds longer when done with Obelix(in-game time).

-Round II-II; Obelix Scrolling level. The way I managed empty space is not very artistic, but there is really not much to do on this one. The door can be reached before the end of the scrolling, so the only way to gain time is at the end of the level, optimizing the way to open the door. This level is about 2 seconds longer with Asterix (in-game time)

-Round II-III, Asterix First level I found really interesting, there are many ways to exit this level. All depending on the way you manage your lifebar to pass through obstacles. There are two spots to get the explosive potion, this way seems to be a little shorter (about half a second). The ending music is now different and a little longer. It took me a while to figure out that it just mean the round is finished (it is not mentionned in the manual). There is no way to skip it. This round is about 30+ seconds longer with Obelix (at some point, I knew it didn't need more optimisations)

-Round III-I; Obelix Making this level with Obelix cause the game to slow down a bit due to the number of sprites displayed. But it's still faster than with Asterix. All kill use luck manipulation to avoid enemies from dropping objects. A good timing at the end of the level allow to save some frames (about 1.5 seconds). This level is about 2 seconds longer with Asterix (in-game time).

-Round III-II, Obelix Again, all kill use luck manipulation. Getting out of the water is timed so the bird hit obelix as soon as possible, ejecting him in the right direction. Then a small (legit) shortcut to the end of the level. This level is about 3 seconds longer with Asterix (in-game time).

-Round III-III; Asterix This level is the same with Asterix or Obelix, same path can be used by both character. Asterix is used to avoid the game to slow down. The first part is a platform/scrolling part. Can't go faster than the moving platform. For this time, the two coins are collected (they make the game slow down, plus, they're on the way). Then, a (legit) shorcut. As mentionned before, items are not collected. Finally, the (final) boss. This time, he need four hits to be defeated. Again, a small luck manipulation is necessary to hit him at first available frame. This level is about 1 second longer with Obelix (in-game time).

-Round IV-I; Asterix Again, there are many ways to reach the end of the level. The key is not directly on the way and Asterix need to move a pot to access it. Luck manipulation is used to prevent enemies from dropping items. No shortcut in this level, the only way to save time is to optimize the path. This level is about 2 seconds longer with Obelix (in-game time).

-Round IV-II; Asterix In the first part of this level the player has to wait for the enemy on the flying carpet. Either for breaking the blocks on the way, or to reach a small shorcut. The potion is needed to acces the key. Jumping the gap smashing enemies can be done only during a certain pattern (too soon or too late and the player has to adjust his speed, instead of keeping the maximum one). No way to adjust the cannon shot, that's why the path may not seems optimal. This level is about 5 seconds longer with Obelix.

-Round IV-III; Asterix First level that use a small glitch to save time: while going down a well, the game allow the character to jump over the level for 1 frame. This can be done only in frame-per-frame recording, or on a real console with some ninja's skills. I found this glitch on youtube, it works for both character, and it allow to save about 11 seconds on this level. A larger part of the level can eventually be skipped, but Asterix need the potion to reach the end of the level, and this is the only path to get it. Luck manipulation don't seems to change enemies pattern, but for some reason the weapon of some enemies can disappear. This level is about 11 seconds longer with Obelix. (the shortcut will make Obelix take an unauthorized path, and get the potion, that he never use in the game, but he will be stucked after getting it)

-Round V-I; Asterix The player can skip a huge part of the level by smashing enemies to reach one of the last place. I discovered this on a real console, but it's kind of hard to get it right. The item is not collected, the helmet represent a life. This level is about 40+ seconds longer with Obelix.

-Round V-II; Asterix Again, Asterix can skip a long part of the level by taking damage to reach the key. While jumping out the cave, the player will most of time be ejected two screens higher, unless the bouncing platform is as low as possible. Then, he will have to wait for the bubbles to come out. A small jump is made to start the third bubble pattern as soon as possible. Collecting a jar when the lifebar is low does not add extra points and recover two "hearts". This level is about 50+ seconds longer with Obelix.

-Round V-III; Obelix Nothing new to say on this level, the main difference between the two characters is that Asterix have to wait for some potions to explode, while Obelix can almost just run through the level. This level is about 20 seconds longer with Asterix (in-game time).

-Round VI-I; Asterix Aquatic level. First part just need some good timing. For some reason, there seems to be several patterns for acid drops inside the octopus, but I didn't find how manipulate them. Just retried from savestate until I got the right one. Underwater, the character is not ejected as fast as they are on the ground, so taking damage underwater is avoided. This level is about 5 seconds longer with Obelix (in-game time)

-Round VI-II; Asterix In the first part the player has to wait for the bird in order to reach a certain platform. The gap to the second part of the level is divided into two zone; the first one will make you die. The potion allow the player to create a platform on the water. The path is optimized to use as few potions as possible, and to reach each platform at first available frame. This level is about 4 seconds longer with Obelix (in-game time).

-Round VI-III; Asterix The first part is just running and jumping. the player can save some time by jumping directly in the loading zone, instead of bouncing on the spring. Last part just need good timing. This level is about 4 seconds longer with Obelix.

-Round VII-I; Obelix Probably the level that takes me the most rerecords count. The enemies are meant to be killed with stones, but getting it take about 4 seconds. So most of time I just pass through them taking damage, and manipulate luck a couple of time to get some life bonuses. This level is about 25 seconds longer with Asterix (in-game time).

-Round VII-II; Obelix This time it's Obelix turn to use a small shorcut. First part is just running , taking damage and destroying blocks as soon as possible, until the player can go down the first well. Then, the glitch work again and the player can jump over the level, avoiding block destructions, jumping sequence, and slowing down (rotating plaforms). The second well allow to attack the key container at first available frame. This level is about 24 seconds longer with Asterix (in-game time).

-Round VII-III; Asterix Last "real" level of the game, this is also the longest one, and there is no shorcut. The first part can just be runned through. Then, the player has to wait the first moving platform, then he can run again to the end of the sequence. Second part is a moving platform the player has to wait to get three screens higher. Last part is the most annoying one, the player has to be as close as possible of the moving platform to activate two at a time. Only three can be activated at the same time (when a platform get out of screen, the next one can be activated). This level is about 5 seconds longer with Obelix (in-game time)

-Round VIII, Asterix Last level of the game, 1 in-game minute of avoiding enemies. Probably the easiest level of the game. For no apparent reason, sprites can disappear before they reach the edge of the screen. But it can't be done with luck manipulation. A small glitch allow the horse to jump to the right of the screen, making him trigger the ending sequence 1 (in-game) second before the usual time. As this level slow down a lot, this level is 1 in-game second longer, but is in fact longer with 100+ frames, with Obelix.

-Credits Needed for last input. Last screen of credits is skipped at first available frame. Then, final scoring sequence, each lide is added to final score in a 30-frame long "animation". As mentionned before, the less lives the player has, the shorter the sequence will be.

turska: Judging.
turska: This game doesn't lend seem to lend itself well to superhuman-looking play. Accepting for publication in the Vault.

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