TASVideos

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

Submission #488: nitsuja's SNES Super Bomberman 2 in 20:19.23

Console: Super NES
Game name: Super Bomberman 2
Game version: 1.0
ROM filename: Super Bomberman 2 (U).smc
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 20:19.23
FrameCount: 73154
Re-record count: 10107
Author's real name: JSP
Author's nickname: nitsuja
Submitter: nitsuja
Submitted at: 2004-12-29 09:55:26
Text last edited at: 2005-03-02 13:58:40
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (7147 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
- Aims for fastest time
- Manipulates luck
- Takes damage to save time
- Genre: Action/Puzzle


Emulator used: Snes9X WIPI 1.4.3

Special viewing instructions: Before viewing the SMV, go to Sound->Settings... and make sure "Volume envelope height reading" is OFF because it causes desyncs in both recording and playback in this game. Also, when you open the ROM, let the intro run for at least about 10 seconds before starting to play the movie file or it will probably go out of sync. Finally, make sure you're using the right ROM (CRC32 = 9C1F11E4) and the WIP 1 dev version of the emulator.


Info:

(This is an improvement of 2 minutes and 26 seconds over my previous/first version, due to more precise playing, better paths, some manipulation of luck, and better use of time-saving tricks, notably more wraparound abuse and a new one involving jumping with pushable blocks.)

Bomberman was one of my favorite games as a kid, so when I noticed the lack of any Bomberman time attacks, I decided to make a time attack of it myself to show that they can in fact be entertaining. I chose Super Bomberman 2 as the best game in the series for time attack purposes, mainly because its single-player levels are hand-crafted and diverse (and not too numerous) as opposed to the boring randomly-generated square rooms of most other Bomberman games. Sure, the multiplayer battle mode is the most fun to actually play if you have anyone to play it with, and it's certainly the mode I've spent the most time playing, but the single player mode is not bad either and is fun enough to watch.

I think this movie is interesting because it demonstrates a variety of feats that would clearly require superhuman reflexes and/or precision to perform, and the game provides so many opportunities for multitasking in non-obvious ways. It starts out a little bit slow, but as Bomberman collects more and more powerups, the action keeps getting faster (eventually much faster than a person could control in real-time). Unfortunately, you'll just have to get used to hearing the "kaboom" noise over and over, because blowing stuff up is Bomberman's primary action and there's not much I can do about that. Note that Bomberman is NOT immune to his own explosions, so even when the enemies don't pose a threat, he must constantly place himself in danger in order to beat the levels as fast as possible.

I play through the entire "Normal Game" which consists of 5 worlds that each have 7 levels, the 7th of which is always a miniboss and boss level. The goal in each non-boss level is to use explosives to kill all of the enemies in the level and flip all of the switches on; when both of these are done, the level's exit door will open. These don't have to be done in any order within the level, so I accomplish as much as I can simultaneously. The goal in the boss levels is much simpler: blast the boss senseless.

In addition to having a unique set of enemies, each world gives its levels a quirk of some sort (for instance, the fire world has furnaces and regenerating blocks) which I take advantage of and/or avoid their negative effects. The minibosses and bosses are all unique and pretty fun to fight normally, but you won't see much of that in a time attack since they can all be destroyed with superhuman reflexes basically before they get a chance to move.

While taking a hit is normally lethal, and a no-hit run is possible, I do get hit several times (after picking up health powerups which absorb the damage) to save time.

I manipulated luck (mainly only in the first few levels) to prevent any powerups from ending up in inconvenient locations and to keep some enemies that turn randomly from getting in the way. The only way I've found to manipulate luck in this game seems to be to finish the previous level in a different number of frames; once the level starts, all the randomness in it is more or less pre-determined. (Yes, this means luck can't be manipulated on the very first level since it's always the same after a reset, unless the game is being emulated slightly improperly, which wouldn't surprise me.) Luck could be manipulated even more, but it can't change what powerups are in each level or what the enemies are or where they start, so the gains from this would be pretty minor.

No passwords/cheats/warps of any kind are used.

As far as I know, no programming errors were abused in the making of this time attack.

I get 100% kills, but that's required to beat the game -- there weren't any particular goals besides the fast and entertaining completion of the story mode game.

Note that a lot of the maneuvers that look pretty easy are actually extremely difficult and/or almost impossible to pull off. Many things that seem natural that they work would have resulted in death if they had happened even a single frame later. This applies especially to the elaborate chain reactions and enemy-trapping in the levels before the remote control detonator is obtained, and to the final boss battle. Once I have the detonator, the way I detonate each bomb at the exact right moments while simultaneously navigating the level and laying new bombs is also basically impossible in real-time; the bombs aren't just exploding on their own anymore and their order of explosion is difficult to change, so it gets to be a lot more to coordinate at once (although the huge speed gains are worth it). Thank goodness for frame advance -- slow motion wouldn't really have cut it, since precision translates directly into speed in this game moreso than in most games, and ultra-slow-motion would take a lot longer to get any results with.

Tricks used:

Level wrap-around: With the glove powerup, Bomberman can throw bombs into the air over a few blocks. If it doesn't land on an empty space, it starts bouncing one tile at a time in the direction it was thrown until it finds an empty place to stay. But if it hits the edge of the level and keeps going, and the level isn't in World 4, the bomb will instantly wrap around to the other side of the level, no matter how big the level is. I take advantage of this a few times to clear the end of a level before I get there by throwing things offscreen from the start of the level. When it looks like I'm wasting bombs by throwing them out of bounds, I'm probably actually clearing an intricate setup of switches and enemies on the other side of the level to avoid the delay of waiting for them to activate or die later. (It was actually a huge pain to time these parts correctly because the game gives no audio or visual feedback whatsoever on switches or blocks that are offscreen.)

Early placement chain reactions: Until I get the remote control detonator, each bomb has a timed delay before it goes off. Bombs can set each other off, however, so to minimize waiting I set up chain reactions of bombs by placing one within reach as soon as I can, then placing other bombs in the most effective places that connect with other already-placed bombs, and retreating to safety before they all explode at once when the first one does.

Chain reaction delay: When a bomb's explosion sets off another one, there is a very small (one or two frames) delay. Since bombs can be placed with no delay at all, this is sometimes put to use by placing extra bombs in the way to gain that extra frame or two necessary to escape from a chain reaction of explosions in time.

Invincible continuous explosions: One hit from an explosion or touch from an enemy normally kills Bomberman, but the heart powerup lets you survive an extra hit. Cut scenes (i.e. boss dying) also give this effect permanently while they're happening, and being in a vehicle gives 1 extra hit of this type also. Surviving a hit in any of these ways causes Bomberman to blink white for a good number of seconds and become invincible while blinking. While invincible, you can lay a bomb and let it explode through you, then mash the bomb-laying button to cause instant explosions each fueled by the previous one's flame, then walk around while doing so to demolish anything and everything in the level until the invincibility wears off. While this is a great trick when playing on a console, it isn't always faster than beating the level normally, so I only abuse it sparingly at key locations or when it's already faster to take damage (not counting fooling around while waiting for a defeated boss to die). (Note: This is not a glitch; it's simply a side effect of invincibility which the developers were almost certainly aware of but chose to leave in.)

Standing on exploding blocks: When a soft (destructable) block is hit by an explosion, it melts away. With the walk-through-soft-blocks powerup, Bomberman can safely stand on these blocks even while they're still melting away, which can be used in conjunction with the remote control denotator to clear blocks extremely fast: All at the same time, you can place a bomb next to a block, detonate the bomb, and walk on top of that block to safety.

Trampoline evasion: When on a trampoline in World 3, Bomberman won't take any hits until he lands, so even if you just barely stepped on the trampoline a frame ago and an explosion hits you, the game doesn't count it as a hit since you're technically in the air even if it doesn't look like it yet graphically. This is also not really a glitch, just minor hit detection clumsiness.

Killing enemies first: This isn't much of a trick, but if an enemy is killed last in a level then there are multiple seconds of delay before the level's exit door will let you out (because the game waits until the enemy's bonus score disappears before it counts as dead), whereas if the last thing done in a level is to flip a switch after the enemies are all dead, the exit door will open MUCH faster. So I sometimes prioritize killing enemies more than it looks like I should because it avoids a long wait at the end of the level.

Killing invincible enemies: Enemies that are blinking white with temporary invincibility (such as all of the enemies in world 4) can be damaged by a direct hit by a thrown bomb landing on top of them even while they're still invincible (can save a few frames here and there).

Push-block bouncing: This is a major time-saver: if Bomberman steps onto a tile at the exact same time that a block is pushed onto that tile by an explosion, he'll start bouncing over blocks until reaching a free one, and what's more, the direction he bounces can be chosen by pressing that direction at the frame the bouncing starts on. Unfortunately, the designers made some walls impassible when bouncing this way, apparently specifically to avoid skipping too much of the level using this trick, but it can still be used to bounce over pits which otherwise would require many seconds of waiting for them to be filled in by a push-block, as shown in several places in World 5.

Cutting corners: The game lets you cut around the corners of blocks a little bit diagonally which allows for motion that is faster than normally possible. Sometimes I choose paths that zig-zag more because this way they're faster than walking in straight lines.

Explanations of things that could be considered mistakes:

Sometimes before throwing a bomb I walk two tiles out of the way and try walking into the wall, then go back and throw the bomb. This is because Bomberman needs to be pixel-perfect aligned to throw a block in the right direction in certain situations (because the game tries to be helpful and assumes you're trying to walk around the block instead of facing toward it, unless you're exactly lined up at its middle), and with the speed powerup at maximum, he moves too many pixels per frame for this alignment to be possible without trying to walk into the wall a bit to get him off by 1 pixel. I'm not entirely sure how it works, and it only works quite rarely and takes many retries (and looks horrible anyway), but this is the fastest way I've found to do it in those few cases where a bomb has to be thrown across an even row/column to save lots of time later.

Some thrown bombs appear to be wasted (thrown into the void or not destroying anything useful). In some cases they ARE wasted intentionally to kill time while waiting for something. Sometimes, however, their only purpose was to deal damage upon landing on an enemy, or to allow another thrown bomb to bounce over it, not to destroy anything useful in the actual explosion afterward.

Sometimes I don't throw/kick bombs where it seems like it would be faster to do so. While it may not be obvious when watching the movie, this is because the picking-up and throwing animations take up quite a lot of frames, and a kicked bomb actually moves slower than Bomberman can move, so it's often faster just to place bombs normally.

The title screen has a delay before allowing any choice to be made which seems excessively long but can't be avoided. The lengthy display of each level's number before entering it also can't be skipped, unfortunately.

Well, I hope you find this enjoyable.


Phil: I didn't read your book but I'm gonna check this movie myself. Phil:Published.

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