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

Submission #4182: Synahel's SMS Dragon Crystal in 01:05.47

Console: Sega MasterSystem
Game name: Dragon Crystal
Game version: USA/Europe
ROM filename: Dragon Crystal (UE) [!].sms
Emulator: BizHawk 1.5.3
Movie length: 01:05.47
FrameCount: 3923
Re-record count: 1191
Author's real name: Oriane S.
Author's nickname: Synahel
Submitter: Synahel
Submitted at: 2014-02-01 16:40:06
Text last edited at: 2014-02-05 16:47:59
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (852 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Dragon Crystal is a stupid SMS roguelike-RPG with awful engrish and way-too-hard mechanisms. Still it's quite fun. Game is completed in just over a minute.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 1.5.3
  • Completes the game the fastest way
  • Gets an unglitched ending
  • No items used
  • Takes damage to save time


Our anonymous hero is trapped in a crystal ball, which is a maze of 30 random-generated floors, followed by Potato-the-Dragon, as it stays in its egg form (everybody tells me it's a potato!) during the entirety of the run (and, well, it doesn't do anything in a normal playthrough either). Here, instead of grinding and finding every item in each floor in order to maybe have a chance of surviving (yes, the difficulty is horrendous), we just run through stages, manipulating RNG to give us close exits, and a close crystal ball on the 30th floor, in order to finish the game. On a speedrunning level, this game is random and stupid, though we tend to do races on it, just for the idiocy of it. On a TAS level, it's still as stupid, but becomes incredibly short. Short enough, in fact, to be interesting (but well, that's my opinion). As we don't have to fight any enemy in order to finish the game, it just becomes a run towards the crystal ball, avoiding everything.

Each floor is generated randomly depending on which frame we get on the exit. So, in order to get a good floor, we just have to try and retry by waiting one more frame each time in front of an exit until we find a good floor with an easy exit. One improvement over the previous run was to wait more on some floors in order to save time in later floors; and it paid off pretty well. Also, the old TAS was made on Dega, and I think updating it and putting it on BizHawk could be a smart idea. Sadly, 30th floor isn't as dramatic as last TAS, as I only play with one dragon, but still, better than not seeing any.

One important improvement was also to only press inputs when needed for movements, instead of keeping directions pressed, even on frames where it didn't matter. It seemed way cleaner this way.

Other comments

This run isn't the most entertaining TAS ever, but it's short enough to be entertaining. Also, as Dragon Crystal got some hype lately (and was even featured in the last AGDQ bonus stream, as Adam_AK and RoboSparkle raced on it), I think keeping it updated and improved is a good idea. Also, if you're interested, I actually streamed the whole making of this TAS on my twitch channel.

Mothrayas: Judging.

Mothrayas: Accepting as an improvement to the published movie. In regards to the tier, I'm going against the votes here - I don't see too much difference in entertainment here compared to the previous run, and I'm not convinced this run will really hold up that much better than the previous run in the entertainment ratings. So it'll go to the Vault.

After publication, if the ratings prove sufficient, the run may naturally be moved to Moons.

Ilari: Got a bit questionable dump from feos...

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