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

Submission #4115: janus's SNES Paladin's Quest in 2:05:04.71

Console: Super NES
Game name: Paladin's Quest
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Paladin's Quest (U).smc
Emulator: Snes9x 1.51v6
Movie length: 2:05:04.71
FrameCount: 451024
Re-record count: 114456
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: janus
Submitter: janus
Submitted at: 2013-11-25 18:55:14
Text last edited at: 2013-11-30 14:24:14
Text last edited by: RGamma
Download: Download (13595 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

In Paladin's Quest, you play Chezni, a boy born with natural magical talent. Because of a bet, you "accidentaly" turn on an ancient machine of doom. Your goal is to stop this machine. You will meet many mercenaries, blue trees, green mountains, walk on clouds and fight pig-like creatures.

Because Chenzi's time is precious, he took the means necessary to shorten his quest and get to the end of the game as quickly as he could. As a result, he saved over 24 minutes (86883 frames) over the previous run.

This was done (although imperfectly) using the RAM watch, a tool included with emulators that decomposes the game to its basic mathematical structure. With it, you can see when your next battle will be, how strong your magic is, when people are moving as so one. In PQ, the RAM for random battles (7e1868) is the one I used the most. This explains the weird walking pattern I have sometimes; when you enter a new screen (it becomes black) and the RAM is 0, it resets, delaying the battle some more. This is why I "run in circles" in the 2nd Jurayn and Karon temples, that I enter/exit towns repeatedly, walk inside towns before exiting them and sometimes "miss" an escape (on the way to the Skuuruu camp, notably).

I also used the RAM watch for my magic. It was especially necessary for Sp magic, since it was used for Freeze. It couldn't work on the Renegades in Jurayn if it's below 54. And for some reason, Chenzi's position in the fight influences the success rate of Freeze and other status-inducing magics (defense down couldn't work because the Sk magic was too weak).

Another great improvement, suggested by ars4326, has to do with abusing attack back, a magic that reflects back 1/2 of any physical damage endured. I couldn't possible get enough money to get a mercenary (Lilie) that had it but required quite a bit of equipment ($34k), but I certainly could get Fastjo first thing when I landed in Saskuot. He really was my punching bag; he casted AtBack, attacked even if it's for 1 pt (defending decreased the damage he receives, and therefore the damage reflected back) and usually died at the end of the fight.

Here are some highlights of the frame saving

However impressive these improvements are, they could still be much better. Despite TheAxeMan's very good advice, I couldn't quite figure what influence the RAMS influencing the 1868 address. If someone wants to go for it, do it!

And as always, I thank Tristal for advising me throughout the run.

Frame suggestion: 397 838, 429 997, 430 948, 436 762, 443 776, 445 346 (my favourite), all showing the power of Attack Back

turska: Movie file replaced at the author's request. The new movie is 3 frames longer and reaches the credits.

feos: Accepting as an improvement to the existing movie, for Vault, since there was no real enthusiasm about this run's entertainment value in the thread, and the previous run is in Vault and has low rating.

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