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Submission #4238: Mothrayas's GBC Rockman DX3 in 23:33.92

Console: Game Boy Color
Game name: Rockman DX3
Game version: any,r1
ROM filename: Rockman DX3 (C) (Unl).gbc
Branch:
Emulator: BizHawk 1.6.1
Movie length: 23:33.92
FrameCount: 84450
Re-record count: 89452
Author's real name: Wout van Poppel
Author's nickname: Mothrayas
Submitter: Mothrayas
Submitted at: 2014-04-01 00:00:07
Text last edited at: 2014-04-04 15:40:52
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (16486 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Mothrayas' Rockman DX3 in 23:33.92


(Link to video)

Game objectives

  • Uses an emulator
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Collects all items
  • Enters all stages
  • Defeats all bosses
  • Any%
  • Is related to this except this is about 56 times longer and uses a different ROM
  • Still any%

About the game

Rockman DX3, also known as Rockman 3, Rockman X3, or Zook Hero 2, is an unlicensed pirate ripoff entirely legitimate game developed by Vast Fame Co. Ltd., with game code directly ripped from gameplay inspired by both classical Rockman and Rockman X games.

Its plot involves, uh, robots being blown up to pieces by the titular Rock Zook. And stuff. I dunno, I can't read any of the Chinese text in the prologue. There's also a playable Zook 2 who is exactly the same as Zook 1 except slightly different appearance-wise, but selecting him takes a frame longer.

After Zook blows stuff and robots and everything else to pieces, he then proceeds to blow them all up to pieces again just to be sure and then confronts a floating disembodied giant head NOT SIGMA.

In the meantime, Zook makes full use of his abilities, which include phasing through solid matter, ignoring gravity at will, moving faster than the camera eye can follow, zipping up walls, sliding through floors, standing on air, ignoring boss attacks at will, taking damage from thin air, and of course, his signature unique ability to copy a boss' technique after defeating them itself copied from Rockman.

Also, the game's soundtrack is awesome thanks to the sound engine being ripped straight from Rockman V.

Branch?

This run is simultaneously any% and 100%. It is the fastest (and only) method to finish the game, and collecting all items is required to finish the game. (The final stages are not accessible until all bosses are defeated and all upgrades are obtained). Interestingly, the other run is also both any% and 100%, as it also has 100% of available items and defeats the game in the fastest way possible.

Between the two versions used, this one is the more authentic one, as the other one has an alternate soundtrack that's originally from Zook Z.

I'll leave the branching issue for you to figure out.

Tricks

A whole lot of 'em.

Movement

"Man what. Where'd gravity go?" ―Derakon

Things Zook can do:

  • Stand

Revolutionary, isn't it?

  • Walk

Similarly revolutionary.

  • Jump

A feature which only 98% of platform games have!

  • Shoot

It's not based on Jump 'n' Shoot Man for nothing!

  • Slide

Just like Rockman.

  • Dash

Just like Rockman X.

The primary differences between slide and dash are that it isn't possible to shoot or climb down ladders out of a slide, and due to input constraints, it isn't possible to immediately jump out of a slide. However, due to the double-tapping input required for a dash, it is slower to execute a dash and slower to move (horizontally) overall.

  • Slide-jump / Dash jump

The one thing Rockman cannot do in any of his games.

  • Climb ladders

Another thing which both Rockman and Rockman X could do since the first installments of their series. However, Zook adds the revolutionary ability to shoot and climb up or down at the same time.

  • Wall jump

Zook's wall jump has the advantage of being able to completely ignore momentum, and thus chain wall kicks rapidly for fast upwards movement.

  • Air stall [1]

See below for more info on this and what it's good for.

Things Zook can do with the Legs upgrade:

  • Air dash forward

Surprisingly, this is only as new as Rockman X2.

  • Air dash upward ("High Jump")

And this is only as new as Rockman X3. I tend to use up air dashes a lot immediately from a jump, which basically results in a faster, higher jump. I like to call this move "High Jump".

  • Air slide [1]

And this is even newer. In fact, I only know of a Rockman 5 hack that also allows doing this.

  • Air dash stall [1]

Who needs to actually move around while air dashing, anyway?

  • Air stand [1]

And this is just silly.

[1]: Movement glitch, elaborated below.

Glitches:

  • Air stall

Air stall is a (probably unintended) action done by pressing Down+A in the air. It effectively starts a slide for 1 frame: it moves Zook forward 2 pixels, puts him in dash speed horizontally, and resets Y velocity to 0 (hence "stall"). Combining the two-pixel forward boost with regular moving forward, it's possible to reach faster horizontal speeds than intended by air stalling every other frame, leading to a horizontal movement oscillating between 2px/frame and 4px/frame every frame. Naturally, this is abused everywhere in the run. This also causes Zook to move ahead of the camera, which leads to many more glitches.

  • Screen out-of-bounds

Getting Zook close enough to the edge (or outside) of the camera/screen bounds causes terrain collision and object collision to wrap and mess up completely. In certain cases, this allows Zook to pass through walls, floors and ceilings, or to ignore enemies that would otherwise harm him (although he can instead be hit by enemies on the other side of the screen).

Getting Zook outside the screen also can lead to a few more glitches:

    • Miniboss skip

Anyone who ever played half a stage of this game will know that the minibosses are by far the hardest part of the game, as they have tons of hit points and have damaging and hard to dodge attacks. They are also in every primary stage, except for the Bird stage. Conveniently, this run does not meet a single one of them - this is because the trigger to load the boss, which is normally hit right before entering the miniboss room, can be skipped past by being far enough off the right side of the screen. In combination with the room skip glitch below, the miniboss room itself is also skipped a few times, making it seem as if there isn't a miniboss in the stage at all.

  • Room skip

When entering a 1-screen wide room from the left or right, with the next room entrance the same way, it is possible to skip to the next room right away by moving more than 2 pixels horizontally while entering the room (by using e.g. air stall or a well-timed slide). Due to the requirements of the rooms in order to pull off the glitch, it can't be done in every stage. Most of the time, it can be used to skip the miniboss rooms entirely.

If this is done when entering a long horizontal room, it will not skip the room, but instead a graphical glitch occurs where some graphic columns are offset wrongly, causing graphical glitches throughout the room.

  • Ladder crash

A severe glitch which tends to crash and reset the game, and for that reason, it is unused in this run (although there might be possible uses for it found later). Entering an upwards ladder and reaching the top of the screen, the screen will always scroll upwards no matter where the camera actually is. If it is not where it is expected to be (for instance, using the screen out-of-bound tricks so you're far enough to the right that the screen has not entirely scrolled to the rightmost part of a room yet), the screen won't scroll to the next room, but instead to a glitched room where all kinds of random effects may happen.

Sometimes, nothing happens and Zook is transported to one of the first rooms of the stage. Sometimes, a graphical glitch occurs (usually with interface graphics overtaking the room) but otherwise nothing happens. Sometimes the game simply freezes. Most of the time, though, the game will crash and reset itself. After resetting, the tileset usually will be glitched (turning into either garbage, or sometimes all-black or all-white colors). However, so far, no useful applications are known yet.

  • Charge glitch

If the last weapon fired was a charged shot, it is often possible to get an instant charge, simply by charging the weapon without firing a shot. This can be done in a few different ways, such as starting holding the charge button when in the pause menu, while the screen is scrolling, when using movement that inhibits shooting (such as air stall, slides or walljumps), or just while a previous charged shot is still on screen. This is useful whenever a charged weapon shot is needed quickly.

  • Hitbox glitch

This run uses a different ROM revision than the other run. The ROM I use for this run is mostly normal, except it introduces this glitch. During boss battles, collision detection on enemy attacks is completely messed up and attacks usually just hit random parts of the screen, or in a few instances, hit the entire screen. Because of this, sometimes I need to take damage in bossfights order to be able to hit the bosses fast enough. Other times, I can just phase through all kinds of attacks unharmed.

  • Save glitch

This is another ROM revision-specific bug, but this time, it is the other ROM used that has it. It is not so much a glitch that is executed or triggered, than it is a simple fact that the ROM revision that has this glitch has bugged SRAM that causes it to think the game is completed and all items are collected from the start, as well as some checkpoints are marked, which allows finishing the game in 25 seconds by just going to the final checkpoint of the final stage and defeating the final boss. However, without this bug available in the ROM revision I use, we have to go the long way instead.

Trivia: the ROM with the save glitch has a mostly different soundtrack. This is because that ROM uses the soundtrack from this game's predecessor Zook Z. The ROM used in this run uses the actual game soundtrack.

  • Wall vertical zipping

With certain precise movement, and seemingly only possible in certain locations, it is possible to wedge Zook into a wall in a standing position. In this situation, jumping up causes Zook to zip 16 pixels upwards. At its fastest, this can be done once every 3 frames and allow for fast upwards zipping. It can also be used to go through ceilings when applicable.

  • Downwards ladder entrance

By walking or dashing (not sliding) towards a ladder below the feet of Zook coming from the left side, it is possible to start climbing down 16 pixels to the left of the actual ladder, which can be used to clip movement forward or to go down faster. Similarly, it is also possible to do the same while moving to the left coming from the ladder, but in this case it is only useful as a short 16-pixel horizontal zip.

  • Spike wall glitch

There is one specific glitch with spike walls: they do not touch Zook if Zook is in either of the first two frames of his wall jump. This means that as long as he is autofiring wall jumps, he can go through spike walls unharmed. This is abused in one section during the first run through Plasma's stage. It looks really silly.

  • Spike wall clip

Like how the spike wall can be wall jumped through, it can also be slid through. This allows for an unintended shortcut near the end of the final stage.

  • Final boss movement glitch

For some reason I haven't figured out yet, sometimes the final boss NOT SIGMA has a messed up move pattern which is basically horizontally offset half a screen, causing him to wrap from one side of the screen to the other while moving around. It doesn't have that much impact on the run, though.

  • Final boss second phase skip

When the final boss NOT SIGMA enters its second phase, on the first frame it can be hit, its hitbox and hit pointsare not initialized yet, which means hit points are zero and its hitbox is where the first phase was defeated. Thus, by hitting the boss on that position at the first frame of the second phase, the boss is instantly defeated.

Using this glitch and the charged Ice weapon, it's possible to end input early by just holding out the charged ice over the area where the first phase was defeated, and then ending input.

  • Leg upgrade glitches

The leg upgrade, which enabled the airdash, has a few movement glitches that come with it. Most of these involve cancelling air dashes into other things.

    • Air slide

Cancelling an air dash (either horizontal or vertical) into a slide triggers an air slide. The air slide cannot be cancelled except by hitting a wall or enemy, or waiting until its timer runs out. It's not possible to jump or shoot out of the air slide.

    • Air dash stall

Cancelling an upward airdash into a horizontal airdash triggers a glitched horizontal airdash which, if no horizontal direction is pressed, remains suspended in air in the airdash animation. The only way to exit is is to either air slide, hit a wall or enemy, or move left or right (with air dash motion/speed) until the timer runs out (which only runs while moving left or right). This has no practical application, but is used during some bossfights for fun.

    • Air stand

This is executed by releasing a charged Ice shot in the middle of an upward airdash. This causes Zook to stand in mid-air. Attempting to move causes him to fall down again.

    • Air dash ladder cancel

Cancelling an upward air dash into climbing a ladder causes a glitched ladder climbing state, which acts like normal except it cannot be jumped out of. Most of the time this is just a nuisance and is generally avoided.

Weapons

It should be noted that none of the six Robot Masters Mavericks Robot Mavericks robots have official names (unless they have names in the Chinese text of the prologue that I can't read). In my notes I simply refer to them as Fire, Plasma, Wood, Bird, Drill and Ice. These names should speak for themselves.

Rock Zook Buster

The basic pea shooter weapon. Can fire 3 shots at a time and be charged up (1 level of charging without arm upgrade, 2 levels of charging with). Rapid fire uncharged shots can be useful at times, and charged shots are the most powerful shot if no other weapons are available. The other weapons all do more damage per shot.

Fire

  • Uncharged: Rips off Speed Burner twin fireballs launched forward. Good hitbox, but somewhat slow.
  • Charged: I call this the Chicken Feathers. Fires five fiery feathers flying a fan pattern. Very useful due to being able to hit things at many different angles. The pattern it fires in is slightly different depending if the player faces left (more horizontally inward) or right (more horizontally outward). Used in many stages and most bossfights.

Wood

  • Uncharged: Fires a leaf that flies upward.
  • Charged: Fires a green energy sphere that splits into three leaves that fly forward at a 45-degrees angle. Has a glitch where if shot when sliding down a wall, the leaves fly in the wrong direction. This is useful in a few occasions.

Plasma

  • Uncharged: Fires a fast plasma projectile straight forward. Useful for being the fastest moving uncharged shot in the game.
  • Charged: Fires a bigger and faster plasma projectile straight forward. Similarly useful.

Ice

  • Uncharged: Fires an icicle shot forward. Functionally identical to uncharged Fire. Unused in the run.
  • Charged: Charges a block of ice at Zook's blaster which blocks shots, like the charged Frost Shield in Rockman X3. Can also be shot forward. Used in the final boss battle.

Bird

  • Uncharged: Fires a slow-moving short-range electric projectile which after traveling about a third of the screen, splits into two vertical balls that move upward and downward, similar to Electric Spark from Rockman X. Unused.
  • Charged: Calls thunder down from a few blocks above Zook's head, which splits into two horizontal shots left and right. Unused.

Drill

  • Uncharged: Fires a giant shuriken which moves in a boomerang pattern. Like Quick Boomerang from Rockman 2, except in the reverse direction, and visually resembled the Shadow Blade from Rockman 3. Used in one stage because it is necessary to break certain blocks in that stage.
  • Charged: Fires a large drill straight forward. Like charged Plasma, except with a slightly shorter range.

Stage by stage comments

Fire 1

  • Zook starts off his war against robot-kind (?) by jumping up and moving forward while defying the laws of gravity. Expect to see this happen a lot.
  • Unfortunately the music for this first stage is kinda meh. It gets much better later on.
  • This is actually one of the trickier stages due to all the fast-moving fireballs. Having to dodge them while off-screen and having no idea how the environment and hitboxes are around you makes it even better.

Ice 1

  • The reason I beat Fire first is because Fire can be used to melt certain blocks here, which lead to the Arm upgrade. The Arm upgrade is useful for speeding up bossfights later.
  • Some of the vertical areas require pixel-perfect positioning to optimally fall through. Most notably is the very first vertical room, where pixel-perfect positioning is required to wedge Zook between a set of stairs he could land on if he was 1 pixel closer, and an enemy that would damage him if he was 1 pixel closer.

Drill 1

  • Strangely, this stage uses the miniboss theme for its stage theme. Good thing we don't fight any minibosses (except the final boss), so you won't even notice this until the final boss fight.
  • This stage is really fun. Sliding through pillars of terrain, through walls, etc., abusing fast vertical movement (without even having the vertical air dash yet), pumped miniboss music, and destroying lots of enemies with Chicken Feathers makes for a very fun stage.
  • It should be noted that in this game, bosses do not have weaknesses. All of them take the same damage

Plasma 1

  • I use the Drill weapon here to break another kind of block here to get the Legs upgrade. The Drill consumes a lot of ammo per slot, so I have to do a lot of manipulation to be able to keep firing.
  • This stage also has the fun element of sliding under enemies through the floor.

Wood

  • An easy and straightforward stage. The spikes don't even instant kill; they only do 2 damage. The miniboss can be a pain, but who cares about minibosses in this run?
  • With the newly obtained Legs upgrade, this stage also introduces a few new tricks such as air sliding and High Jumps.
  • This is the first stage where I enter the first boss door in a legitimate way.

Bird

  • While the last stage demonstrated the use of upward air dashing/High Jumps, this stage has quite a few vertical sections where these abilities can be exploited to the fullest.
  • Oddly, this stage has no miniboss. You'd hardly notice.
  • Shoutouts to adelikat for releasing BizHawk v1.6.1 like a day ago which fixes a music bug in this stage. All for the better watch. (Or listen, in this case.)

Plasma 2

  • The later parts of this stage require some fancy maneuvres to get past as fast as possible. If shots block your way and you can't go under them, why not instead wedge yourself right below the ceiling and air slide over them?

Drill 2

  • You're supposed to use the Plasma weapon here (which Zook conveniently just obtained) in order to reach the Body upgrade. But who cares about that when Zook can also just avoid that obstacle and go through walls and ceilings instead?

Ice 2

  • I use an exploit of the charged Wood weapon here in order to hit enemies directly below Zook as fast as possible.
  • Like Plasma 1, I have to manage my ammo here. Not only does Wood use a lot of ammo per shot, I also need a nearly full ammo stock for the bossfight.
  • I have to take damage near the end because narrow corridors and lots of falling icicles do not mix well. Taking damage just ended up being faster as well as more convenient.

Fire 2

  • Interesting application of the room skip glitch means Zook is sent straight towards the Head upgrade without even the choice of taking a side path. Confusing, innit?

Final 1

  • Like any decent game with Rockman in its name, the game has to have a boss rush. All six robots Zook blew up to pieces earlier on are fought here again. Due to frame rules, sometimes it doesn't cost time to select a different weapon, so sometimes it's more effective to use a faster shooting weapon such as Plasma instead of Fire.

Final 2

  • The last stage seems easy enough, but it likes to add a lot of lag just to make it extra annoying.
  • Using unintended routes involving phasing through solid walls with spikes is still fun though.
  • The final boss NOT SIGMA is beaten mostly the same way as the 25-second run, except faster with the discovery of the air stand glitch. By using this, I can defeat the final boss NOT SIGMA at the top of the screen and still end input early.

Other comments

Screenshot suggestions:

Thanks to:

  • adelikat for releasing BizHawk 1.6.1 like a day ago or so, which fixes a music bug in Bird's stage
  • AngerFist, Derakon and got4n for being basically the only people to comment on the run in the thread
  • Ilari for testing this run on lsnes at some point in the future, and probably also encoding it
  • Nach as always (even though he hasn't done anything in relation to this run)
  • natt for being natt
  • PikachuMan for entirely legitimate reasons
  • Rolanmen1 because this text doesn't feel complete without a shout-out to Rolanmen1
  • scrimpy for entirely illegitimate reasons
  • Spikestuff for absolutely nothing
  • TASVideoAgent


feos: This ROM version was reported to have the difference from the one in the Good set that it doesn't have all the enemy stages already cleared and the final boss accessible. So it must be considered the correct one, on which this submission was made. Hashes:
  • CRC32: 46C5B31D
  • MD5: 417C09180A10C47DC212B44A60F06B4C
  • SHA-1: 70E5C1DAE3BF0AEE8DC901ABA9E66751F2C1FC01

Accepting for Moons.


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