TASVideos

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

Submission #4582: adelikat, Aglar, Anty-Lemon, Aqfaq, Cardboard, Masterjun, MESHUGGAH, Mothrayas, MUGG, Scepheo, TehSeven, thelegendarymudkip & Truncated's NES Metal Force in 13:09.6

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Metal Force
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: Metal Force (K) [!].nes
Branch:
Emulator: FCEUX 2.2.2
Movie length: 13:09.6
FrameCount: 47454
Re-record count: 89603
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: adelikat, Aglar, Anty-Lemon, Aqfaq, Cardboard, Masterjun, MESHUGGAH, Mothrayas, MUGG, Scepheo, TehSeven, thelegendarymudkip & Truncated
Submitter: Mothrayas
Submitted at: 2015-02-05 23:05:15
Text last edited at: 2015-07-01 17:52:29
Text last edited by: Masterjun
Download: Download (9540 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Metal Force in 13:09.6 by adelikat, Aglar, Anty-Lemon, Aqfaq, Cardboard, Masterjun, MESHUGGAH, Mothrayas, MUGG, Scepheo, TehSeven, thelegendarymudkip & Truncated


(Link to video)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: FCEUX 2.2.2
  • As fast as possible
  • Takes damage to save time

Comments

After the conclusion of Dream Team Contest 5, the best routes for each rooms amongst the competitors were combined and resynced (primarily by MESHUGGAH) to create the ultimate run of this game, saving 65 frames total over the DTC5 winner's (Team AAA's Aglar, Anty-Lemon, Aqfaq) submission.

yeah idk let's crowdsource this submission text

Movement

The game does not have any subpixels. All movements are done in whole pixels. For horizontal speed, the game keeps a counter which cycles seven values: 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2. This works out as 10 pixels over 7 frames or ~1.43 pixels per frame. (Why the designers didn't just make it alternate between 1 and 2 for a mean speed of 1.5 is anyone's guess, but everyone who participated in the DTC hated them for it.)

The speed counter advances for every frame the player walks, and every frame the player is in the air, regardless if moving horizontally or not. The speed counter also advances when pressing against a wall on the ground, even if no actual horizontal movement is made. The speed counter pauses when standing still or climbing a ladder. The speed counter resets every mission.

Small improvements are easily lost to the whims of the speed cycle god.

Other than this speed cycle the game is very hex edit friendly.

Tricks used in this run

Scrolling skip

If you pause on the frame you touch the trigger for a scrolling transition, the game will load the data associated with it (camera bounds, new transitions, etc) without actually starting the scrolling itself. This is only useful for one-way transitions, however, as two-way transitions actually consist of two transitions, and touching the last one will cause the old room exits to be loaded, preventing you from progressing any further in the game.

Speed cycle advancing

Similar to the scrolling skip, pausing when triggering a black transition has strange effects. In this case, pausing and immediately unpausing the game does not delay the next room load. It does, however, allow the game to advance one more frame before entering the next room. In the TAS, this is used to advance the speed cycle to a more favourable phase.

Corner boosting

Jumping or falling into a ceiling or floor corner whilst moving away from it allows you to slightly pass through said corner. If you let go of the direction key you were holding, the game will push you out of the block, advancing you a maximum of 4 pixels at a time. For ceiling boosts, a maximum of 8 pixels (over 2 frames) is possible, for floor boosts this is 6.

Ladder zipping

You can grab onto ladders when you're 16 pixels away from their centre. Due to this, it is often faster to grab onto a ladder and let go immediately, as this will move you forward ~16 pixels, at the cost of not moving a single frame.

Low ladder grabs

When approaching a ladder going down from the floor you are on, you can grab it a few pixels lower than you would by just walking up to it. To do this, jump before the ladder, and land on the ground on the same frame as you grab the ladder. The downward speed will be applied once before grabbing the ladder. It is better to be as close as possible (1 pixel above) the ground on the frame before grabbing. For this reason, some jump heights are better than others, and 8 and 11 are best when possible.
Jump height Pixels gained
no jump 0
1 0
2 0
3 2
4 2
5 1
6 2
7 2
8 3
9 0
10 1
11 3
12 0
13 0
14 0

Wall jumps

When passing through a downward corner, instead of releasing forward to corner boost, you can press backward. Under some circumstances, depending on jump height and pixel position, you will enter the standing animation for one frame, and can jump again from this position. The possible applications are very limited. The combined movie only uses it for entertainment.

Stages detailed

For actual frame numbers, see this list or this timesheet.

  • MMM Mission 1+2 (Mission 2 contain's AAA's speed cycle, doesn't changes framecount)
  • MMM+AAA Mission 3 with all AAA improvements
  • SAC/TTT's jump @ Mission 3 Room 4 ~F21300
  • AAA Mission 4 route with MMM improvements
  • SAC Mission 5 Room 1-2 with improvements, Room 3 improvement by Exonym
  • TTT Mission 5 Room 3-4 with better speed cycles
  • AAA Mission 6 with MMM's Boss (4 frames)
  • AAA Mission 7

Other comments

<Explain here things the audience would probably like to see> <Explain also things that could be improved in your movie> <You may also suggest screenshots.>
Nach: Judging.

Mothrayas: Submission file replaced with a 2 frame improvement.


Nach: So I let this run simmer a bit to see if anyone else had any more improvements, since so many people worked on this and were familiar with the game.

This run got good feedback, however, I feel that must be discounted, because so many people worked on this game, and see the quality compared to their own work. Just because people familiar with the game like it, it doesn't mean the run itself is good when compared to other TASs.

On reviewing the game itself, this game doesn't seem much different than some of the second tier NES games. The TAS of it also looks marvelous. This run contains many close calls, tricky yet precise movements, item management and more, that it's really a solid TAS on all accounts. The various teams and MESHUGGAH who put it all together did a terrific job, and I enjoyed watching it, even though my familiarity of the game is low. I wouldn't necessarily rank this run favorably against Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man, but I would against many of the lesser NES games that were well received in the past. Accepting to moons.

Guga: Processing...


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