TASVideos

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

Submission #4532: Malleoz's GC Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door in 4:15:48.23

Console: Nintendo GameCube
Game name: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Paper Mario RPG.iso
Branch:
Emulator: Dolphin 4.0.2
Movie length: 4:15:48.23
FrameCount: 920894
Re-record count: 51696
Author's real name: Sean Owens
Author's nickname: Malleoz
Submitter: Malleoz
Submitted at: 2014-12-30 17:21:26
Text last edited at: 2015-02-13 21:59:16
Text last edited by: Anty-Lemon
Download: Download (58514 bytes)
Status: published
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ALERTS POSSIBLY COMPROMISING MOVIE INTEGRITY:

Older version of DTM detected: Run time may be incorrect

Author's comments and explanations:
This is an improvement of 36:42.483, or 132149 frames. The time mostly comes from new glitches, a slightly different item and leveling route, and significant improvements in optimization.

If there’s any confusion because of the version difference, this will obsolete the English version TAS that is published already.

Overlay Encode:


(Link to video)

No Overlay:


(Link to video)

Subtitles: https://www. mediafire.com/?pcouvgn2thr56so

(Allows for a 2 second intro already)

To sync the run:

Objectives:

  • Aims for fastest time
  • Manipulates luck
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses programming errors in the game
  • Genre: RPG

I use the Japanese ISO with the MD5 checksum: 6ac3e517074b515948c4e0f28f01d9ef.

It also syncs on the MD5: bec52fb8c1912bc6f801b6281422

Game Overview

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is an RPG made by Nintendo and is the second game in the Paper Mario series following Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64. It incorporates a world made of paper and turn-based battles, much like its predecessor. In it, Peach asks Mario to help find a treasure hidden in Rogueport. When he arrives, she is missing as usual, and he must collect 7 Crystal Stars to save her and open the Thousand-Year Door to collect the treasure.

Game Addresses

Note: Addresses are different in the Japanese version than the English version.

Name Offset
X Coordinate 0x00AFF6EC
Y Coordinate 0x00AFF6F0
Z Coordinate 0x00AFF6F4
Base Speed 0x00AFF7E0
X, Z Speed 0x00AFF7EC
Mario's Angle 0x00AFF800

Chapter Summaries

This serves as a guide for people who don't know this game very well and want to understand what’s going on (or at least what's supposed to go on).

Prologue:

Mario arrives at the town of Rogueport, where he discovers that surprisingly (not) Peach has gone missing again. Mario rescues and meets Goombella, an aspiring archaeologist. They talk with her Professor, Frankly, and begin to understand the power of the map Mario was given. The map can reveal Crystal Stars that will unlock the Thousand-Year Door. Beyond that door, evil may plunge the world into eternal darkness. Mario encounters a strange chest which curses him forever with the ability to transform into a paper airplane. Scary, I know! To rescue Peach and the world, Mario heads out to Petalburg to get the first Crystal Star.

Chapter 1:

Upon entering Petal Meadows, Mario and Goombella see a dragon fly over to a Castle. He enters Petalburg, a town beyond the meadows, and learns about Hooktail the Dragon and the Crystal Star locked away in his lair. He travels to the sewers to obtain two stones that will unlock the pipe to Hooktail Castle. On his way to reveal the pipe, Mario meets Koops, a Petalburg resident whose father was lost after going to the castle. Mario gladly accepts Koops’ offer to join, and together they set out towards the castle. After fighting his way through several rooms, Mario encounters a chest that’s similar to the one that gave him the airplane curse. This time, Mario is cursed with the ability to turn into a thin slice of paper, allowing him to slip through narrow spots. Mario, with the help of Koops and Goombella, journeys to the top of Hooktail Castle. At the top, Mario is frightened when he finds Hooktail in his lair, but nonetheless he challenges Hooktail to a fight. With ease, Mario takes down this creature. Upon defeat, Hooktail expels Koops’ father from his belly, reuniting the two family members once more. Afterwards, he spits up the Diamond Star, which both Koops and his dad agree should be given to Mario for his efforts to save the world.

Chapter 2:

When Mario goes back into the sewers, he encounters a strange creature known as a Puni. His name is Punio. He explains that his home, the Great Tree, is under attack, and he leads Mario into Boggly Woods to the Great Tree. On their way there, they encounter 3 strange, purple creatures who take no notice of Mario, who they are searching for. When they get to the tree, they find out that a weird door was put in the front and locked. After some careful thinking, Punio decides it is best to go find Madame Flurrie, a wind spirit, to help them find the secret entrance. Flurrie, selfishly prioritizing things, refuses to help them until she gets her necklace back. Punio recalls that the weird creatures they saw earlier had it. Upon contact, the 3 creatures, the Shadow Sirens, challenge Mario to a battle. Mario, after defeating them, returns the necklace to Flurrie. Back at the Great Tree, Flurrie helps reveal a small entrance for Punio to go through, which allows him to unlock the main door for Mario and Flurrie. Once inside, a pair of X-Nauts confronts Mario. Mario meets a few Punies who did not get trapped by the X-Nauts. Mario goes up the tree to release their leader, the Puni Elder. The Elder gives Mario a sun tablet and lets the Punies join Mario. With their help, Mario is able to find the key to unlock the rest of the Punies. With the power of 101 Punies, Mario defeats the Jabbi tribe and reaches the Crystal Star, only for it to be taken by Lord Crump himself. After racing against the time bomb Crump started, Mario reaches the front of the tree where he battles Crump. Crump transforms into Magnus Von Grapple, but he is no match for Mario. He goes down, and Mario claims the Crystal Star.

Chapter 3:

Mario, after persuading Don Pianta to give him the Blimp ticket, makes his way to the Glitz Pit. When he arrives and goes to the arena room, he sees Rawk Hawk with the Champ's belt, a Crystal Star. Mario talks to Grubba, who arranges the fights, and signs up to become a fighter. While battling his way to the top, he gets anonymous emails telling him to go to certain places in Glitzville, including getting the Super Hammer. With it, Mario finds competitors hidden under a block, and he suspects Jolene for doing this to them. When Mario reaches rank 2, he has to fight Rawk Hawk, but he must first escape a room he has been locked in. He takes down Rawk Hawk with a few blows and becomes the victor. Mario enters the champ room and hears a voice through the air vent, so he breaks it open and comes out into Grubba's office. He finds out that Grubba was using the Crystal Star for his own selfish reasons. Grubba runs off and Mario chases after him. In the arena, Mario takes down Grubba and finally claims the Crystal Star. Now, disregard everything that was just said because barely any of this happens in the run.

Chapter 4

When Mario enters Twilight Town, he is surprised to see that some residents are being turned into pigs. The source: a creature lurking in the Creepy Steeple beyond the town. Mario tracks down this perpetrator and fights him. Doopliss, the creature at the Steeple, clones Mario to match his attacks, yet he is no match for Mario. Once the battle ends, Mario gets the Crystal Star right away, but soon after it is realized that Doopliss stole Mario's appearance, leaving Mario as a lonely silhouette. Mario now heads back to Twilight Town where he meets Vivian. She (well, it's actually a he in the Japanese version) joins Mario in an attempt to help the townspeople because her sisters don't treat her right. With Vivian's help, Mario is able to find the missing letter to spell Doopliss's name, and when Mario encounters Doopliss, he says his name. Mario then chases him to the Steeple and fights with him once more. This time, Doopliss goes down and Mario finally claims the Crystal Star.

Chapter 5:

The Crystal Map shows that Mario must head to an island, but the only way to get there is by boat. After Mario talks to Bobbery and persuades him to go, he sets sail with Flavio and crew towards the island. Upon arrival, they are attacked by sets of Embers. Mario must save Bobbery and then give him a Cola. Bobbery then joins the party. Mario then heads to Pirate's Grotto where he encounters another curse chest. This time, Mario gains the ability to turn into a boat and travel on water. With this ability, he finds Cortez, a boss who had the Crystal Star in his room. Mario takes down Cortez and gains his 5th Crystal Star. At least that's what's supposed to happen.

Chapter 6:

Mario must get a train ticket to enter the train, which will eventually take him to Poshley Heights. Mario becomes the detective upon the train because he must find a series of clues to find the culprits who stole various things. Once the culprits are found, Mario arrives at Riverside Station because some figure lifted the bridge there. Mario must go inside to lower the bridge, finding the Ultra Boots in the meantime. Once Mario gets back on the train, it's taken over by a bunch of strange creatures. Mario goes to the top of the train and fights Smorg, a large monster made out of all these creatures. Once Smorg has fallen and the train reaches Poshley Heights, Mario goes to the Poshley Sanctum where he finds the two remaining Shadow Sirens and Doopliss stealing the Crystal Star. As it turns out, that was a fake. Mario discovers a secret room in the background where he finds the real Crystal Star.

Chapter 7:

Mario talks to Frankly after going to the Thousand-Year Door, and he must wait a few minutes for Frankly to think how to reach the moon, the location for the final Crystal Star. He tells Mario to go to Fahr Outpost and try to use the cannon. In order to use it, though, Mario must search for General White and Goldbub. After traveling to various areas and talking to Goldbub at Poshley Heights, Mario can return to Fahr Outpost and reach the moon. Mario uncovers the X-Naut base and infiltrates it. He then has to pass through a few rooms to get elevator cards and card keys to go lower in the base and reach Lord Crump once more, now in the form of Magnus Von Grapple 2.0. Once he is defeated, Mario grabs the last Crystal Star and heads towards the Thousand-Year Door for the last time.

Chapter 8:

With the 7 Crystal Stars, Mario opens the Thousand-Year Door and ventures into the swirling purple vortex. Mario must make it past a series of rooms with enemies and spikes. Once he makes it out, he finds Gloomtail, who guards the key to the Riddle Tower. Once Mario makes it back out, he goes to Riddle Tower where he must solve several secrets to unlock a secret passage beneath the hallway by Gloomtail. Mario must then make it past another set of rooms to reach Grodus who has captured Peach. Bowser makes a surprise appearance afterwards and tries to take down Mario, failing miserably. In that time, Grodus takes Peach down a secret hallway where she becomes the Shadow Queen, a mix between Peach and an ancient spirit locked away for centuries. Mario has trouble at first, but after receiving support from the people he met along the way, Mario gains the power to take down this creature and save Peach once again.

Japanese vs. English

You’re probably wondering why I’ve decided to switch languages in this game. There are several good things and several bad things about switching versions besides not understanding what everyone is saying.

The Good:

Ultra Hammer Early - Explained down below, a Flurrie superslide works differently in the Japanese version of the game. In the English game, you can move left and right, while in the Japanese version you can move down, which can be utilized to get to the Ultra Hammer chest early.

Retaining Peril Status - In the English game, Mario replenishes his health after every Chapter, while he does not in the Japanese game. This saves time because I can stay in Peril for Mega Rush’s effect after chapters instead of having to waste time in extra battles taking damage.

Faster Text Boxes - Japanese characters condense the dialogue in the game a bit, so more text can fit onto one text box, lowering the amount of text boxes needed to be displayed. This makes certain cutscenes with text boxes shorter, about a 2 minute overall improvement.

The Bad:

Cannot Skip Battle Message- When entering mandatory battles, you cannot skip the message that tells you that you can’t run from the battle. This costs 48 frames each battle in comparison to the English version which allowed you to skip it by pressing A.

Cannot Skip Koops - In the English version, Koops can be skipped because a Flurrie superslide can skip a room key in Chapter 4. This would save upwards of 3 minutes maybe, but this does not work at all in the Japanese game.

Paper Mode Movement - I can’t do a small speed swap with paper mode that I was able to do in English, and I have to move 1 frame after jumping to turn into paper mode. Otherwise, I stay still when transforming which costs time.

Longer Blimp Cutscene - After returning from Glitzville to Rogueport, it takes 7.4 extra seconds for the blimp to land in Rogueport. For this TAS, I encounter this problem 3 times, so I basically lose 22 seconds or so over English.

Excess Express Superslide - In the English version, there is an undocumented Flurrie Superslide I found that allows you to go out of bounds and respawn at the opposite end of the cart Mario is in to skip traveling to the other side. This doesn't work in the Japanese version.

Superguard - Certain attacks cannot be superguarded, such as Smorg's slap attack. Also, all of the Shadow Queen's attacks cannot be superguarded while all of them could in English. This affects the route a bit even though it doesn't appear so. (I just had to do some RNG manipulation to avoid taking damage to Mario.)

The Neutral:

Menu Music - There is a slight difference in the music on the main menu.

TEC Eye - During the Peach intermission, TEC’s eye is red instead of blue.

Power Rush - The Power Rush badge has a ‘P’ instead of a ‘D’ on its icon.

Peeka - The westside goods shopkeeper, Peeka, has bunny ears instead of cat ears.

Vivian - Confirmed boy.

Vivian Cutscene Pause - In the cutscene with Vivian, you can actually pause during it, which leads to a softlock.

Bobbery Paper Run - After Bobbery explodes, Mario can start running at full speed while in Paper Mode.

Overall, it is best to use Japanese since the good outweighs the bad.

Major Tricks Used in This Run

Throughout the entire game, the utilization of various glitches allows for significant time savings. The below tricks are listed in the order that they occur in the run.

Speed Swap:

The game is programmed to make Mario walk faster when moving up and down. There is a one frame delay for the game to reset Mario's speed if he changes direction. So, by moving up or down for one frame and then jumping, I can freeze Mario's up and down speed. I can maintain this speed by jumping the first frame Mario touches the ground. Mario's X speed is 2.25 while his Z speed is 2.6775. This saves 1 frame every 8 frames.

Jumpless Speed Swap:

By moving up or down for 2 frames, the character's speed freezes up for 14 frames afterwards. This can be used with either Mario (when a section is too short a distance to jump), Peach or Bowser. Both of these secondary characters have an axis speed of 2, but speed swap uses their Z axis speed of 2.38 for a good time save.

Goombella Buffer:

By using Goombella's location information ability, waiting 3 frames, then moving, Mario disregards all loading zones, allowing him to go out of bounds. I am then able to walk around the loading zone walls and skip certain required tasks. This cannot always work in other places, however, because some loading zones are surrounded by invisible walls, which has crushed the hopes for many other theoretical skips.

Sequence Reload:

Some cutscenes revert the game back (or forward) to a certain point. In Chapter 2, the Goombella buffer skips the spin jump cutscene, so it can be used later during the escape.

Ultra Hammer Early / Flurrie Superslide:

By activating Flurrie's ability, waiting 3 frames, then opening a door, Mario will slide with Flurrie upon entering a building. This trick is referred to as the Flurrie superslide. In the English version, Mario moves left and right. In the Japanese version, Mario can only move down. After getting in the seam of Rogueport’s inn, Mario can slowly move down and then right in front of the building and reach the Ultra Hammer chest. This saves time because it skips the majority of Chapter 3, Ms. Mowz, and fish glitches.

Bookcase Jump:

In Grubba’s Office, it is possible to jump onto the bookcase on the far left. When on top, you can go left into the air vent, which triggers a cutscene at the very end of the Chapter, allowing you to warp right to the Macho Grubba fight. This trick is done in RTA with the use of a Spin Jump, which will freeze Mario’s position in the air to make the trick easier, but I managed to find a consistent way to make the jump without losing time from the spin jump.

Chapter 5/6 Warp Pipes Early:

Because Mario now has the Ultra Hammer early, he can break the block and activate the blue switches right after Chapter 4, as opposed to having to get Ms. Mowz and fish glitch there. This allows for Mario to leave Chapter 5 early and finish most of Chapter 6. This warps the game to a Chapter 6 state, unlocking the Grotto and letting Mario go right to the boat ability chest. Mario can then leave and grab the Crystal Star in the Poshley Sanctum.

Mega Rush from Hammer Bros:

Not as many people are familiar with the fact that enemies can drop badges from battles. After Chapter 6, you must wait 3 minutes before talking to Frankly to go to the moon. Originally the route was to go to the Pianta Parlor and gamble for 6 Power Rushes and go to Chet Rippo (he will decrease your health for instant Danger) to setup Danger Mario. This eats up a lot of time and takes much longer than 3 minutes. With the help of a friend, it was realized that it would save time to instead get 3 badges, Mega Rushes, to increase Mario’s amount of damage more than the Power Rushes, while doing it in less time. (3 Mega Rushes is +15 damage, 6 Power Rushes is +12 but I skipped a badge from Chapter 4, so it is a +2 damage increase from the last run.) In order to do so, I must encounter Hammer Bros, who are the only enemy close by that can drop Mega Rush. The goal of this part is to have Mega Rush appear in battle, a 1% chance, three times. Once it appears in battle, there is an easy-to-manipulate 1/5 drop rate of the badge. If the badge does not show up in battle, its drop rate falls to .6%, and only Hammer Throw or Mega Rush can be set to drop when you enter the room with the enemy. By this I mean that the badge that can be potentially dropped is set in the previous room, making manipulation very confusing, long, and tedious. It is instead much easier and potentially faster to have the badge first appear in battle because it is more common and not as many frames must be waged. I must provide some information in order to understand how the RNG manipulation worked here. As a side note, the second enemy in the Hammer Bros. fight is determined in the previous room. Likewise, whether or not the badge appears in battle is set in that same room prior to the fight. By advancing RNG through opening the menu, I can allow for a sufficient RNG value to give me Mega Rush quickly. Once this value is set, I can change RNG before attacking the enemy in battle. Frames wasted in different spots around the "Jump," "Hammer," and other boxes will cause RNG to advance at different rates, so the badge can be manipulated easily to drop. This is repeated 3 times in just over the 3 minutes required to wait before talking to Frankly. It immediately saves around 75 seconds, but will lose a bit of time later on because I must now maintain peril status for the rest of the game.

Minor Timesavers Used in This Run

This list does not have as great a significance as the tricks listed above, but nonetheless, they help save a lot of time overall.

Wall Push:

With both Mario and Yoshi, it’s fastest to push against walls at a certain angle, depending on how close you are to a wall and how long you can push for. A good example for Mario is at the docks when Mario walks up. While he is jumping, I’m actually pushing slightly to the right.

Platform Skip:

Post-Goomba Trio battle, hopping from the stairs to the platform is a few seconds faster than going all the way to the right and waiting for the platform. This actually saves more time in the English version of the game because in the Japanese version, I have to wait a small period of time for the platform to come close enough to jump on it, whereas on the English version, the platform is at a better position when I reach the stairs.

Plane Panel Timesaver:

This small trick can save a couple of frames each time. If Mario activates his plane ability as far up or down on the plane pad as possible, the game doesn't register Mario as being on top of the pad, so Mario can gain speed and decline earlier. Depending on the angle at which this occurs, it may or may not save time.

RNG Manipulation:

This game is heavily reliant on RNG, or the Random Number Generator. This is basically the system of luck within the game that causes certain things to occur, such as enemy positions, power bounce caps, etc. RNG can be changed depending on how many times Mario jumps, how many characters of text are displayed, and what direction Mario moves in over time. Within battles, RNG can determine what environmental damage occurs. The following are major examples of RNG manipulation used throughout the run.

  • Blooper Battle - RNG can be manipulated by wasting frames on Blooper’s and Goombella’s text boxes, and also when Mario is choosing his attack. With correct RNG, a bucket can fall on Blooper, eliminating the need for a charged Power Smash and instead only requiring a non-charged Power Smash to save 30 frames.

  • Gold Fuzzy Battle - Prior to the initial fight, the audience members in the Moon and Sun Stone battles can be manipulated to give Mario items. This is a very rare occurrence. I can manipulate an Earthquake from the audience which I can use in the Gold Fuzzy Battle. Once in battle, I use manipulate a bucket to fall on the Gold Fuzzy to eliminate the need for a partner attack. Next, I use earthquake, and as a result, the background falls to deal additional damage, killing the Gold Fuzzy.

  • Mega Rush Strats - I can manipulate Mega Rushes from Hammer Bros, as explained above.

Blue P-Switch without Koops:

After jumping on the P-Switch outside Hooktail Castle, I can pause, drop down during the un-pause, cancel the bouncing animation from hitting the switch, and walk to the other switch in time. This is also used inside the Castle to reach two different blocks that rise after hitting a switch.

Red Bones Timesaver:

There is a frame of delay between when you trigger Red Bones and when the cutscene actually starts, so you can jump after you activate the cutscene. This somehow stores Mario's position, so as soon as the cutscene ends, Mario enters the battle, canceling the need to hammer the Dull Bones.

Koops Shell Jump:

If Koops is used far away enough from the object Mario is trying to get, yet Koops can grab the object, Mario has up to a 3 frame range to move or, in the best case, jump to cover more distance.

Cutscene Walk:

By holding Koops out, switching into paper mode, walking while in paper mode, and letting Koops hit the switch, Mario can zoom right through cutscenes.

Pause Buffer:

By pausing the earliest frame possible, it's possible to avoid entering a battle. This can actually let Mario go through enemies, but it's not useful anywhere but Hooktail Castle.

Cutscene Jump:

Right before certain cutscenes, Mario can sometimes jump. This allows for movement towards a certain position to save time.

Puni Glitch:

The Punies are quite annoying, and the tasks required to transport them across rooms can take a while (speed swapping by itself can make Mario lose the Punis because he gets so far ahead). The Puni count, tracked in the bottom-left corner, will stay at its max as long as Mario moves towards the Punies and not away when on the ground. When in the air, the game doesn't keep track if Mario is moving away from the Punies. By slightly moving towards them before jumping, the count stays full.

Champ Room Reserve:

It is approximately 4 seconds faster to reserve the first match in the Champ’s room to avoid the long walk to the Minor League room, even though Mario must bookcase jump a second time.

Chapter 7 Block Early:

Because the room to Chapter 4 is right by the block blocking the way to Fahr Outpost, it is faster to break the block and then go to the Chapter 4 pipe room. This way, when I have to enter Chapter 7, I can stay on Yoshi much longer instead of having to hop off.

Yoshi Hop during a Loading Zone:

Hopping off of Yoshi on the last frame possible before a cutscene loads causes the loading zone to start while Mario hops off, saving up to 30 frames compared to hopping off of Yoshi later. This is used in Chapters 4 and 5.

Bobbery House Clip:

You can use Yoshi to clip through the roof on Bobbery’s house to skip rolling in through the chimney, saving around 5 seconds.

Alternate Speed Glitch

Interestingly, if you press A first frame possible after leaving a battle that does not lead into a cutscene, Mario will do a very small jump, followed by a permanent speed of 2.989 until Mario jumps. Also, Mario cannot use his partner while this glitch is in effect. It’s used in between Goomba battles at the Riverside Station and Hammer Bros battles in the sewers for Mega Rush.

Bill Skip:

In Chapter 5, I can hover around the Bullet Bills at the entrance of the Grotto if I go down on the bridge enough. Before the boat curse room, I can transform into paper mode to slide past the Bills. I can use this same strategy for Chapter 8, except I can do it in the middle.

Differences in the Route

This improvement introduces a brand new route in comparison to the old TAS.

Peril Status

Throughout this run, I constantly rely on maintaining Peril status, or having one health, which allows Mega Rush to do its thing and boost Mario’s attack power. As mentioned above, the Japanese game retains Mario’s health in-between chapters, so I can get into Peril before I need to and keep it for a while. The quickest way to get into Peril, in preparation for the Macho Grubba battle, is during the Magnus von Grapple boss battle at the end of Chapter 2. This causes different strats during the Magnus fight in comparison to the published run because I have to let another turn happen for Magnus to attack me. Another notable difference is in Chapter 4 on the way to Creepy Steeple. Originally, I had to encounter the Hyper Goombas to quickly get into peril for Doopliss, but because Peril status is maintained, I can skip this to save 20 seconds. One final difference is that I decrease my health to 5 in the previous run to get Mario to Danger right away so Power Rush takes effect. But, it’s about a minute faster to manipulate Mega Rush drops in the sewers. More info on that below.

Items and Leveling

The items compared to the last run are the same until Chapter 2 where things change quite a bit. Essentially, I have to level before the Magnus von Grapple battle, otherwise I will lose my Peril status from leveling up. Because of this, I have to Gale Force 3 times to substitute for 3 Fright Masks that would cause me to level after Magnus. This wastes time, but it saves time overall. Because of the item substitution, I have more Fright Masks after Chapter 2. These can be used to quickly finish the Chapter 3 battles, saving a lot of time.

The Route

This is a detailed guide to show what happens in the run and what items are used. (Parenthesis on the right side show what items I have at that point.) For a more detailed explanation, see the below Chapter-by-Chapter explanation.

FM = Fright Mask

FF = Fire Flower

EQ = Earthquake

M = Mystery

TR = Thunder Rage

TB = Thunder Bolt

Prologue

  • Fight Lord Crump
  • Break the Contact Lens
  • Buy 9 Fright Masks (9 FM)
  • Fright Mask on Goomba Trio Fight (8 FM)
  • Get Fire Flower in Sewers (8FM)(1FF)
  • Go to the Thousand-Year Door
  • Get Power Smash (8FM)
  • Fight Blooper (8FM)

Chapter 1

  • Go to Shhwonk Fortress
  • Shhwonk Fortress Skips
  • Get Fire Flower from block (8FM)(1FF)
  • Fire Flower on Fuzzy Fight (8FM)
  • Get Earthquake (8FM)(1EQ)
  • Fright Mask on Fuzzy Fight (7FM)(1EQ)
  • Gold Fuzzy Battle (7 FM)
  • Get Multibounce
  • Get Fire Flower (7FM)(1FF)
  • Get Mystery (7FM)(1FF)(1M)
  • Enter Hooktail Castle
  • Get Power Bounce
  • Fight Red Bones (7FM)(1M)
  • Level up: FP to 10
  • Get Attack FX R
  • Unequip Power Smash
  • Equip Attack FX R and Power Bounce
  • Fight Hooktail

Chapter 2

  • Get P-Down D-Up P by airplane panel
  • Shadow Siren Battle (7FM)
  • Get Flurrie
  • Go to the Great Tree
  • Gale Force the X-Nauts in the beginning of the Great Tree
  • Hit the restore block for more FP
  • Fright Mask the X-Naut in the Red Key room (6FM)
  • Get Thunder Rage (6FM)(1TR)
  • Get Power Punch (6FM)(1TR)(1PP)
  • Goombella Buffer after 100 Jabbi fight
  • Crystal Star room
  • Gale Force on X-Nauts during escape
  • Get Super Boots
  • Re-enter Crystal Star room
  • Gale Force on X-Nauts during escape
  • Level up BP to 6
  • Fight Magnus von Grapple (6FM)(1TR)
  • Sell Attack FX R and P-Down D-Up P
  • Buy Power Rush on Sale
  • Ultra Hammer Early
  • Buy Contact Lens and Fire Flower (6FM)(1TR)(1FF)
  • Enter West Rogueport
  • Buy Dried Shroom, Dizzy Dial (6FM)(1TR)(1FF)(1DS)(1DD)
  • Any answer, then third answer
  • Talk to Don Pianta
  • Store Dizzy Dial and Dried Shroom (6FM)(1TR)(1FF)
  • Buy Mega Rush from Charlieton
  • Equip Power Rush and Mega Rush
  • Go to docks
  • Buy 2 Thunder Bolts (6FM)(1TR)(1FF)(2TB)
  • Get Blimp ticket
  • Fly to Glitzville

Chapter 3

  • Reject signing up to be a fighter
  • Enter air vent in Grubba's office without Spin Jump
  • Fight Macho Grubba
  • Finish Chapter 3
  • Go back on the Blimp
  • Talk to Jolene in Grubba's office
  • Go into vent without Spin Jump
  • Reserve match in Champ room
  • Battle your way up the ladder
  • 19 - Goomba Fight (5FM)(1TR)(1FF)(2TB)
  • 18 - Koopa Fight (4FM)(1TR](1FF)(2TB)
  • Yoshi Egg Appears
  • 17 - Pokeys (3FM)(1TR)(1FF)(2TB)
  • 16 - Dull Bones
  • 15 - Lakitu and Spinys (2FM)(1TR)(1FF)(2TB)
  • 14 - Mind Bogglers (1FM)(1TR](1FF)(2TB)
  • 13 - Punk Rocks (1TR)(1FF)(2TB)
  • 12 - Bob-omb Squad (1FF)(2TB)
  • Level Up FP to 15
  • 11 - Bandits (2TB)
  • 10 - Armored Harriers
  • Rank 10 - Yoshi egg will hatch
  • Leave Chapter 3
  • Break Chapter 7 block
  • Rejected by Chapter 4 Pipe
  • Go to the Thousand-Year Door

Chapter 4

  • Enter the pipe
  • Go fight Doopliss
  • Get Vivian
  • Doopliss Fight
  • Open Chapter 5 warp pipe
  • Open Chapter 6 warp pipe
  • Thousand-Year Door
  • Talk to Flavio in Bar
  • Talk to Flavio at Docks
  • Talk to Frankly
  • Talk to Bobbery
  • Talk to Podley and get letter
  • Show Bobbery the letter (he joins your party)

Chapter 5

  • Sail to Keelhaul Key
  • Gale Force Embers
  • Get Thunder Rage (2TB)(1TR)
  • Gale Force Embers
  • Level Up BP to 9
  • Get Coconut
  • Go to Flavio
  • Get the Cola for Bobbery
  • Get Bobbery as a partner
  • Go through the blue pipe, and enter the Ch. 6 pipe

Mid-Chapter 6

  • Get on the train at Poshley Heights
  • Tell the conductor about the "sticky, yummy threat"
  • Solve the mystery
  • Multibounce Goombas x 3
  • Get the Ultra Boots at Riverside Station
  • Fight Smorg (2 TB)
  • Go through the blue pipe and back to Keelhaul Key
  • Get Boat curse from Pirate's Grotto
  • Back through the pipe, get the Garnet Star (Ch. 6)
  • Go to the Thousand-Year Door
  • Manipulate 3 Mega Rushes from Hammer Bros.
  • Level Up FP
  • Talk to Frankly

Chapter 7

  • Look for General White and Goldbub
  • Go to the Moon
  • X-Naut Elite Fight
  • Fight Magnus 2.0
  • Go back and enter the Thousand-Year Door

Chapter 8

  • Dark Bones
  • Fight Gloomtail
  • Riddle Tower
  • Fight Grodus, Bowser, and the Shadow Queen (1 TB)
  • Win

Chapter Comparisons

Below is a chart comparing the first frame that Mario enters the next chapter’s pipe, finishing the listed chapter (or when the last text box disappears before Chapter 5, or the last frame before Mario enters the Thousand-Year Door in Chapter 8). Included is a conversion into hours, minutes, and seconds and the amount of improvement.

Chapter Old Frame Old Time New Frame New Time Frames Overall Time Overall
Prologue 48338 13:25.633 47121 13:05.350 -1217 -20.283
Chapter 1 158007 43:53.450 152061 42:14.430 -5946 -1:39.100
Chapter 2 307799 1:25:29.983 300884 1:23:34.733 -6915 -1:55.317
Chapter 3 510063 2:21:41.050 411592 1:54:19.867 -98471 -27:21.183
Chapter 4 648452 3:00:07.533 524571 2:25:42.850 -123567 -34:24.683
Chapter 6 825756 3:49:22.600 693906 3:12:45.100 -131850 -36:37.533
Chapter 7 926203 4:17:16.717 792145 3:40:02.417 -134058 -37:14.300
Chapter 8 1053043 4:52:30.720 920894 4:15:48.233 -132149 -36:42.483

For a thorough list of time improvements, please see: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jsj2ozxJFaZ04Z_9m6QzR25SJcBH4KeoMUM81NDhacE

Chapter-By-Chapter Breakdown

Below I describe what happens in each chapter to explain certain strats and clear up any confusion.

Prologue

This applies to the game entirely in saying that fewer text boxes saves a lot of time overall. Also, the first message that pops up when entering mandatory battles cannot be skipped in the Japanese game, wasting a bit of time overall. Mario has to break Zess T.’s contact lens at some point in order to gain access later to West Rogueport, and it is quickest to do that now. Zess T.’s spawn position can be manipulated so she stops walking as close to Mario as possible to save time. Jumping before leaving Central Rogueport allows Mario to cover more distance when he would normally be stuck farther left. After the Goomba Trio battle, Mario can jump from the staircase to the top of the platform to avoid going all the way to the right. In the following room, I didn’t have to jump by the ‘?’ block because RNG caused the Fire Flower to go left automatically. Using the plane panel timesaver mentioned above, I saved 20 frames. A bucket falls on Blooper to eliminate the need for a charged Power Smash, saving about half a second. Afterwards, it’s possible to jump from the last platform to the Chapter 1 pipe before the platform moves over, allowing me to save a lot of time.

Chapter 1

Once again, I jump before the cutscene to cover more distance. I skip both POW blocks by the Shhwonk Fortresses because of a trick that allows me to skip both battles. Using a Goombella buffer, I can bypass the left loading zone and walk along the perimeter of the room and trigger the loading zone to the right. Before and during the Sun Stone battle in the sewers, I manipulate RNG to get an Earthquake from the audience. This can be used during the Gold Fuzzy battle to skip an entire round of the battle. While getting the Fire Flower for the Red Bones battle in the bridge room, I also get the Mystery item. Normally I would get this later, but I am closer to the bush at this point. Mystery is used in Chapter 2, so I’ll bring that up later. Before the Red Bones battle, I use a timesaver that allows me to enter the Red Bones battle immediately after the cutscene. While doing so, I jump to the left to save additional time because Mario moves closer to a fixed position after the cutscene. I take the purple block up to the next room where I can do a Goombella buffer, walk out of bounds, and skip opening the previous door by falling back into the room. In between using Koops to get the key and actually getting the key, I can jump to the left to cover more distance when I normally wouldn’t be able to. In the window room, I can walk in paper mode before activating the blue switch in order to walk during the cutscene, allowing me to cover a large amount of distance. I’m not sure why, but Koops becomes Buzz Aldrin and decides to do a moonjump before leaving the room. I can pause every other frame to avoid the Dull Bones hitbox and skip the battle. The plane panel room is actually longer in the Japanese version, so it is a bit slower.

Chapter 2

I can do a cutscene walk similar to the window room in Chapter 1. This time though I can enter the pipe during the cutscene, allowing me to access the plane pipe a bit earlier. I have to get stuck behind the wall for a little bit because entering the pipe too early will cause Mario to drop down from the platform because the platform is still rising as Mario spawns. During the Shadow Siren battle, I use the Mystery item from Chapter 1 and RNG manipulation to use a Shooting Star, taking out a good amount of damage to all 3 sisters. I have to hit the refill block within the Great Tree to get more FP back to Gale Force 2 more times during the escape. Power Punch is an item I get for the Magnus von Grapple boss fight. A Goombella buffer after the 100 Jabbi fight allows me to enter a blocked pipe. This warps me to the end of the chapter. I have to go back to the Super Boots room since I need Super Boots later on in the run. Getting the boots sets the game back in time, so I can re-enter the Crystal Star room and re-trigger the ending. This starts a double ticking clock because the escape is triggered twice. Because I can retain my peril status, I modify my battle strategy in order to get to 1 HP in preparation for the Chapter 3 boss fight. I enter the badge shop to sell some badges for coins and by Power Rush. This increases my damage at low health, which is very useful later in the run. Now this is where it gets exciting. By performing a Flurrie Superslide by activating Flurrie slightly before opening a door, I can slide into the wall’s seam and walk along the perimeter of the wall. This allows me to reach the Ultra Hammer chest early. Instead of getting it in post-Chapter 6, I can now get it post-Chapter 2. This will allow me to skip most of Chapter 3 and skip Ms. Mowz who I originally needed to skip Chapter 5.

Chapter 3

Speaking of skipping Chapter 3, here’s how that is done. First, I must enter Grubba’s room to talk about fighting to get the Championship Belt which has the Crystal Star in it. Instead, Mario is too lazy, so he decides to skip all that nonsense. Jumping from the couch up to the bookcase and entering the air vent causes the game to warp to the end of Chapter 3. I can immediately fight Grubba. Unfortunately, I need Yoshi in order to reach the Chapter 4 pipe. Interestingly, you can still go back to Glitzville to get Yoshi post-Chapter 3 because the events leading up to the egg hatching are independent from the game’s storyline. I fight up to the Armored Harriers fight and then leave.

Chapter 4

There really isn’t much to say about this chapter. It just involves a lot of backtracking to and from the Creepy Steeple. The only noticeable trick is talking to Atomic Boo from the left side so that when he spooks me, Mario jumps towards the door to the left. During the intermission, since I already have a way to break the block in front of the warp pipes, I unlock the pipes to Chapter 5 and 6, which will be used later. There is a clip to enter Bobbery’s house without entering the chimney. Using Yoshi for one frame causes Mario to get pushed into the edge of the building’s roof. Moving down and then to the left allows Mario to walk into the house.

Chapter 5

Hopping off of Yoshi before entering a loading zone allows for the room to transition as I hop off of Yoshi, so cutscenes don’t wait for me to hop off before starting. Since I unlocked the warp pipes, I can leave Keelhaul through the blue pipe. That’s pretty much it for the Keelhaul Key section of Chapter 5. At the end of the Chapter 6 paragraph is the explanation for the Grotto.

Chapter 6

After entering Poshley Heights through the warp pipe, I can go to the station and enter the train from the platform. Because this is the first time entering the train, the game thinks I’m starting Chapter 6 for the first time. After solving the mysteries aboard the train, I reach the Riverside Station. I save time from jumping onto the blue switch while in tube mode. In the following gear room, I save time from manipulating the Ruff Puffs’ spawn positions so that I can enter the door right away without getting hit. After each Goomba battle, you may hear a jump but not see it happen. This causes a speed glitch by jumping first frame after leaving a battle. I use hammer swings to clear away the Smorgs faster than regular hammers both at Riverside Station and right before the SMorg battle. Once I return to Poshley Heights after all the crazy mayhem aboard the train, I enter the blue pipe and return to Keelhaul to get the boat ability. The first Bullet Bill Blaster set can be skipped by hovering around them. The second and third set can be skipped by walking past them in paper mode against the wall. One last time, I return to Chapter 6 and grab the Crystal Star in the Poshley Sanctum. With RNG manipulation, I am able to get 3 Mega Rushes from the Hammer Bros, explained in detail above.

Chapter 7

In the last tile room, it is fastest to wait for the current cycle to wrap itself back around instead of starting a new cycle. This saves a couple of seconds. With the extra Mega Rushes, Magnus is taken out in fewer Power Bounces.

Chapter 8

In the room with the pop-up spikes, it is possible to squeeze in between the two sets of spikes to skip walking at a diagonal. During the Gloomtail battle, I have to get hit in order to get the attack boost from my badges. Afterwards, I have to encounter the Chain Chomp so I can take out the Dry Bones in the Riddle Tower. This takes me until the Shadow Queen battle. I take 9 points of damage in that fight too, deal enough damage to trigger Phase 2, and use bombs to hit her enough to end the phase as early as possible.

Known Improvements

These are improvements that have been found during the making of the run, were not used, and do save time.

Tree Clips:

There are two sections in Boggly Woods where you can clip out of bounds by getting pushed by a tree into the corner of the two rooms, one by the Shadow Sirens battle and the other by Flurrie’s House. A respawn by the Shadow Siren battle can save around 13 frames. Clipping through the wall blocking the pipe to Flurrie’s house can save 30 frames in total.

Skip Thunder Bolt:

Because of my new Mega Rush strats which were planned later in the run, I can take Dark Bones and the Dry Bones all out in one multibounce instead of using Thunder Bolt on Dark Bones. This would save 5 seconds approximately from not buying the item or storing items to make room for it in my inventory.

Early Spring Jump:

In the Japanese version of the game, you can start rotating the analog stick to charge a Spring Jump before you land on the ground. I didn’t do this except for in the Shadow Palace. This costs about 10 frames each time.

Theoretical Improvements

These are tricks that, if there is a way to perform them, would work and save time. At this point in time, there is no way to perform these glitches.

Yoshi Skip

If Mario could clear the gap by the Chapter 4 pipe without Yoshi, Chapter 3 would be completely skipped after Grubba. Yoshi re-joins the party after Doopliss 2, so it’s not like the lack of speed boost from riding Yoshi costs time.

Teleport Room Early:

If Mario could enter the teleport room to Chapter 7 early, this would eliminate the General White hunt upon starting Chapter 7, the moon, and the Elite X-Naut fight upon entering the moon base.

Riddle Tower Skip

This can be done with the use of the Levitate AR cheat code, but not legit. Beneath the path to Gloomtail, there is a loading zone that will actually revert the game ahead in time, allowing Mario to jump right to the final bosses.

Improvements Theories that Don’t Work

These tricks listed would break the game down much further, though they have been tested and do not work.

Vivian Skip:

The idea was to get the tube curse and then warp the game to Chapter 6 using a Poshley Sanctum cutscene. You have to get the tube curse in the chapter because the chest is open post-chapter 4. Then you would have to do a Goombella Buffer to get past the moving wall in the well. There are solid walls around that loading zone though, so that’s impossible. Because the lock skip in the Hooktail Castle leaves the door unlocked, it was then thought that the door to the P chest room would be unlocked, when it actually isn’t for some reason. At this point, there are no other ideas for this to work.

Chapter 7 Early:

With ultra hammer early, breaking the block in the sewers, and entering the Chapter 7 pipe, a cutscene starts with Mario’s partner explaining where they are, but nothing can be done there because General White is not there and you can’t trigger the mayor cutscene with Bobbery.

Author Comments

After submitting my old TAS, initially feeling great, realizing all the mistakes I made, and seeing the new strategies and glitches found, I believed that I had to make an improvement to that now obsolete run. This time, I’ve strived to make this improvement much better than the previous run. I had originally begun making improvements in a new run about March of 2014, but after a softlock because of a bad Dolphin revision and 2 desyncs in Chapter 2, I sadly lost motivation for this game. Fast forward to September: I decided to pick this back up. I had finished the Prologue when I started contemplating what version to use. The RTA WR holder, Almo, began using the Japanese version of the game because of its faster text. There was a lack of glitch exploration in the Japanese version of the game, so Ti_Will14 set out to discover some glitch differences between the two versions. He stumbled upon the idea of supersliding by the inn door upstairs, proving UHE to be possible. I had to restart my TAS once again, this time with the Japanese version of the game. UHE motivated me throughout the majority of the run because I was so excited for it to save time and break the game down more. I had a pleasure TASing this once more. Looking into the future, I plan to work on both Paper Mario 64 and Super Paper Mario after I work with community members to finalize a route.

Fun Stuff

This is a collection of cool things I felt like writing down because why not?

Soundtrack Skips:

Funny Details:

Throughout the run, there are small, yet funny, moments that you may not notice. Timecodes correspond to the time in my encode on Youtube, linked above.

  • (14:55) Goombella falls off bridge room
  • (28:39) Koops moonjump
  • (1:38:00) Grubba returning after defeat
  • (3:15:48) Yoshi falls through vertical platform

Suggested Screenshots Screenshot (Because only one image is worthy of this)

283744 (Frame not VI)

Special Thanks

Almo, Andrick, Zeph, Nathanisbored, Cronikeys, Dsydude - Routing, glitch-hunting, etc.

TiWill_14 - Finding Ultra Hammer Early

CoolKirby - Feedback, past help with the run

Whoever encodes this run - Have fun with that

Dolphin Developers - Continuously improving emulation and allowing for this TAS to happen

Nintendo and Intelligent Systems - For making a great game

Flavio - For being awesome


Nach: Sorry for the delay, long run plus difficult to sync does not make a good judging combination.

So you switched to a slightly more difficult version of the game, and you ended up surpassing the previous run by quite a few minutes. Aside from an annoying segment, feedback on this run has been very good. Good job, accepting as improvement to existing run.

Anty-Lemon: Publishing...


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