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

Submission #3860: ISM, Mister's SNES Kaizo Mario World 3 in 17:11.23

Console: Super NES
Game name: Kaizo Mario World 3
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: Super Mario World by TAKE 3.1.smc
Branch:
Emulator: Snes9x 1.43 v17
Movie length: 17:11.23
FrameCount: 61976
Re-record count: 239380
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: ISM, Mister
Submitter: Mister
Submitted at: 2013-02-10 03:08:16
Text last edited at: 2015-03-16 17:26:25
Text last edited by: Mister
Download: Download (7847 bytes)
Status: published
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Introduction

This is the fastest completion of Yūjin Mario 3, one of the most famous Super Mario World hacks. Yūjin Mario 3 is often called Kaizo Mario World 3 in English, but I prefer to use the former, the Japanese-originated name, in this description.

The run consists of numerous innovative strategies, most of which are rather new and look different from each other. Few of them are intended solutions (see original videos). This also shows a new feature of Yoshi, which can be seen nowhere else.

Encodes

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Snes9x 1.43 v17
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Manipulates luck
  • Eat no chucks

Background and History

自作の改造マリオを友人にプレイさせる (Making my friend play through my own Mario hack) is one of the most famous series of playing videos in nicovideos. It is often abbreviated as 友人マリオ (Yūjin Mario). In the series, TAKE (the uploader) made his own hack, and he made KIBA (a friend of his) play it. The released patches for the first and second sequels were named kaizomarioworld(2), so it is often called Kaizo Mario World, or simply Kaizo, in English. (Videos of) Yūjin Mario 1 and 2 were uploaded in July through October of 2007, and the third sequel was uploaded in October-November of 2012, which was over 5 years after the legendary impact.

These hacks are meant to harass KIBA in an unexpected way (so that they entertain viewers). He had beaten lots of ultrahard levels produced by TAKE's innovative and creative ideas, and he has made a deep impression on many people since then. The hack design, however, was not really good, which prevented its quality from being topped. In the third sequel, the level design is rather improved.

Yūjin Mario is one of the most famous video in nicovideo, where it is usually called 友人マリオ (Yūjin Mario). Part 1 of Yūjin Mario 1 has 1.4 million views as of February 2013, and two of the accidentally deleted videos also had over million views. Yūjin Mario is also one of the games which made TASes so popular in nicovideo.

Yūjin Mario gave a deep impact to Super Mario World Hack communities. Ever since then, the word Kaizo is often used to mean “as hard as Kaizo” (改造 (kaizo) is a Japanese word meaning hack). You can see its influence, for example from Kaizoman666's name. (I'm not so familiar with this topic that it might be inaccurate in some places.)

Goal setting

In working on this hack, the problems were 1) to eat a chuck or not, and 2) any% or all-exit.

Eat chuck or not

If we are allowed to eat chucks, we could get a cape in the very first level from baseball chucks, which are placed in other levels such as the third, or the sixth etc.

any% v.s. all-exit

The secret exit of 梅田地下街 leads to two extra levels, but they are rather boring and make no difference in the later levels unless the eat-chuck glitch is allowed.

We couldn't find a cape run such entertaining, and in our opinion, a capeless (= eat-chuck glitchless) any% run is the best way of showing off entertainment to the full extent.

Hack difference between the original version and the released version

What I can tell is the following:
  • In 和歌山, a coin is added at the lowest question block so that you cannot go into the inside of that space while the effect of the P-switch is being active. The goal is one tile higher than the original.
  • In 天国, blue P-switches are placed in a different way so that you cannot get multiple P-switches nor a grey P-switch by block duplication.
  • There is an extra level following クッパ城東京支部. This is a maze level, and has a secret exit, which leads to two level. One of them is a boss-rush level, where you can fight against the bosses of Yūjin Mario 1 and 2. The other level is a yellow switch palace, in which there are a Yoshi, fireflower blocks, and a Yellow Switch.
  • There are yellow blocks in 地獄, 天国, and くっぱ城京都本部. They, when activated, are supposed to make these levels easier.

Tricks used in the run, and tips

Riding an invisible Yoshi
Ride both of a visible Yoshi and an invisible Yoshi, and dismount Yoshi in such a way that Yoshi vanishes soon. Then mario takes the form of riding Yoshi without Yoshi displayed. When you move on to the next room, Yoshi will appear. This is also used at Vanilla Dome 3 in the recent 96-exit run.

Frame rule of sprite interaction
Usual sprites can be touched every two frame. Which timng each of them can be touched depends only on the parity (odd/even) of its sprite slot ID.

Spinjumping on a melting/broken grab block
You can spinjump on a grab block at the same time it melts or is broken, even if it is not kicked (i.e. it is only released). Because of the frame rule of sprite interaction, you have to take care of the parity of its slot ID so you can touch (= spinjump on) it.

Level-by-level comments

In what follows, the headings A (B, C) indicate level name (level name exhibited in the game, English level name).

和歌山 (わかやま, Wakayama)

The coin placed below the question block prevents us from reaching the yoshi block from below. To break through it, we could revive the P-switch by pressing it near the pit but we chose the way to keep the shell with L-scroll. This is much faster than the P-switch revival method. Yoshi will be needed later so we keep it. Note that yoshi is not meant to be carried over, of course.

死の山 (死のやま, Death Mountain)

We need Yoshi in はかたわん, so we have to keep it. In the vertical map, it is fortunate for us that Yoshi prevents a yellow naked koopa from generation because of sprite slots being filled, so we can easily get the yellow shell with no trouble. Then the classical stun glitch lets us get a rainbow shell to fly through the level. Although we landed on the ground at corner-clipping, there is no loss of speed because the ground is slippery.

なばなの里 (なばなのさと, Nabana no Sato)

An autoscrolling level. The door is not meant to be entered when Mario being large with Yoshi, but the both sides of the screen are equipped with munchers so we can enter the door with no trouble.

When a naked koopa enters a shell, a null sprite is generated so we can pull off the item-swap glitch. We performed it several times for the purpose of making entertainment, lag reduction and goal-swap. Goal-swap saves much time because we can avoid entering the pipe after the goal.

一等地物件 (いっとうちぶっけん, Prime Property)

We can reach the layer-2 foothold by high jump when the layer 2 starts to go down. The L scroll is used to delay the foothold's going down

In the boss room, there is a ceiling above the screen, so we have to wait a while if we throw the block from the below. Our method is a little faster than the intended solution.

博多湾 (はかたわん, Hakata Bay)

The existence of Yoshi makes it harder to go under layer 2 (= the moving yellow layer) in the first room. If it were not for Yoshi, we could enter the pipe one cycle earlier, but we need Yoshi for the next room.

The second map is one of the biggest attractions in this run. When Yoshi is at an appropriate position under a ceiling, riding on Yoshi lets us boost through the ceiling. To get it to work, we crammed Yoshi into layer 2. At the under-mushroom part, we were boosted through a corner by layer 2.

スカイツリー (スカイツリー, Skytree)

We indeed spent three weeks at this level. It was the biggest problem to use no vine. We managed to solve it and we obtained a much better look as a result.

The first half. We at first considered that our current plan with Yoshi was slow, because we did not imagine the duplication part would be so optimizable. Later we managed to beat the no-Yoshi route. We removed a Pokey for the sake of lag reduction.

For the second half, there was no way in which we could avoid a use of the vine. Finally we got it and even saved time. This is the first demonstration of time saver with melting-block jumps as far as I know. As explained above, it is important which sprite slot the grab block is in. To manipulate it, we controlled the vertical scroll at the first block, and grabbed an extra block before the second block.

クッパ城東京支部 (クッパじょう とうきょうしぶ, the Tokyo branch of Bowser Castle)

Good luck came to us so we could get a nice pattern of Dolphins. Any L/R scroll is not used in the run.

The Princess fight is the customized Wendy fight so her pose might have affected time, but her pose is reset to the same one each time she appears, which makes it easier for us to manipulate luck. As an additional information, we can progress RNG while pressing A/B in the (fake) Bowser fight.

梅田地下街 (うめだちかがい, Umeda underground shopping center)

This is one of the highlights in the run. We make Yoshi grow underneath a ceiling and ride on it. Then downwards zipping and wall-boosting led us to the bottom of the map. Because of lag and time loss at the pipe exit, we leave Yoshi here.

地獄 (じごく, Hell)

We tried improving the first chuck part by making Yoshi escape. Corner-clipping is used to skip the first thunderbolt. Yoshi doesn't escape shortly after we ride on him. This is used to skip the Pokey. The reason that we got to the midway gate is that we boosted through a ceiling later.

天国 (てんごく, Heaven)

To avoid a large amount of loss at getting a rainbow shell, we used a shell jumping with speed 49. It would cost more time to stomp the shell in a usual way, but if we spit it out as soon as Yoshi faces right then it will be spit out closer than usual, and hence we jump on it sooner. To take over the shell placed at the very beginning, a little trick is used around the first ON/OFF block.

The latter half is accessible via flying toward the right of the pipe, but then the auto-scroll would start earlier and we would lose much time consequently.

クッパ城京都本部 (クッパじょう きょうとほんぶ, the Kyoto headquarters of Bowser Castle)

The cycle of a fireball of the Bowser statue depends on the in-game time, so either L/R scrolling or pausing can progress its timer without the lava layer down. At the first statue, we delayed the level entrance and used L/R scrolls; for the second, an R scroll and a pause are used. We finally see an effective use of pausing in a TAS.

As noted above, the RNG can be easily manipulated in the Bowser battle.

In fact, there is no need to use the reserved mushroom at the end of the battle. If it had not been for the reserve, we could have saved some time at the last of the previous level, but in any way we would have to delay the next level entrance, so there would result no difference. That is to say, it does not matter at all whether to use the reserved powerup or not.

Special thanks to

  • pirohiko for all his support. He always surprises us by his godly sight;
  • gocha for the useful lua scripts;
  • Lil_Gecko for his excellent run;
  • Niconico community for related videos
  • those who show interests in our work; and also
  • TAKE and KIBA for the greatest hack and videos.

Nach: Yet another hack from an awful hack series. My perspective on this is that this new hack is still far from decent. However, the issues with the hack were not as pronounced as with the prior two. Yes, there still are blatant violations of proper aesthetics, with chompy piranhas floating in the air and similar, but it's not as bad and as frequent as seen previously.

Regarding making full use of the game engine, this hack doesn't do so, but comes much further than before. Multiple exits, more power-ups, more enemies used, background movement, etc, give this game more to offer. There were also quite a few creative things done that I don't think I've seen elsewhere, like the whale sections becoming more annoying that a cheap cheap assault. This hack also finally offered something new and somewhat fresh with its Bowser fight, so it seems like the hack is starting to have something to offer.

The pigeonhole problem that was seen in other hacks like this is still present in this game, and for that alone, I would normally outright reject the hack. But Mister and ISM did an excellent job of breaking free of the constraints the game puts on the player. If not for all the abuse of going around the levels, making use of illegal power-ups and so on, allows this to appear as a TAS, and not just a follow the puzzle run. Those looking to submit a faster version of this run take note of this key point, without a potential speed for entertainment or "game breaking" trade off in this area, the run is unacceptable.

The overall response for this run was pretty good. I also asked some of our most prolific critics of TASs and hacks to share their opinion, and it seems our strictest viewers enjoyed this run as well, therefore based on the feedback, I think this run of this hack has done enough to become publishable.

Regarding using a deprecated emulator, there really needs to be serious weight put into considering rejecting this. Especially considering that this uses 1.4x and not even 1.5x. However, I reviewed the various discussion threads, and I see Mister mentioned active work on this hack and others well within the continuance time frame. I also see, that for other TASs, others asked for continuances on Mister's behalf, as it seems he wasn't sure if hacks needed them. Since we know ISM and Mister were working on this for a while, and aren't just trying to mess with the system, and springing upon us a run started after the allotted time, I'm willing to be more lenient and consider this run as going along with the "spirit" of the continuance system.

Accepting, although barely.


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