TASVideos

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

Submission #4843: TheAngryPanda's SNES Secret of Evermore in 1:15:07.64

Console: Super NES
Game name: Secret of Evermore
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Secret of Evermore (USA).sfc
Branch:
Emulator: BizHawk 1.6.1
Movie length: 1:15:07.64
FrameCount: 270904
Re-record count: 29340
Author's real name: G. M.
Author's nickname: TheAngryPanda
Submitter: TheAngryPanda
Submitted at: 2015-09-16 03:25:57
Text last edited at: 2015-09-20 12:19:37
Text last edited by: Spikestuff
Download: Download (167984 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Do you like dogs that run at abnormal speeds? How about kids that get sent on dangerous adventures in B-movie reference-filled zones? What about a toaster that shoots lasers? Well this has exactly what you want all wrapped into one game, Secret of Evermore. Traverse multiple eras in search of a way back home and meet some fantastic characters along the way. Secret of Evermore is the US answer to Secret of Mana, which is where most of it's inspiration comes from for combat mechanics, animation style, and general feel/tone of the game. Evermore also sports a fantastic soundtrack.

The author aims for the fastest completion time possible.

Game Objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 1.6.1
  • Aims for fastest time possible
  • Heavy abuse of game mechanics and various programming oversights
  • Very heavy RNG manipulation
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Frame Count: 270904

Techniques/Glitches

Manipulation

  • Generally speaking the position and action of each character is what controls outcomes in this game, with 2 exceptions.
  • Exceptions:
    • Thraxx has an additional element to it's RNG in the damage equation, we have no idea what it is.
    • Certain enemies will always be in the same position, and usually end up being killed instead of avoided.

Item Pickup and Energy Relationship

  • When you pick up an item on the ground, you're energy meter is instantly reset to 100%.
  • This is generally only ever fully utilized during the intro Guardbot fight.

Raptor Skip/Inn Skip

  • We take damage from the Wimpy Flowers so that the last hit from them kills us.
  • Since the dog is at the exit, we swap to the dog as the flower deals the deathblow.
  • The dog initiates the exit event, which overrides our death event.
  • We now have Zombie Boy triggered and are considered "dead" within the Raptor fight at the beginning of the game.
  • The game triggers the dog to move our "dead" body (This is where Raptor Skip ends and Inn Skip begins).
  • We leave the zone within a certain frame window (roughly 10-12 frames long for it to work properly).
  • Now we head back into the zone above us, which is no longer the raptor fight, but instead is the village.
  • We've bypassed the Inn cutscene, become Zombie Boy, and put ourselves closer to our next goal.

Leashing (Boy or Dog)

  • Leashing is accomplished in various ways:
    • Control boy, swap to dog, move dog in X direction, swap back to boy, dog's AI continues along path.
      • Bypassing the villager blocking the exit in the beginning village of the game.
    • Have AI set to aggressive, 100% energy on AI character, let AI attack, AI retreats X distance after.
      • Bypassing the abyss between Eastern Beach and the Desert.
    • Have AI set to aggressive, 0-99% energy on AI character, get AI near enemy, AI retreats X distance.
      • Bypassing the gate in the Ruins to prevent the closing animation from happening.
    • A leashed character bypasses all triggers because they are not the controlled character.

Ingredient Pickup/Flag Glitch

  • In brief terms, this enables us to transfer one pickup value of an area to another or the same areas value.
  • Pickup
    • Get an item with a numeric value to drop from an enemy.
    • Pick the item up.
    • Reach the next item pickup location.
    • Pick that item up, which will now have the value of the initial drop.
      • Examples in the TAS are the 7 Clay pickup in the beginning and the 90 Call Bead pickup in Pyramids.
  • Flag
    • Initiate a pickup with the boy for an ingredient on the ground and swap to the dog on the frame after.
      • This cancels the action out, but maintains the value trigger of that pickup.
    • Swap back to the boy and re-pickup the item.
      • We now get our initial value trigger to override the one we're trying to grab now.
      • Example in the TAS are the 3 Crystal pickup just before entering the cave in Bugmuck.

Character Speed Comparison and Perfect Sprinting

  • Ranking of Fastest Movement
    • Act 4 Dog
    • Act 1 Dog
    • Boy with Spear equipped
    • Act 2 Dog/Boy with non-Spear equipped
    • Act 3 Dog
    • "Zombie" Boy

  • Optimal Movement Pathing
    • Vertical Dog Movement: Always run straight up or straight down.
    • Horizontal Dog Movement: Nothing too special.
    • Diagonal Dog Movement: Only if you're covering little ground or if you're already running horizontally.
    • Vertical Boy Movement: Always run at diagonals instead of straight up or down.
    • Horizontal Boy Movement: Nothing too special.
    • Diagonal Boy Movement: Almost always faster than any other option unless moving in a straight horizontal.

  • Perfect Sprinting Frame Breakdown:
    • Frame 0: Energy has depleted to 0%
    • Frame 1: Sprint button pressed
    • Frame 2: Sprint held
    • Frame 3: Sprint held
    • Frame 4: Sprint released
    • (Repeat from Frame 1)
      • There are occasional issues with the way the game handles input detection which can disrupt this.
      • Because this is the fastest method for the TAS, RTA runners just spam sprint when running.

Multi-Casting! What, How, and Why?

  • Multi-casting is basically animation locked events being interrupted so we can cast multiple alchemy at once.
  • The "How"
    • Control the Dog
    • Open the Boy's menu
    • Choose Alchemy Spell, Call Bead Spell, or Item
    • Close the menu and hold the button to open the Boy's menu again
    • Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you cannot do it any more (usually up to 8 instances, including the initial ones)
      • Certain cases prevent you from always doing an 8x cast, which is the most common.
      • There are also various "classes" of abilities, which have their own set of sub-rules.
      • Pushing past any limit for any of the classes will cause the game to crash outright.
    • Enjoy the damage

  • Multi-casting is done for 2 main reasons
    • Leveling up alchemy spells so they (and Call Beads) do more damage.
    • It's obviously faster in many cases, especially with Menu Cancelling.

Menu Cancelling

  • Open any menu which involves the screen fading to black and any spell touching the enemy it's on instantly completes.
  • This technically also works with screen transitions, but this is only utilized in RTA runs.

Camera Mechanics and Despawning Methods

  • Generally speaking, the sprites used for many things within the game do not exist off-screen after ~1.5 screen lengths.
    • This distance varies depending on the map and game sprite/object.
  • Abusing this, we force the camera back and forth in many situations that end up letting us pass through the objects.
  • This also works for controlling when, where, and how certain enemies spawn throughout the game.
    • There is a subset of enemies which will always spawn in the exact same location, no matter what.
  • Despawning animations, enemies, and other misc. things is heavily abused in this TAS.

Early Dog/Blimp Skip

  • This is how we bypass Blimp's cutscene and reach the desert earlier than intended, saving us a fair bit of time.
  • How it works:
    • The boy enters the cave that leads to the upper portion of the map (Eastern Beach).
    • Because this is an automated process, the camera gets locked and the dog is controlled off-screen.
    • Return to lower area, enter cave again, this time hit select just before the game takes control of the boy.
    • This transfers the event control to the dog, and the game moves the dog to the position the event starts.
    • Now we can do an aggressive AI leash across the abyss.
  • Leaving the area removes the dog from your control.
  • Leaving the area as the dog softlocks the game.
  • We save time with this because we start the market timer earlier and control the dog later on during Blimp's scene.
    • Controlling the dog during this scene lets us leave the scene much earlier than intended.

Desert Skip, Reverse Desert Skip (1 and 2), and the Ferryman

  • Desert Skip is a zip left in by developers to help speed up testing of the Desert area and game in general.
    • Run to the rock location seen in the TAS (there's multiple instances of this location throughout the map).
    • Run past the middle, then back towards the middle at an upwards diagonal.

  • Reverse Desert Skip 1 is the same as Desert Skip, but in the opposite direction (down)
    • Run to the rock location seen in the TAS (there's multiple instances of this location throughout the map).
    • DO NOT scroll the screen down too far.
    • Run at a downward diagonal from the side of the rock towards the middle underneath it.
      • This will initiate a screen transition, which is why we don't use it during the 14 minute timer.

  • Reverse Desert Skip 2 is a bit different and abuses how the Desert area functions map-wise.
    • Leave the dog at the entrance to Nobilia.
    • Run the boy down a certain distance.
    • Swap control to dog and run up.
      • This will initiate a screen transition, which is why we don't use it during the 14 minute timer.

  • The Ferryman is used to reach the Oasis without triggering any screen transitions.

Market's Forced 14 Minute Timer

  • There is nothing we've found that can bypass the timer.
  • It is a flat 14 minutes.
  • Screen transitions, menus, and fade to black menus all stop the timer for their entire duration.

Underflow Glitch (Atlas Glitch, Invincibility)

  • This is how we'll end up doing 999 damage with any non-100% energy attack.
  • How-to:
    • Get poisoned by an enemy.
    • Use Pixie Dust.
    • Use Atlas (or any other spell).
    • Wait until the poison's damage is about to be inflicted (it's "tick") and die just before it happens.
    • You should have a 6##### stat in your attack stat location on the stats menu if done properly.

  • Invincibility (not used in the TAS):
    • Get poisoned by an enemy.
    • Run to Eastern Beach and get Plagued or Confounded by a Mad Monk.
    • Use Pixie Dust.
    • Use Defend + Atlas.
    • Die before the poison tick has gone off.
    • You'll now be invincible to most things and have 6##### attack/defend stats.
      • Global damage still hurts the boy.
      • This does not work with the dog.

  • Using this with Speed will remove the capability of being hit or hitting anything in the game.

Diamond Eyes Skip

  • This is just an AI leash across a scene trigger that saves us from having to come back to Act 2 for the Diamond Eyes.

Banquet Skip

  • All you have to do for this is just hold Down+Right and the sprint button.
  • Using this prevents us from having to do the underground sewer maze part(s) of the game.

Bodyblocking With The Dog

  • The Garden Maze fight vs Footknight is the most obvious use of bodyblocking with the dog in the TAS.
  • It's simply just placing the dog where the enemy will be hit by the boy, which stops the boy from chasing it down.

Verminator Skip (Highly Experimental)

  • This is a way to skip the boss fight with Verminator, and requires the 2 extra wings bought earlier in Nobilia.

  • How it's done:
    • Enter the Sewers after Dark Forest.
    • Leave the Sewers and head back into Dark Forest.
    • Use Wings once. Then leave that section and enter the first Dark Forest zone.
    • Use Wings once. Now Head back up through the staircase.
    • Go back through the Garden Maze, and into Tinker's area. You've now skipped Verminator's fight.
    • When the story plays out, you have to eventually go to the prison map(s, technically).
    • A massive sound glitch involving the music happens here.
    • Completing this area and moving through the exit on a certain frame (50/50 chance) completes the skip.
      • Hitting the other frame (it alternates between success/failure, thus 50/50) will softlock the game.

  • This isn't currently used in RTA, but has been proven to work on consoles and various emulators.
  • We have no clue as to what actually enables completion or failure of the skip, just that audio is tied to it.

Multiple Gauge Pickups

  • The game just doesn't check to see what's already been completed post-turning things in to Tinker.
  • We abuse this and just go back through Volcano Path twice instead of wasting time elsewhere.

Wings Invincibility

  • For whatever reason, Wings grants invincibility when used in an area it "doesn't work" at.
  • We use this on Volcano Path because it reduces the need to manipulate AI, which would cost more time than Wings does.
  • We use this at the final boss rush because it makes AI easier to deal with and prevents all damage.

Landing Skip

  • On the 2nd trip back to Tinker after picking up the Gauge, we can skip the landing animation for the flying machine.
  • We do this by turning towards the top-right of the map and trying to land in the water.
  • Hitting the right area instantly lands us and removes the flying machine from the game.

Saturn Skip

  • Named after Saturn (The TASer) because it basically removed all of Act 4.
  • It's essentially just a camera clip that removes the "barrier" in front of a door event. This door leads to the boss.
  • It's done by moving the dog to the area, hitting the interact button, and swapping to the boy on the frame after.

Route Comments

Intro

  • Before anything starts, because this is a TAS, we start from "power on," and as such, we have no access to the quick intro skip like most speedrunners do. I intentionally chose this instead of presenting a separate "proof" save on the ROM because there are methods to save frames/time within the intro compared to a normal playthrough, which I felt was important to include in this TAS.
  • I choose the boy's name "r" because it's the fastest and takes the least space up during text sequences.
  • During the intro, I made sure (and then double checked) every input advanced the text/screen on the very first frame possible. This is the 8th version of the TAS, so I had previous knowledge of exactly when those frames were. I switch later to the "a" and "b" spam after making it past points I no longer knew of said advancing frames.
  • The robot fight in the beginning is actually quite special because they have a chance to drop an item each. When the boy picks up something, he regains max stamina. This allows me to quickly take out both robots. It is significantly faster than any other method here. I also position myself and manipulate the left robot to hover below me so I can shoot it and bounce onto the trigger point for the cutscene that follows. This saves some frames because the screen no longer has to move as far.

Southern Forest

  • From the moment the text box is triggered to close (2 frames before it is off the screen) you can manipulate the outcome of every situation on the screen and roughly 1.5 screens to any direction from you. There are times that I've had to revert to previous states just to manipulate a flower later on the map because no outcome yielded the results I wanted under the previous flower's manipulation window/sequence. This screen alone took days of work. Luckily, there aren't many maps that require this much manipulation.
  • Flower attack sequences are all the same. Attack them as they attack me and get them to drop 5 talons. This does the following
    • 5 talons for money routing
    • I skip the attack animation due to being hit
    • I immediately regain all stamina afterwards, which saves frames that would otherwise be used for waiting
    • The direction I'm hit in because of the flower is the fastest way to get there under the above circumstances
  • The 2nd Flower is unique because no matter how you take hits or where you get hit to, you will always end up with the same frame count. It is equal spacing and equal animation/recovery time in all outcomes. This is because we would have to wait on the dog, and there is no way to force the dog there faster.
  • Setting up the inn skip is normal, the dog is sent into a position 1 frame from the exit. This is because when I switch to the dog and go up, I also need to switch back the boy when I do so. This puts us into what is referred to as "zombie boy" mode and is impossibly slow without the precision inputs within a TAS. The reason we switch to the boy is so you can leave the screen as it triggers your "death" during the raptor fight. In doing so, you're allowed to enter the village normally from Southern Forest, but will have 0 hp on the boy for a bit and be incapable of sprinting.

Fire Eyes' Village (visit #1)

  • We just leash the dog over the trigger for the NPC to get to Eastern Forest.

Eastern Forest (Visit #1)

  • Immediately we kill another Flower enemy and force a drop of 7 talons, which can then be picked up to trigger the ingredient pickup glitch and obtain 7 clay from a short distance below (Distance will vary depending on player position for the Flower kill). This saves us an immense amount of time throughout the following zones and provides us with some extra talons for our money routing, which gives us barely enough for everything we need.

Quicksand Area

  • Manipulating the vendor in the cave to move towards us saves time. We want our Jaguar Ring as soon as possible to abuse the Act 1 dog's speed, which is the 2nd fastest in the game.
  • Running as the dog through most of this area puts the dog within 1 or 2 frames of being hit and/or colliding with terrain/objects. There are very minor adjustments made during the brief stutters of sprinting to manipulate these windows. It doesn't look precise, but it's very much so.
  • By running the dog so far ahead, and so quickly, the boy is forced into the running animation even though we normally cannot achieve this status. This saves us a ton of time getting him to the chest with 10 crystals in it.

Bugmuck

  • We once again force the boy into the running animation so he gets into position quicker and because he's immune to damage if a certain distance is maintained between the boy and the dog from certain enemy types (which the bone snake is). We also manipulate a maggot to delay it's spawn slightly by abusing the spawn mechanics of this camera position. 1 frame to the left or right and the maggot will block the way. This type of camera and enemy spawn relationship is abused heavily and frequently throughout this TAS.
  • Attacking with the dog puts him into a forced animation temporarily. This is required because the only way to maintain position with the dog is by sniffing/searching. There is an item just above where the dog is that he'll try to go and seek out, which we cannot have because it would be slower. This is done throughout the process of getting the boy into position to abuse the ingredient flag glitch, which allows us to trigger the higher pickup value of one location and transfer it to another (or the same) location to override the new locations value. This is how the TAS bypasses needing to be in the Raptor Fight we skipped earlier.
  • Inside the cave, we get our first Alchemy spell, Hardball. We also grab another clay piece.
  • The maggot that is attacked by the dog must be attacked. It cannot be bypassed any other way that is quicker than just simply attacking.

Big Bug

  • So all the camera movement is because when combined with the dog's attack animation, we're capable of bypassing the triggers for the floors to fall apart here. There are many ways to accomplish this, but this was the fastest for the TAS because of the dog's ridiculous speed in Act 1. You're forced to walk near the end for the final floor break trigger. Manipulating the camera here doesn't work, unfortunately.
  • Again, we abuse camera and enemy spawn relationships to force a despawn and respawn of the maggot we attack under the bridge within a 4 frame window. Also, we're still abusing the dog's speed, and will continue to do so where possible at all times.
  • In the area before the boss (the upper floor of this map) we abuse the camera again but this time force the respawn of the maggot to the lower portion of the stage where the boy is located off camera. This sets up the dog for quickly getting into Thraxx's area, but also keeps the boy near the entrance to this area for a cutscene skip in the beginning of the Thraxx fight.

Thraxx

  • Okay, so a small confession here. I/We still have absolutely no clue how damage works in this area or against this boss. We've tried everything to make sense of it and to manipulate some kind of consistent result. So far we've been unsuccessful entirely. What you're seeing in this TAS is roughly 4 weeks of work trying to obtain the fastest possible "route" through this boss via pure brute force inputs, which I tracked in an excel document religiously. So I'm not sure if this is perfect, but it's pretty close to perfection. There is also the chance that it could be done with 8x Hardball instead of 2x + 7x Hardball, but routing wise, you still end up requiring another Hardball cast, so may as well use it here to get a sure kill on the boss.
  • General Strategy

    • Attack with dog 3 times during opening animation to force cage open (15 damage)
    • Attack with dog alongside 2x Hardball multi-cast (85 damage)
    • Attack with dog 3 times during cage closing animation to cage open again (12 damage)
    • Attack with dog alongside 7x Hardball multi-cast (532 damage)
    • Total Damage = 644, 44 damage overkill
  • The dog and boy are still under leveled a bit, so we'll kill some mosquitoes to level them up along the way to Magmar.
  • There are lots of minor character swaps that go on in this game. Overall, they save around a minute total, which is pretty impressive considering most are only 1 or 2 frame advantages over normal gameplay.

Cliffs

  • We kill our 1st level up mosquito on the way to the Acid Rain vendor. We'll end up killing 2 more, one on this same screen and the other in the sewers. This will normalize our experience since right now it is massively underflowed due to "zombie boy" status from earlier. We need to have a certain amount of HP for Magmar, so we have to get our experience back to normal as soon as possible. Mosquitos are the fastest, but also the hardest to manipulate.
  • Ingredient Purchase List
    • 40 Crystals
    • 40 Clay

Eastern Forest (Visit #2)

  • Staying as the boy to use the axe on the grass, swapping to dog mid-swing and resuming maximum speed again. Just need to get to the village.

Fire Eyes' Village (Visit #2)

  • The awkward pathing here is actually much faster than any other pathing and optimizes the boy's movement as an NPC. Camera manipulation is used as well to remove a sprite in the north until we start the cutscene. This is one place that the TAS can likely be improved by newly found techniques, but since that would involve delaying this project another year or so, I sadly wasn't able to include it. The new technique is a way to enter the Fire Eyes cutscene without sitting through the villagers talking/chanting before the cutscene would actually take place. It's currently used in all RTA runs. I am unsure how much time it would save specifically for the TAS, just that it would save time.
  • Fire Eyes gives us some call beads and we head north. Won't be back here for quite some time now.

Northern Forest

  • What we do on this map is known as the Camera Clip technique/glitch. Basically we move the screen just far enough to squeeze into a sprite's location/hitbox, which allows us to just simply continue walking through it as if we had no-clip on. This essentially removes the rest of Act 1 from the TAS and RTA routes.

Volcano

  • Again, more Camera Clipping. The only difficult one is the very first rock we go through, which has a very small frame window for when it's possible to slip through. I think with my current setup in the TAS, it was 3 frames. I haven't found a faster method or setup yet than the one present here.
  • Attacking the mosquito with the dog doesn't lose any frames surprisingly, even though it looks like it does. Thankfully the water moves at a constant and because we're in animation, we continue moving forward at the same speed as perfect sprinting would be over that small area. Any larger of an area, and we would have had to route a mosquito kill elsewhere.
  • It's hard to tell what's going on when you press the trigger for the gate that leads to Magmar. Basically I'm triggering a cutscene and exiting the screen within a frame of each other, this results in some funky camera movement since all sections of this map are all on the same map-set. What's really cool though is that we're allowed to move normally during this cutscene, which gives us the opportunity to save some serious time compared to RTA here. This isn't feasible in RTA because you're completely blind when navigating during the cutscene and there's a 2 frame window you have to hit perfectly.

Magmar

  • We heavily abuse menu cancelling to get off as many casting sequences as possible while also manipulating orb firing, movement, and damage from/on Magmar. There's also a timer for Heat Wave, and a damage range that forces it's cast. It's important to handle this fight carefully and precisely in the TAS, because you can only take one hit.
  • General Strategy
    • Attack with dog alongside 8x Hardball multi-cast (118 damage)
    • Attack with 8x Hardball multi-cast (101 damage)
    • Attack with 8x Hardball multi-cast while moving dog out of orb path (127 damage)
    • Attack with 8x Hardball multi-cast while maintaining good position for incoming Heat Wave attack (169 damage)
      • The positions of the boy and the dog are key to forcing Magmar into his resulting position, which is optimal.
    • Attack with 8x Hardball, 6x Thunderstorm, and change behavior of boy for Early Dog/Desert in Act 2 (514 damage)
  • Running the dog off the side wastes no time at all, and instead saves time. This is the only boss that this works on.
  • Hardball being leveled up multiple times throughout the fight is where the damage increase comes from.

Eastern Beach (Visit #1)

  • Entering the cave allows the dog to be selected, returning to the lower section of this map and then going back into the cave while swapping to the dog allows us to control the dog. This enables us to bypass the abyss due to how AI mechanics function during/after attacks they make under various behavior settings, which we set during the end of the Magmar fight.
  • We lose the dog as soon as we enter the Desert.

Desert (Visit #1)

  • Desert Skip is pretty much all that's going on here right now, we'll be back soon enough though for something much more fun.

Nobilia (Visit #1)

  • Immediately upon entering Nobilia, an internal timer within the game starts that is 14 minutes long. There is no way to bypass this and if someone ever finds one, they'll absolutely shatter this TAS and likely the RTA routes very easily. For now though, we're just going to handle some business in town. It's important to note that the timer will continuously run as long as you're not in a screen transition, any ring menu operation, or any other sort of situation where the game is in a "paused" state. Luckily, this doesn't really apply too much to this TAS other than optimizing map visits, which is already done via the route.
  • The Shopping list
    • Exchange Talons for Jewels (468 Jewels)
    • Disable Hardball, Enable Atlas, buy 1 Atlas Medallion (-100 Jewels, 368 Jewels)
    • 3 Wings (-150 Jewels, 218 Jewels)
    • 1 Pixie Dust (-125 Jewels, 93 Jewels)
    • 20 Bags of Rice (-60 Jewels, 33 Jewels, 20 Rice)
    • 10 Bags of Rice (-30 Jewels, 3 Jewels, 30 Rice)
    • 3 Amulets of Annihilation (-1 Rice, 29 Rice)

Desert (Visit #2)

  • We take the ferry simply to waste time. There's really no rush due to the forced timer and we need to be near the oasis anyways. This is the fastest way there without any extra screen transitions.
  • Performing the underflow glitch with Atlas for an absurdly high attack stat off a spider and dieing elsewhere lets us start the grind for money that we'll use in the market for various things. The other purpose to raising our level is also raising our hit rate, even if it's only slightly higher than before, we'll make full use of it where we can.
  • This is as good of a time as any to mention that any non-100% stamina attack will hit for 999, will crit for between 400-800, and has a higher chance of missing/being dodged. Full stamina attacks do 0-2 damage, with 3-5 crit damage, and aren't used in this TAS past this point intentionally.
  • I just played around to waste time here, hopefully it's enjoyable. It's hard to burn 14 minutes. Oh and we get 2,314 Jewels from it.

Nobilia (Visit #2)

  • 2nd visit, shopping time. A lot of things were done with smaller amounts to further waste time on the forced timer. There's no real reason for it other than that.
  • The Shopping List (Round 2!)
    • 3 Jars of Spice (-12 Rice, 17 Rice, 3 Spice)
    • 70 Bags of Rice (-210 Jewels, 2107 Jewels, 87 Rice)
    • 3 Beads (-3 Rice, -9 Jewels, 2098 Jewels, 84 Rice)
    • 3 Chickens (-3 Spice, - 6 Rice, 78 Rice, 0 Spice)
    • Zap some old dude into a basket with magical lightning from the sky
    • 1 Jade Disk (-3 Chickens, - 3 Beads, 0 Beads, 0 Chickens)
    • Appraisal Fee (-5 Jewels, 2093 Jewels)
    • Sell 78 Rice (-78 Rice, 2405 Jewels)
    • 90 Bags of Rice (-270 Jewels, 2135 Jewels, 90 Rice)
    • 30 Ceramic Pots (-60 Rice, 30 Rice, 30 Pots) (Chocobo Egg was a nice bonus)
    • We have to burn through around 3 mins now. I tried to make this entertaining, but there's not much to do.
    • 6 Fish (-180 Jewels, 1955 Jewels)
    • 60 Bags of Rice (-180 Jewels, 1775 Jewels, 90 Rice)
    • 15 Jars of Spice (-60 Rice, 30 Rice, 15 spice)
    • 1 Golden Jackal (-5 Spice, 10 Spice, 1 Jackal)
    • 1 Silver sheath (-1 Jackal, -10 Spice, 0 Spice, 0 Jackals, 1 Silver Sheath)
    • 1 Armor Polish (-1 Silver Sheath, -75 jewels, 1700 Jewels, 0 Silver Sheath)
  • The rest of the 14 minutes is just wasted messing around in town. There's nothing else I can get without delaying the timer that's actually useful.

Vigor

  • General Strategy
    • Run up and hit him for any amount of damage
    • Move behind him and hit him again for 999 damage
    • Don't softlock the game by killing him too early
  • There's talk of there being faster ways to kill him, but this was the fastest I could manage. So if there's a quicker kill on Vigor, there's potentially some time to be saved here. As far as I know though, this is the fastest non-softlock kill.

Desert (Visit #3)

  • Reverse Desert Skip is used here instead of the ferry because we're no longer worrying about forced timers or screen transitions.

Eastern Beach (Visit #2)

  • When falling into the abyss, we switch control to the dog at the last frame possible. This enables us to exit the cave mid-conversation, saving a ton of time.

River (Visit #1)

  • There's a ton of manipulations going on throughout this map. The enemy spawn locations are mostly fixed and they generally don't allow for anything other than tight squeezes through places. To bypass this, I've abused the fact that the boy isn't targeted normally by enemies when "chasing" the dog at certain distances. This is why the enemies don't turn around and hit the boy on his way to the lift.

Western Beach (Visit #1)

  • The invisible bridges are active even if you don't have the proper Alchemy spells to see them like you would in a normal playthrough.

Ruins

  • Most of the areas involve using the search feature the dog has to maintain his initial location or whatever location we need, then running the boy to the switch(es) in any given area, and finally switching back to the dog and leaving that area to save time that would otherwise be wasted running all the way back to the entrance or leaving by other means.
  • Every single enemy in the Ruins was manipulated into their positions/movements/attacks for optimal pathing through the areas.
  • Leashing the dog over triggers is another time saving technique used in these areas. Most are used in the RTA runs of the game, but the one after the crumbling bridge that leashes the boy instead of the dog is currently TAS only.
  • Wings gets us out and is quicker than the alternate route back to the entrance area.
  • Early Mad Monk is a weird NPC manipulation technique that lets us bypass the way to that miniboss. Basically we force the enemy to walk towards us 4 times, then attack once, force another 2 moves towards us, and then finish him off (call beads/alchemy is slower). Shortly after, we exit and re-enter the area to prevent a softlock, then exit again and continue to Megataur.
  • We now have the spear weapon, which is the 3rd fastest run speed in the game when equipped on the boy. This is why we do Ruins before Pyramids.
  • The fight against Megataur isn't really worth mentioning, most bosses from now on are just attacking them until they are defeated.

Pyramids

  • Like the Ruins, there's mostly enemy manipulations here. The exceptions are that any enemy killed in this TAS is faster than bypassing them by other means. Another thing to note is that you cannot walk through a death animation of an enemy until a certain frame, which is why the double kill against the spear-wielding snake men about half-way through isn't a time loss.
  • We abuse the ingredient pickup glitch again with an enemy drop and a call bead pot, giving us 90 Call Beads. This is more than enough to defeat Aquagoth later on and means we never have to level up Crush for Call Bead spells.
  • Rimsala will confuse us during the fight against it. Just have to wait it out and have fun with the reversed controls for a little bit.

Western Beach (Visit #2)

  • Leashing the dog past the trigger for a cutscene bypasses us losing the Diamond Eyes we gathered from the Ruins and Pyramid boss fights. Diamond Eyes Skip, as it's called, prevents us from having to come back and fight Tiny for the Diamond Eyes later in the game, saving massive amounts of time.

River (Visit #2)

  • We don't leave early because it's slower to move the gondola over later on.

Aegis

  • We just attack a few times and it's over.

Oglin Tunnels

  • We kill 2 Mad Monks to get 2 Wings prior to dropping into the Oglin Tunnels, these will come in handy later on.
  • The Oglin Tunnels are pretty straight forward, nothing special here.

Aquagoth

  • General Strategy
    • Call Bead spam until he's dead.
    • Don't softlock the game by using too many abilities at once
    • Don't let Aquagoth cast Corrosion, it will crash the game with what we're casting all at once on him
    • Camera control at the end speeds things up once the bucket is lowered

Ivor Tower

  • Cutscene city incoming. This section of the game is mostly text spam and running around.
  • We spend one of our Amulet of Annihilation on a ticket to the show. To our (the Secret of Evermore speedrun/TAS community) knowledge, there is absolutely no way to skip many of the cutscenes within this part of the game. If a method to do so were to be found, we could save an extremely large amount of time here.

Garden Maze (Visit #1)

  • Manipulate enemies out of the way, kill Footknight near the exit, exit the area.

Staircase Under Maze

  • There's no way to get through this section faster with the RNG that I'm given here. Any enemy killed is done so because it's quicker than walking under them.

Dark Forest

  • Just passing through, quickly.
  • Dopplegangers (Bad Boys) can only be damaged after a certain amount of time that they're present on the map.
  • Timberdrake is knocked into the wall to reduce distance I have to travel between spear swings.

Verm Skip

  • CAUTION! LOUD NOISES!
  • Tinker's lab area is a royal pain because of the dog's pathing. We have to manipulate the dog to always take the shortest possible path, or the cutscenes here are delayed.
  • A very annoying skip because it will either crash or not crash depending on the frame you leave an area later on. In RTA, it's a 50/50, the TAS has proved this multiple times. We still don't know the exact cause of the crash/lockup, but the assumption is that it has to do with an audio conflict and that the map is technically duplicated in a sense.

Sewers

  • Break the rocks and keep moving, swapping to the spear after we clear the barricade near Dark Forest's exit.

Gomi's Tower

  • Another manipulation heavy area where we still end up having to kill a few enemies.
  • We get the quick kill on Sterling, which is 2 frames from being grabbed and dropped to the floor below.

Mongola

  • General Strategy
    • Kill 4 puppets, smack Mongola in the face until final hit, then swing and swap to the dog to reduce lag.
  • Exiting the castle, we manipulate good RNG on the dog/boy pathing while following the king.

Item Collection Adventure

  • Tinker gives us a nice airship and tells us to find parts for a rocket ship. Naturally, we're not going to do that because he just needs Gauges and Diamond Eyes instead.
  • Basically you're able to repeatedly obtain the Gauge from Volcano Path. We use our extra Wings here to gain some time since it makes it easier (and faster) to manipulate the enemies to where we need them to be.
  • Returning to Tinker, we save a bit of time by some character transition swapping.
  • After we get the 2nd Gauge and take off from the area, we turn towards the top right of the world map and repeatedly try to land until it lets us. This destroys our airship and puts us in Tinker's workshop.

The Finale!

  • Tinker launches us into space with the rocket, we land in a junkyard, and that's about all we'll see of this part of the game.
  • Saturn Skip, which is a special kind of Camera Clip, enables us to move the toaster dog over the final boss entrance, swap to the boy, and then simply hit "b" to enter the fight. This effectively skips all of Act 4.

Final Fight!

  • General Strategy
    • Stand still when possible after the 1st Raptor group to save frames, otherwise we lose a ton of time.
    • Kill Raptor Group 1 as soon as possible, return to stable position.
    • Kill cleaner bot that comes from the bottom of the stage.
    • Kill Raptor Group 2 as soon as possible, return to stable position.
    • Kill Cleaner Bot and Death Spider that come from the bottom of the stage.
    • Kill Raptor Group 3 as soon as possible, return to stable position.
    • Kill Cleaner Bot and Death Spiders that come from the bottom of the stage.
    • Kill Rimsalas as soon as possible, return to stable position.
    • Kill Cleaner Bot and Death Spiders that come from the bottom of the stage.
    • Kill Bad Boy as soon as possible, manipulate Dark Toaster spawn at bottom-right of stage.
    • Kill Dark Toaster, manipulate zero dodges/misses from Dark Toaster.
    • Kill Cleaner Bot and Death Spiders that come from the bottom of the stage.
    • Kill Metal Magmar as soon as possible, manipulate straight downward movement and no misses/dodges/crits.
    • Kill Carltron with as little jumps as possible.
    • Enjoy the ending!

Possible Improvements

  • Better RNG in certain maps (~10-20 frames I know of, possibly more of course)
  • The newly discovered Fire Eyes cutscene trick (unknown amount of time saved, but would save time)
  • If there's a faster AI leash across the pit (unknown, but would be a minor time saver)
  • Vigor having a quicker kill that what's on here (unknown, but would be a very minor time saver)

Thanks!

Thanks to all the SDA community members who helped with this project and with helping me figure out TAS strategies to speed things up a bit.
Thanks to Metasigma, LemonsX, LovableLambchop, GreenAmble, AsFarAsIGet, Crawek, Saturn, and anyone else that helped us shape the new routes.
Thanks to all the TASVideos.org members that helped me figure out various things throughout this project.


ars4326: Claimed for judging!

ars4326: Updated movie file. Previous time: 1:23:57.54 (302750 frames). Current time: 1:21:55.65 (295425 frames).

ars4326: Updated movie file. Previous time: 1:21:55.65 (295425 frames). Current time: 1:15:07.64 (270904 frames).

ars4326: Hello, TheAngryPanda. Kudos on getting this 2+ year project completed! The amount of work put into this definitely shows: From the various movement, or "leashing", tricks showcased, as well as the other sequence breaks implemented, throughout the TAS. The boss destruction via use of the 'Atlas Glitch' was a treat to watch, as well. All in all, outstanding work and congrats on your first published run.

Accepting for publication, as a new branch (any%), to Moons!

Spikestuff: Alright, Secret of Mana. What this isn't Mana? What is this then? Evermore? Oh, so that explained the desyncs. Publishing.


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