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Submission #3971: AndiHoffi's NES Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos "100%" in 11:03.24

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Solstice (U).nes
Branch: 100%
Emulator: FCEUX 2.2.0
Movie length: 11:03.24
FrameCount: 39860
Re-record count: 47635
Author's real name: Andreas Hoffmann
Author's nickname: AndiHoffi
Submitter: AndiHoffi
Submitted at: 2013-05-26 12:27:03
Text last edited at: 2013-05-29 15:04:03
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (17689 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Third version

This is my third improvement on the 100%-run. This time I found an improvement in the route and hoped, this might bring me below 11 minutes. Unfortunately this did not work out and the improvement is 90 frames only. After this disappointment, I watched the run again and again and even waited a few weeks hoping for more ideas. But I did not find anything else and so there is only one improvement.

In the room starting at frame 2284 I do not exit to NE, but to SW instead, visiting the room with the green potion much earlier. Well, that's all (except some more antics).

The further history of this run:

2013-01-31: first version

At the beginning of this year, I finally wanted to finish the game for the first time (and without support). During this, I developed my own 100%-Route. After I beat the game, I watched the run on this site and saw that my route visited substantially less rooms more than once (31 "room entries" less). I did not change the order in which the areas are visited, but “only” the routes inside the areas. Nevertheless, the route is 2803 frames faster (when using the same in-room-durations as the current run and counting each tower as a single room).

In detail:

  • Castle: 1198 frames
  • Caves: 877 frames
  • Gardens of pain: 184 frames
  • Slaughter yards: 544 frames

Pausing

I actually went through each and every room in order to find the ones with the shortest time for pausing (to activate the magic). The duration seems to depend on the room’s size and the size of the map that has to be displayed. This did not save very much, but still about 15 frames.

Individual rooms in the in-game-order

In addition to the new route, there are also many small improvements inside the rooms. Some of them are listed below. I will use the room number in RAM-Address 0015.

Room 176

I like the snatch from the guy’s head. I was trying to push the hat down with the help of a blue potion. Suddenly it came lose from below and I was able to get it without the potion. And without snatching the hat down, I would not have made it out of the room before the exit is blocked by the enemy.

SE-Tower (the one with the staff, starts at room 44)

Originally, I just did not want to wait for the elevator and use the box to jump across the room. Half way through I saw the box in the room above and tried to get it. This is a really close one! If initial height of this box was only 1 pixel higher, I would not be able get it. This is my favorite improvement and saved 435 frames.

Upgrade-Tower in the caves (starts at room 230)

Here I got around the waiting for the elevator by dropping down one room again, worth about 200 frames (pausing already subtracted).

Room 173

That's a bad room. Waiting for this thing to go up costs exactly 56 frames. But pausing in order to use a potion would have cost at least 58 frames. Since there is no other way to reach the room on the other side, we just have to stand there patiently… At least the music somehow fits to the waiting (which was lost in the next version).

Room 170

Here we have the only double spike-jump in the entire run.

NW-Tower (starts at room 30)

Used another approach here, worth 221 frames.

Room 29

I spent several hours in this room and tried different routes. You wouldn't believe how many potential paths there are in this relatively simple room. Unfortunately, the spectacular routes that use a spike-jump to get on the pillars were a bit too slow. So all I could do is this lame spike-jump and save 4 frames.

Room 28 (staff)

I start on the lower platform, which makes the timing a bit harder. But I can use the times where I “wait” on the box to walk to the left, which makes up for 14 frames.

Room 50

Using a blue potion now to jump on the enemies. This made the room 82 frames faster, while the pausing necessary before costs only 71 frames.

Room 90 (staff)

Found a new in-room-route being worth 21 frames.

Room 249

Please be my guest to witness the hardest-earned 8 frames in the run. It took me two full evenings to figure these out. This room has the only random enemy that I really needed to behave nicely. In the first version, it fled directly to the far-away-corner of the room. Then it took a few hours to figure out how the RNG works: Each time, the game needs a random decision, it consumes the next random number. There seems to be no direct way to influence this. So if you want to manipulate an enemy, all you can do is wait in another room with random enemies for one to hit a wall and to need new directions that come from the RNG.

After about one additional hour of trying around, I got a better behavior where I won 24 frames (26 in room minus 2 for the waiting). And then, it took two evenings to find the perfect behavior and make sure that there is no better way to get it. This brought these 8 frames: 14 in the room minus 6 for the additional waiting time. So please hold in for a moment and honour the effort necessary to get through the room in this trivial fashion in just 49 frames.

2013-03-22: improved version

Well, a few days after the first version, I found a small mistake: at 2:03, I bump into a doorframe. I did not loose any time there, but it kept bugging me. Especially because I thought, I double-checked all doors I used. Now I did finally find an improvement that allowed me to correct this error. This new movie improves two rooms (at frames 13359 and 13994) by a total of 104 frames - and does finally fix the doorframe-bump :-) The improvement at 13359 is the more interesting one: When entering a room from below and appearing directly above some spikes, you can jump from the spikes instead of dying (this has nothing to do with the spike-jump-glitch that I use in many places throughout the run).


feos: 72 hours passed and there are still no votes about the submission. I think posting a quick encode could gain some, but is it going to change anything? All the previous movies of this branch are Moons, and this submission just inherits the tier. This is an improvement over all of them, so its fate is pretty much predictable. Accepting to Moons.

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