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Tool-assisted game movies
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Submission #479: Truncated's Genesis Kid Chameleon in 14:17.63

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Kid Chameleon
Game version: any
ROM filename: Kid Chameleon (JUE) [!].bin
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 14:17.63
FrameCount: 51458
Re-record count: 18523
Author's real name: A. Berglin
Author's nickname: Truncated
Submitter: Truncated
Submitted at: 2004-12-19 15:19:45
Text last edited at: 2010-07-19 14:44:10
Text last edited by: adelikat
Download: Download (7531 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Finally.

Here it is, Kid Chameleon for the Genesis - probably the game with the most submissions of which none have been published. In retrospect, I can admit that it was fair to reject my previous submission - this one is more than a minute faster. I never expected it could be improved that much.

This platformer is generally considered pretty hard. You die easily and often get lost and go in circles because of the ways the levels are set up. Some levels are just impossible (i.e Bloody Swamp, some of the Elsewheres) but you don't get to see those in this run because they are too far off the optimal path.

Making this movie

This movie was made by me in Gens 9a, and later i 9c. I played at 6-10% speed to make frame-precision manuevers, but switched to frame advance when I got 9c. The quality pre- and post-9c are hopefully the same, only the time required to perform and test different things was improved.

All of this movie was made on weekends on a computer I borrowed from my lab. My own computer only accepts two simultaneous keypresses, which makes almost every game un-runnable. As a result the movie took a very long time to make. In total, 115 backups of the movie file were made. Yes, I really hate losing work for pressing the wrong button.

Hexediting was used once to try to understand how the spawning of a block worked (see Bad points below). By hexing in the jump from my old run and still getting a bad spawn I could deduce that the gamepad input probably had no bearing on the randomization.

General improvements

  • Everything now at frame precision
  • Making all jumps as short as possible (most characters run faster than they jump)
  • Much, much better climbing with MicroMax (the fly)
  • A lot better cornercuts
  • Not landing or jumping unless needed with SkyCutter (the green surfer)
  • Taking a shortcut with the Samurai on Woods of Despair 2

The total level-time is 9:51, or 55 seconds improved. Judging from the time bonus, the game thinks that a run-trough 4 times as long is very good.

For a detailed levelwise list of improvement, see Truncated or the thread at http://bisqwit.iki.fi/nesvideos/forum/viewtopic.php?t=354&start=60

Bugs used:

  • Sword jump-hit - you are not supposed to be able to hit with the sword in the air. By striking first and jump directly afterwards you can get around this and do an extra hit when there is no room to stand. See it at Bagel Brothers, the first boss I meet.
  • Sword jump-cancel - when you land from a jump the animation of the sword stike is canceled so you can do a new one, but any object in front of you still recieves damage a few frames later. By repeatedly landing you can buffer up a lot of stikes. Also seen on Bagel Bros, the third head on the bottom floor.
  • Sword backwards strike - you can turn around just before the stike connects. This way you can run in one direction and strike in the other. Also on Bagel Bros.
  • Air-jump - at the beginning of every level the game assumes you are standing on the ground. If you hold jump as the level fades in you will jump even if you start in the air. This is abused in level two and on Elsewhere (the intermission level where I get the flying pink guy for the first time) among others. You can also see it when I come out from a crouch in the third to last level.
  • Mushroom blocks (the ones that create three new blocks above when hit) have erratic behaviour when there is a wall to the left of them, making a shortcut possible in Ice God's Vengeance (long vertical ice level with the fly).
  • When you end up inside a dis/reappearing block, the game warps you in some direction. This is used to go up quicker in Elsewhere and Woods of Despair 1, and to go right in Alien Isle (columns and alien ship level with the fly).
  • The sound code messes up when some sounds are played together. Other than the out-of-sync music, listen when I take damage on Black Pit (dark horizontal level with lava fountains) - the "Ow!" is one octave lower than it's supposed to be. Not of any use, though.
  • On the final level the fly begins to spasm when I let go of the platform. Also not of any use.

Tricks:

  • Jumping on enemies gives a boost. Jumping on many enemies gives a lot of boost.
  • The fly fits in between the spikes that some blocks shoot.
  • Alternating sides when climbing with the fly to get a new jump sooner.
  • Ducking - the hitbox is wider and flatter when ducking, so you can touch the flag a little sooner, or duck to pass small gaps. Usually one frame of ducking is enough.
  • Objects first appear on top of blocks, if you're quick you can jump and get them there earlier.
  • Jamming the bosses to the ceiling means you can score hits very fast.
For a full list of bugs and tricks, see GameResources/Genesis/KidChameleon

Bad points, or "Why did you do that?"

  • I take damage twice in Valley of Life (grass themed samurai level) and not at all in Woods of Despair 1 (first level after flashy warp). This gives me a better actual level time but means longer score counting for no hits.
  • I am forced to walk for 31 frames in Final Marathon (next to last level), so that I will get a better spawn for a moving block on the next screen. This looks retarded but it's actually faster than moving at full speed and waiting for the badly spawned block to move. I found no other way of manipulating this.
  • The first three levels can be done a little faster if you take damage, but the flashy warp later on will only work if you got all bonuses, including no hits. There is no way around this.
  • I was unable to get the behaviour I wanted out of the last boss, so I take two hits and I don't end the movie as soon as some other submissions. Note that my level finish time is two seconds faster than previous submissions, I just don't end keypad input as soon as I wanted to.

Favourite levels:

  • Bagel Brothers - improved 11 seconds, a lot of glitchy sword tricks.
  • Wind Castle 1 - fastest level, 2 seconds.
  • Ice God's Vengeance - a lot of bouncing and jumping around with the fly.
  • Final Marathon - except for the intentional delay, I'm very satisfied with this level. I take damage all the time but manage to refill my health without it costing any extra time.
  • Alien Isle - I finally got good random on the pesky alien ships and killed this level until it died.

General info

  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • No death
  • Uses warps
  • Abuses glitches
  • Abuses randomness (monster behaviour)
  • Genre: Platformer

I would like to thank:

  • Nifboy for setting the ball rolling with his first submission and discovering some tricks which I use in one way or another during the movie.
  • x0u, and later on Highness for lending me webspace so people could see the WIP.
  • My brothers for help with mapping the levels. This game has a lot of levels and different paths, but I think we found the best one.
  • Bisqwit and the rest of Nesvideos community for giving me a great way to spend my time.
  • Whoever invented frame advance.
See you next mission. Over and out.

お疲れ様でした。


Bisqwit: fixed links.

Phil: Wow what a novel ;)


Moving improvement data from user page here:

Improvements for new Kid Chameleon video: (format shamelessly stolen from Bisqwit)

Level New time Seconds Diff Notes
Blue Lake Woods 1 2:43 17 +-
Blue Lake Woods 2 2:46 14 -1 Abused air jump glitch at the start and
corrected a (stupid) mistake when jumping a slope
Highwater Pass 1 2:22 38 -2 Better corner cuts and one jump less
Highwater Pass 2 2:42 18 -1 Takes damage to avoid a jump,
new double bounce
Elsewhere 2:48 12 -1 Abused reappearing block glitch
Under Skull Mountain 1 2:37 23 -1 Two jumps less, better cornercuts
warp to after second boss
Woods of Despair 1 2:45 15 -1 Abused reappearing block glitch
Woods of Despair 2 2:41 19 -9 Skipped taking SkyCutter and took a
shortcut with the samurai
Valley of Life 2:49 11 +4 Lost four seconds due to not having SkyCutter.
Black Pit 2:38 22 +1 Lost one second due to not having SkyCutter.
In total 4 seconds gained on this.
Lion's Island 2:45 15 -1 Managed to pass a pesky block without hitting it
Wind Castle 1 2:58 2 +-
Wind Castle 2 2:52 8 +-
Blizzard Mountain 2:44 16 -3 Fast helmet pickup trick and better climbing
Caves of Ice 2:30 30 -3 Better climbing route
Nightmare Peaks 1 2:44 16 -1 Better climbing route
Nightmare Peaks 2 2:55 5 -1 Now picks up helmet on correct side. Doh.
Bagel Brothers 2:31 29 -11 Previous strategy was pretty much crap.
Glitchy samurai sword > jumping on boss :D
Diamond Edge 2:20 40 +- Early improvements lost to unaffectable
reappearing blocks later in level. :(
Hills Have Eyes 2:41 19 -2 Managed to squeeze between two moving bars.
Window of opportunity: 2-3 frames. :D
Secrets in the Rocks 2:38 22 -3 Block destroying trick, 1 attack instead of 4
Ice God's Vengeance 2:27 33 -6 Better climbing and a new shortcut
Beneath Twisted Hills 2:21 39 -1 Slightly different jumping path, nothing major.
Also got some secret extra points instead of waiting at the end.
Alien Isle 2:31 29 -6 I killed this level until it died.
The Land Below 2:36 24 -2 Some minor jumping optimizations.
The Final Marathon 2:20 40 -2 Better start, better cornercuts
and solutions to some passages.
Plethora 2:25 35 -2 This boss is highly nonlinear.
TOTAL 9:51 -55 I never imagined my previous run was this bad.

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