Super Mario 64 DS in 8:58.41 by ALAKTORN & MKDasher
- Emulator used: DeSmuME 0.9.10 with Advanced Bus-Level Timing OFF and Dynamic Recompiler OFF
- Aims for fastest time
- Abuses programming errors
- Takes damage to save time
- Uses death to save time
This is an improvement of 52.24 seconds (3125 frames) over the previous published run. Most of the time saved comes from a new route to complete the game, but also due to better optimization.
The fewer stars the TAS collects, the faster the run is? Let's prove that wrong!
The project started just a few months after we published the 1 star TAS. We kept trying to find new ways to skip the 1 star door. After giving up (Toads are not close enough to the walls, and all wall corners do not seem to work to glitch in them), we started thinking about the bunny located in Jolly Roger Bay's room. We couldn't get the glitch to work as well, because the bunny was a bit too far from the wall to get it, but by cheating Mario's position, we knew that, if we got the glitch to work, we would be able to skip Bowser in the Fire Sea. In the end, after about 2 years, ALAKTORN found a new way to do the bunny glitch, which consists on jumping and landing behind it. This method is faster and it also allows getting the glitch when the bunny is a bit farther from the wall. After that, we were able to get behind the 2nd floor key door, and this TAS is the result!
Since we need to get to Jolly Roger Bay's room, we now need 3 stars. Going to the basement is still faster than opening the castle's main door. Then, we chose the 3 fastest obtainable stars, which are 8-Coin Puzzle with 15 Pieces, Shining Atop the Pyramid and In the Talons of the Big Bird. We couldn't get the star from Toad (in Hazy Maze Cave's room) because Toad doesn't give the star to Yoshi, and there is some requirement to fulfill before it is given to Mario which we did not fulfill. We didn't get Red-Hot Log Rolling in Lethal Lava Land because in order to unlock the shell you need to complete the Volcano stars first.
Directional pad vs. touchscreen
Most of the optimization we did compared to our previous publication was because of using the touchscreen for almost every movement we had to do. Obviously, the touchscreen is less limited than a directional pad, where you can only use 8 directions. The directional pad was only used when it was totally required. For example, when you are still charging the touchscreen so you can't move with it (necessary between no-input longjumps sometimes), or when you gain Yoshi's control outside the castle because, for some reason, using the touchscreen there makes you go backwards no matter where you press it.
Glitches and tricks
- Outside the castle glitch: When using a slidekick, if you do it correctly with a certain angle (glitching inside the castle’s wall as you are entering the water), the character is pushed down to the water floor, bypassing the water-entry check into swim animation. However, getting too close to the water’s surface will trigger the swimming animation, making running to the moat door our only option. Also, if you press A or B 4 frames before glitching, you’ll always go to the water floor no matter your position. This is slower than the normal method but due to disregarding position it can become faster situationally.
- No input: This trick consists of not pressing any direction. It's useful while the character's speed is above normal top speed, since speed goes down slower than pressing any direction.
- Dialogue glitch: It works by talking to a bunny that is close to a wall between it and the wall. Then the game pushes you out of its sprite, making you go through boundaries with the right position. The glitch is also possible with other characters (like Toad), but the bunny is the only one useful for this run.
- Wall corner glitch: By getting an optimal angle, you can slidekick or longjump in a wall corner in order to get pushed up (heaven portal), pushed down out of bounds to die instantly, or get through the wall.
- Direction reset: When pressing the opposite direction that the character is facing, the speed starts decreasing until it becomes negative (which means the character is actually moving in the opposite direction that he's facing). However, if the speed is 0 for a frame while decreasing the speed, the speed will increase (positive numbers) even if you're moving in the opposite direction so that you can start running fast or getting a high speed after landing from the jump instead of slowing down.
- Glitchy longjumps: Usually, when you do a longjump, it is necessary that the character (Yoshi or Mario) is facing the same direction he is moving in order to get a longjump with high speed. However, by using the touchscreen you can do longjumps with top speed where facing angle and motion angle are completely different.
Second key door skip
This skip is the new skip for this run. It allows to go through the 2nd key door without getting the key, by going out of bounds and entering behind it. Unfortunately, a way to get out of bounds in the Main Hall hasn't been found, since Toad is not close enough to the wall, and it doesn't seem possible to get out of bounds in a similar way as the 8 star door skip in any of the corners. However, there's a bunny in Jolly Roger's Bay room that can be used to get out of bounds, but you need 3 stars to enter that room. Still, it's faster to get 3 stars than getting 1 star and going through Bowser in the Fire Sea.
When entering the room, we first need to longjump forward, then turn left. If we turned left from the beginning, the bunny would run to the other side.
After Mario gets out of bounds by jumping behind the bunny, the movement later has to be very accurate, because you need to walk on the very edge of the floor. If you go a bit inside, the wall would push you inside and you wouldn't be out of bounds anymore. If you go a bit outside, you end up falling down. In the end, by jumping behind the key door, the door is activated as if you had entered there like when you enter a portrait.
TASing out of bounds
There are a few parts in the run where we had to TAS out of bounds, where there are no textures. Technically we do not need them, as we have a RAM watch, but it still helps to see what we are doing, so we cheat the textures in so we can TAS those sections easily.
Here are some sample clips of how these parts look with textures:
- Second key door skip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w27rT_eWXxs
- 50 star door / endless stairs skip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZu6T2SygMs
Thanks to Got4n who gave ALAKTORN the motivation to try the bunny glitch again.