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Submission #4675: Brookman's SNES Demon's Crest "100%" in 35:04.68

Console: Super NES
Game name: Demon's Crest
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Demon's Crest(USA).SFC
Branch: 100%
Emulator: BizHawk 1.9.2
Movie length: 35:04.68
FrameCount: 126489
Re-record count: 39876
Author's real name: Michael Brookman
Author's nickname: Brookman
Submitter: the brookman
Submitted at: 2015-04-28 05:44:51
Text last edited at: 2015-05-23 02:35:59
Text last edited by: the brookman
Download: Download (22193 bytes)
Status: published
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SNES Demon's Crest

Demon's Crest is the story of the Red Demon, Firebrand (Ghouls and Goblins, Gargoyles Quest), On a journey to reclaim his collection of elemental crests. Firebrand has used his crests to murder almost every demon in the world. At this point his nemesis, Phalanx, sees his opportunity to strike and ambushes Firebrand to steal all his Crests. Phalanx Dumps Firebrands battered body in a Colosseum with a zombie dragon and heads off to cackle about how awesome he is and to unleash ultimate evil power using the Crests. Now, With just 1/5th of the Crest of Fire in his possession Firebrand has to slay the dragon, escape the Colosseum, reclaim his Crests, and hunt down Phalanx to exact bloody vengeance.

This is where the game begins...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_33wtpl7tw

About This Submission

Movie Info

  • Movie Version: BizHawk v2.0.0
  • Rerecord Count: 39876
  • Emulator Version: 1.9.2
  • GameName: Demon's Crest(USA).sfc
  • Frame count: 126489
  • Up/Down + Left/Right Enabled

Goals:

  • 100% completion (All bosses, all items)
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes Damage to save time
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Manipulates luck
  • Uses death as a shortcut
  • Uses speed/entertainment tradeoffs

About the Run

First things first, I want to give Credit to ElectroSpectre. Without his foundation I never would have succeeded at creating this movie. ES did an incredible job optimizing boss fights and stage segments alike. Also, The RTA player Broedgeman for discovering the "mercury cancel" and pointing out several improvements over my original submission.

This run has been some 4 years in the making. While playing on console circa 2011,I discovered the "statue bump" - frame perfect trick - in stage II (saves ~80 frames) and set out to break the TAS record! At the time I produced a ~1,500 frame improvement to the currently published run although, due to extenuating circumstance, I never got around to submitting the run.

Fast Forward . . to ~january 2015: I'm casually watching Speed Runs/TAS movies and I stumble upon an RTA World Record of Demon's Crest by BroedgeMan and he's doing some cool tricks to save time. I'm immediately inspired and decide to get back to the grind. I head over to TAS vids and, to my dismay, SNES 9x 1.43 is deprecated and all the work I'd already done was basically worthless.

Around this time the new MMX 100% run was published and seeing it was completed on BizHawk I decide to check out the new emulator. My computer is seemingly unable to operate BizHawk above ~20 fps. At this time I get on IRC and Chat with Adelikat and a few others about my options. MasterJun scolds me into shape and I resolve to start from scratch using Bizhawk.

About the Gameplay

Differences

  • Route change: The bulk of improvements between this and the currently published run can be credited to route change, which accounts for over 1,000 frames. simply put, I play the stages in their intended order (I, II, III, IV...) while ES plays (I, II, IV, III...). In stage III I acquire the Platform maker which allows for significant improvements in stage IV and VI.
  • Boss Battles: I was able to improve boss battles in stage II, III, IV, IVb, VIb, IIb, IIIb, and Phalanx 2, by either hitting the boss in screen transition (flier 1 & 2), dealing more damage with either better manipulation (arma II) better attack placement (Ovnunu, hippogriff 2), stacking damage (flamelord), or using a more powerful Crest type (Arma 3, Phalanx 2)
  • Movement optimizations: headbutting, clinging to walls, starting or stopping flying, shooting on the ground, and initiating a dash all cause firebrand to stop moving for 1 or more frames so I minimize the amount of times I do any of these outside of boss fights.
  • Emulation: BizHawk is Much more accurate (laggy) emulation than Snes 9x. I estimate that this would have been over a 6,000 frame improvement on the SNES 9x.
  • Between This and my initial submission, The majority of improvements come from Boss fights in stages III, IV, and the final Boss. As well as minor movement optimizations in several stages.
  • New tricks: There are several tricks that were not discovered at the time ES produced his run, which will be detailed below.

Minor Glitches:

  • Holding L/R glitches the placement of Firebrands attack. Right Direction takes priority but the fireball comes out of the back of his head.
  • Boss Invincibility: Some bosses (hippogriff, flame lord..) Calculate damage, then check invincibility and restore the damage if the timer is running. Thus, they can be defeated 1 hit early by stacking damage. (Hand Talisman)
  • Hitting Bosses Early: In some stages, When the screen transition to a boss fight completes, you have control of firebrand for 1 frame. This is used to hit some bosses early. There are some fights where this is possible but the bosses are either invulnerable or off screen and others where this is not possible at all.
  • "Mercury Cancel": Mercury and Sulfur are the two potions I buy on the return trip to stage II. Normally, when defeating a boss and collecting their reward, you go through some text and are transported to the world map. Using the Mercury potion, I am able to collect the item and have a 2 frame window to execute the "Mercury Cancel", skipping any text and the world map transition via the effect of the potion: transporting firebrand backward one screen. This is used vs. Belth in stage IIb and vs. Crawler in stage V. The Sulfur Potion does not require any timing, it simply transports me to the world map, allowing me to avoid long and pointless hikes to the end of stages Ib and IIb.

Stage by stage commentary

Stage I:

  • Zombie Dragon: The Dragon is set on a timer so I tried to narrate the fight as a sort of struggle for the recently wounded Firebrand.
  • Graveyard: Pretty straight forward. I have to waste a few frames to manipulate the boss. Grab Useless Paper #1 and head to mini-boss.
  • Hippogriff 1: Courtesy of ES.
  • Mountain area: Every time you start or stop flying your character is frozen for 1 frame. With this in mind, I try to minimize the amount of times I do either through-out the run. I get Urn #1 because I'll need it for the return trip for the life vessel in the next segment
  • vertical Platforms + Arma 1: Courtesy of ES

Stage II:

  • Town: pretty straight forward. Just cutting through to get to the next section.
  • drowned abbey: Dash through, control lag from ghosts/mermen. I go for a swim to grab the hand talisman which allows you to shoot extra spells. I manipulated a health to get through the caverns faster. "statue bump" saves 40 frames and makes the dashing through this section slightly less awkward.
  • Cavern 1: Pretty straight forward. The fire monsters cause a lot of lag dead or alive.
  • Cavern 2: You can disable BG layer 2 to see in the dark. Making sure enemies I kill and statues I break don't drop items because that causes extra lag.
  • Eye Ball Soup: This is the one fight that can still potentially (theoretically be improved). There is a frame rule involving how the mini-eyes are released. The game checks ever ~130 frames to see if all eye balls are dead. If they can be manipulated to come out faster it may be possible to engage the big eye in 3 "pulse cycles" instead of 4. Unfortunately, I could not crack the code and decided to move forward like this. However, I am able to take down The big eye himself in 6 hits vs. the currently published 7 so not all was lost.

Stage III:

  • This is a route change from ES's run and is responsible for ~1,500 frames saved
  • Forest: Laggy enemies abound, a few movement optimizations here let me Grab Urn #2 and get out just a little faster.
  • River: More Laggy enemies. The floating platforms dance back and forth out of range so I kill some time to allow the ones off screen to move into place.
  • Forest Fire: Flame Lord pops in to set the forest on fire. I get through while minimizing lag from giant fireballs and tentacle monsters. Pick up useless Relic #1. Then Die to flame lord to pick up a health vessel that was hidden under the forest fire - saving a return trip.
  • Flame Lord: I took a new tact to try and Kill Flame Lord Low to the ground, and with much success. This boss fight is an improvement over my originial submission due to better manipulation + stacking damage to kill sooner.

Stage IV:

  • Pillars and Snakes: Cut down a lot of waiting and unoptimized movement by making my own platforms. Pick up a Urn #3 and head onward.
  • Floating zombie knights: Increased horizontal movement is blessing and a curse. I try to minimize the number of times I start/stop flying and utilize increased movement speed by staying airborne.
  • Hippogriff 2: Initially, I used ES's hippo 2 fight because I was under the assumption ground gargoyle's air shots had too small a hitbox to connect when hippo is max height. I was wrong and thus defeat this boss 2 hits faster than ES.
  • Jungle Tower: The platform allows me to make another huge improvement. Optimizing the tornado jumps is pretty awkward at first, because you have to wait for the tornado to become a platform and then land on them.
  • outer wall: I have to drop to get useless relic #2 and Tornado Jump to the top right to grab Useless Paper #2. This segment is a little more laggy and also vertical movement is altered in this room making falling speed lower and increasing my jump height significantly.
  • Jungle Tower 2: Platform maker again saves a lot of time here.
  • Arma 2: Arma 2 has 32 HP. 24 damage is dealt in ground shots (2 damage) while the remaining 8 is dealt with air shots (1 damage). This fight can also theoretically be improved if Arma can be manipulated to stay on the ground. For that reason, some hits are not timed perfectly with his vulnerability. Another Instance where I assumed the fight was optimized. Dashing into ground shot for the first hit allows me to defeat this boss 1 hit faster. I also feel this is one of the more entertaining fights and I had a lot of fun producing it.

Stage IVb:

  • Pillars and Snakes: Same as the first visit, but I don't need to switch off the tornado so that makes the next section interesting.
  • Zombie Knights: Again, just stay air born and reduce the amount of starting/stopping flying.
  • Flyer 1: I hit flier before the fight starts and he is otherwise a push-over with aerial gargoyle.

Skull Bash Game:

  • Courtesy of ES.

Stage VI:

  • I reverse the boss order of this stage compared to ES to get Demon Fire early, as Arma 3 has a 2x weakness to it.
  • Ice Hell 1: Tornado Jump to Urn #4 then Tornado my way through.
  • Ice Hell 2: Tornado to the top of the mountain and Dash my way down. Grab Useless Paper #3.
  • Cruelty to animals: This boss is pretty easy. Not much to say. He gives me Demon Fire, a powerful weapon.

Stage VIb:

  • Ice Hell 1: Again, Just tornado through the mountain up to the castle.
  • Ice Castle: Tornado jump up the surprisingly lag free passage. Headbutt the Ice block to reveal a door which leads to a life vessel.
  • Owls and Axe Men: I take this time to use Useless Relic #2 which increases the drop rate of coins. I collect ~100+ GP here for virtually no reason.
  • Flier 2: Hit before the fight starts.
  • Bats in the Dark: Kinda laggy. I switch to ground gargoyle to bash the statue revealing Useless Relic #3. Then Just navigate out while trying to reduce lag from bats.
  • Arma 3: Very Happy with this fight. Using the Demon Fire acquired from the previous boss I am able to defeat Arma in 1/3 the number of attacks compared to ES's fight using Aerial Gargoyle (12 vs. 36).

Stage IIb:

  • Town: I stop in to the potion shop to fill my 4 Urns with 2 mercury and 2 sulfur (32 GP total). These allow me to save a boat load of time and are worth the minor side track and then some.
  • Drowned Abby: Grab Urn #5 and head to the boneyard.
  • Boneyard: Dash and Jump through, grab the Life vessel from bone Pile and head to the boss, pretty straight forward.
  • Skeletor: Skeletor (aka Bone Daddy, aka Belth) pops out of of the ground and seems to beckon you to finish him off?? Crest of Time Wipes him out in record time and Mercury #1 saves me a trip to the world map.
  • Drowned Abby: Just a straight shot to the caverns.
  • Cavern 1: Grab Useless paper #4.
  • Caver 2: a quick trip to the bottom to grab a health vessel and Sulfur #1 saves the trek through rest of the cavern and teleports me to world map.

Stage Ib:

  • Graveyard: Hop, Skip, Dash, Jump Straight through.
  • Mountain Area: Same deal. mitigate lag between enemies, dashing, and pillars collapsing.
  • Platform Area: Tornado Jump again saves a lot of time and Sulfur #2 saves me another hike to the end of the stage.

Stage IIIb:

  • Forest: Dash through. I opt to cut the vine for appearances, although with all the pause menu it is not as fast as it appears.
  • water cave 1: pretty straight forward. Useless paper #5
  • Water cave 2: Water floods pretty quick and owls at the top of the cave cause some lag. I opted to swim for it this run and saved quite a bit on lag frames. I have to break into the cave to grab another Life vessel then I head to the easiest boss in the game.
  • Scula: Scula is a 2 piece boss. The roly poly part requires 2 hits from the Crest of Time while the main body requires 5. In ES run he kills the head first, which freezes the game till it dies. I took a que from Symphony of the Night TAS and killed the bosses simultaneously. They drop 1 health vessel.

Stage V:

  • Moat: Pots, Skeleton Birds, and Mermen make this segment a little hard to navigate while reducing lag.
  • Castle: Dash up to the hidden section, fly up the hole, break the statue for a life vessel and head up to the boss.
  • Crawler Drops down behind you and tries to scare you into moving forward but I take damage and walk through him to head up from where he came to grab a life vessel. This also sets up for the Mercury Cancel. I noticed that when I drop down from this room, my character is in standing animation so I am able to ground dash in mid-air.
  • Crawler: manipulate crawler to throw babies at you so you can hit him three times a cycle. Mercury again to save a trip to world map and teleport me back to where crawler came from. Drop down to the bottom floor of the cavern, its time to take a swim.
  • Under the sea 1: Use the standing animation trick to dash and switch to tidal gargoyle before I take damage. Moving around in this section is awkward so I use the spikes/enemies to propel my character in the right direction. The latter half of this section and the next section were definitely the laggiest/most awkward section to TAS.
  • Under the Sea 2: Lots of lag from breaking blocks and dealing with awkwardly placed enemies/hazards (come on Capcom. . .)
  • Holothorion: I kept wondering why I wasn't able to hit him till I removed BG layer 1 and revealed Holuthorion is two separate hit boxes that aren't attached. After I did this the fight became much easier.

Final Stage:

  • Cathedral: Pretty straightforward walk to the end. Dashing is laggy here due to enemies breaking windows/shooting arrows so like ES I opt just to use Crest of Time.
  • Hippogriff 3: I kinda style on this boss. I know in the guidelines it says . .. not to spam excessively but as a stylistic approach I think I did a good job so I hope this will be accepted.
  • Bell tower 1: Tornado to the top, knock the bell for the last life vessel. Long wait time allows me to create some shenanigans.
  • Cross the gap: Another section with improved horizontal speed. Using the Claw spell allows me to stick to the spikey stage hazards. Grab Useful Relic #2 which increases the damage of my spell attack.
  • Bell tower 2: Getting the floating bull heads to behave was kinda funny. Otherwise, thanks ES.
  • Mummy Hall: Straightforward, no lag or anything. Just a walk to the next boss.
  • cruelty to animals 2: with Crest of Time and Fang Relic, This boss goes down in 4 hits.

Final Boss

  • Phalanx 1 & 2: Tornado platform allows me to jump higher and thus optimize the hits a little better. In Phalanx 1 and 2 Demon fire does 6 damage while Legendary Gargoyle does 5. In the first phase, Phalanx does not have enough health for this to matter. However, in Phalanx 2 I am able to kill 3 hits faster with extra damage. Pause menu at end of fight to use tornado to Damage Phalanx 3 ASAP.

  • Phalanx 3: This boss is supposed to use his 4 hands to cover his face but I essentially stun lock him indefinitely and he goes down in 13 Hits. Thanks ES for this strat.

Conclusion:

Lastly, I just want to thank Electro Spectre one more time as well as HHS, Axeman, Zureco, and all the other members of the forum thread whose posts from 7 years ago were all to helpful :p

As stated earlier, there are a few potential improvements in Ovnunu, Arma 2, skull bash mini-game and the ever-present threat of LAG!!! However, I believe that this run is otherwise perfect. I'm very happy that I took the extra time to examine my original submission and make even more improvements.

I hope everyone will enjoy watching as much as I enjoyed creating this movie. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask in the submission thread.I think that covers just about everything. Thanks for Reading, Thanks for watching!

Suggested Screen shots: http://imgur.com/a/oR8Ed


GoddessMaria15: Judging~

GoddessMaria15: Quite a solid movie, Brookman! Audience response is good and movie is highly optimized.

Accepting for Moons!

Spikestuff: Publishing!


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