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Submission #5022: Fog's GC Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 "All Goals and Golds" in 08:37.63

Console: Nintendo GameCube
Game name: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (USA).iso
Branch: All Goals and Golds
Emulator: Dolphin 4.0-8763
Movie length: 08:37.63
FrameCount: 93100
Re-record count: 12815
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: Fog
Submitter: Fog
Submitted at: 2016-02-15 05:24:53
Text last edited at: 2016-02-18 14:25:21
Text last edited by: Fog
Download: Download (23278 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 is the third game of the Tony Hawk series. This game introduced the revert and double tap tricks, which allowed for much longer and higher scoring combos. There are 8 main levels in the game, five of which are with goals scattered across the level, and three competitions. Once the main career is finished, a secret level (Cruise Ship) unlocks which also has it's own goals.


(Link to video)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Dolphin 4.0-8763
  • Complete every goal as fast as possible
  • Get 1st place in all competitions
  • Join the dark side

Comments

Skater Choice

In THPS3, the choice of skater affects which photo challenge goals one has to do per level (one for vert skaters and one for street) as well as the SKATE letter positions. The best goal/letter layouts are with skaters Jamie Thomas, Bam Margera, and Officer Dick. Officer Dick is an unlockable character, so he was out of the question. This leaves me with two options in Jamie and Bam. In the character selection screen, it is faster to get to Jamie than it is to get to Bam (two to the left for Jamie and six to the right for Bam), so Jamie becomes my skater of choice.

Another reason for selecting Jamie over Bam is with the default special tricks that each skater has. Jamie has a manual special, which is very important to score fast points, while Bam does not. To make changes to the special trick for Bam to replace his lip trick special with a manual special would take too long.

A nice bonus with Jamie's default special tricks is that it provides us with one flip trick and two grinds, which allows more variations and decreases the score decay when using the same tricks in a combo.

Trick swapping

Immediately after selecting the skater, I change one of the grab tricks to the One Foot Japan. In THPS3, there are two grab tricks which score 800 points, Judo and One Foot Japan. When combined with a 180 boneless, it is enough points to collect full special meter. Jamie does not have either Judo or One Foot Japan as a default grab trick, so I must replace another trick. It's faster to select the One Foot Japan over Judo, so I go with One Foot Japan.

Stats

By default, each skater has stats spread across nine different stat categories. To make the skater have the best stats where necessary, I completely remove stat points from all balance categories and hangtime, and place what I can within Ollie, Speed, Switch, and Air while leaving it half filled for Spin. The reason Switch is maxed instead of Spin is that without being maxed, It is slower to skate in Switch than it is in regular. With the Switch stat maxed out, the skater has the same speed in both directions. U do not collect any additional stat points during the run, as it wastes time after completing a level, so I change the stats in the character edit screen.

General comments

The route used in this run widely differs from the RTA routes currently used for this category. Almost every single level gets a complete makeover in route, saving many seconds compared to the RTA runs currently out there. Levels with the most substantial changes include Canada and Suburbia.

As for game mechanics, I abuse a quirk in the trick mechanics to continue certain combos without losing much speed by using manual for a few frames during a combo. This keeps the combo from ending without having the manual count as part of the combo and and allows me to quickly Ollie afterwards.

The fastest ways to traverse in the game is to grind on rails and ledges and to boneless. When grinding, your speed decreases over time, so to keep the speed up, I Ollie repeatedly whenever possible. This gives the added bonus of adding to the combo multiplier.

When ending runs, you get a few additional frames of movement, which I use in every level to complete goal objectives.

Stage by stage comments

In Game Timer comparisons

Level Best Known RTA TAS Difference
Foundry 1:30 1:31 1
Canada 1:16 1:23 7
Rio (Round 1) 0:53 0:55 2
Rio (Round 2) 0:53 0:55 2
Suburbia 1:19 1:24 5
Airport 0:43 0:54 11
Skater Island (Round 1) 0:54 0:56 2
Skater Island (Round 2) 0:53 0:56 3
Los Angeles 1:14 1:20 6
Tokyo (Round 1) 0:53 0:55 2
Tokyo (Round 2) 0:53 0:55 2
Cruise Ship 0:52 1:11 19

In Game Time Difference: 62 seconds

Foundry

This level does not change from the any% run, so here is the comments verbatim from that submission.

One thing to note is with grinding the molten bucket, it is on a set timer to come out and pour which makes it grindable. Keeping this in mind, I must grind the bucket within a certain time period or else time is lost. After grabbing the secret tape, I jump fall off the steel beam and land on the sloped part of the molten compactor to give myself a slight increase in speed and give myself a proper angle to do the 50-50 grind on TCs rail.

Before grinding the 4th lever, I slow myself down a little bit to set myself up for the Soak The Foreman. This setup includes grinding the right rail on the walkway, then transferring to the long rail without doing an Ollie. This gives me the proper speed (albeit slow) to trigger the cutscene for Soak the Foreman and collect the last letter of SKATE at the same time. When triggering the cutscene, there is a small section which allows it to trigger without doing a grind, so I jump just before the trigger and land hitting the trigger.

With this setup, turning to the left places me on a platform with a rail, which allows me to do a quick grind and leads me to the final lever. After grinding the final lever, delaying ending the run up to a certain point skips the cutscene which appears after grinding all five levers.

Canada

The beginning of Canada starts off exactly the same as the any% run, but quickly diverges from it once you get Chuck unstuck. Instead of taking a right, I turn left to go out of bounds. This brings me back to the start of the level. When respawning while holding ollie, it gives me a very slight window to turn my character around and grind the plow towards the fence. Doing this positions me towards the snow bank and allows an unintended way to grind the broken train tracks and grab the Secret Tape. Grabbing the secret tape in this way is difficult to do in a real time speedrun, but the best known RTA time for this level does do this near the end of the level instead of near the beginning.

After grabbing the tape, there is a few ways to get back up on top of the platform for the Around The Horn grind. One way involved falling into the broken ice beside the tree, another involved landing on the lower platform and riding around, and yet another was jumping from the ginormous tree trunk. What I do instead of those three options is jump from a snowy ramp below and jump directly to the upper platform. There is a small area of space where this jump is possible, and an even smaller angle to successfully make the jump.

From here, the route looks similar to RTA runs of Canada, with optimizations for collecting the SKATE letters and impressing the skaters. The eventual goal of this route was to reduce the amount of backtracking needed to collect all of the goals. Cutting out unnecessary routes made a major improvement to the final in game time of the level.

Rio

The first of the competitions, there isn't really anything too impressive with Rio. You need around 125k-150k points per run to secure first place at the competition. All competitions take the score from the top left hand corner when determining a final score from the judges. The interesting thing with the increasing score is that it ticks up per frame after landing the combo. Ending the run one frame too early can make your score lower than the threshold to get first place. The route is a continuation of the any% route, with a few extra tricks added in to reach the desired point total.

Suburbia

Suburbia is another level with multiple revisions to the the route of the level. The start of the level once again begins like any% up to grabbing the axe. Once the axe is obtained, I detour to grind the brick wall fence surrounding the rich house in the neighbourhood. This is needed to grind the first of five pumpkins. From here, multiple routes were tried to see which brought about the best time. All the route ideas were close in time, but the one which is used in this run actually came up after submitting the first version of the movie.

It wildly differs from current RTA strategies, where the pumpkins on the quarter pipe and in front of house are squashed before grabbing S, clearing the lines, and grabbing the K (which is similar to any% strategies). Instead, I clear the higher wire first, grab the K, clear the first branch from the second wire, and then jump down to squash the quarter pipe pumpkin. Going from the quarter pipe pumpkin to the lower wire to clear the second branch required a very precise wall ride to retain enough speed. Immediately after clearing the second wire, I jump to the fence to grab the S and smash the pumpkin in front of the house.

The next section looks similar to the any% route to heelflip over the trailer, but with the added variation of a quick grind to keep speed instead of landing on the ground to keep speed and then grab the A. Instead of handing the axe off to the thin man, I instead go for the pumpkin on the half pipe and make our way to grab the T and the final pumpkin at the haunted house. Because of the position of the final pumpkin, the RTA strategy for grabbing the secret tape is required. However, with many, many attempt later, I am able to grab the secret tape and land on the rail. This gives me more speed, less time in the air, and better positioning to hand off the axe to the thin man.

Like Foundry, I end the run right before handing the axe to the thin man to skip the end of goal cutscene. However, this gives me the unintended feature of being able to skate around while clearing the end of level screens. It is possible to stay in the screen indefinitely if you do not press ollie. Unfortunately, to be fast, I must keep pressing and holding ollie to get to the stats screen and finish the level. I do my best to do some tricks in the small amount of time that I have for entertainment purposes.

Airport

Airport saves the second most amount of time compared to the RTA best time with only general optimizations to the existing route. The route itself looks very similar to current RTA runs. One funny thing to mention is when starting the level after doing the skate around glitch in Suburbia, it's possible to hold either left/down or right/down to spin infinitely fast in place. Another funny quirk is that the points that you earn while in that state appear at the start of the level until you start doing tricks in the current level.

There are a few things to keep in mind with taking down the pickpockets. First is that the hitboxes for the pickpockets are very precise. The second is that when you trigger the pickpocket to start moving, the pedestrians around them start running like wild chickens. These "wild chickens" also can make your skater bail by just touching them. With these two issues combined, a lot of potential optimizations are thrown out the window because the pickpockets and the pedestrians can become too close to each other and make you bail.

Now with that out of the way, the first part of the level involves nabbing two pickpockets, grabbing the S, and grabbing the tickets for your skater friends. While grabbing the S, if you angle your jump to the left grinding on the lights, there is a slight angle upon landing on the ground which allows a quick grind and turn around to knock down the second pickpocket. After the second pickpocket is taken care of, we grab the tickets and make our way through the baggage conveyor belt to do a crooked grind around the baggage claim (similar to the any% run).

With the ticket, we must avoid bailing and must avoid metal detectors and security guards. The best way around the metal detectors is to grind on the baggage scanners. I grind on the left hand side on both occasions as it leads me to the right (kind of counter-intuitive, but whatever). The bathrooms contain the third and fourth pickpockets right next to each other. They both are supposed to run in separate directions, but luckily for us, the one closest to use doesn't get a chance to go anywhere, while the one farther away runs in the direction that we want to go. With a bit of waiting required to get enough space to go between the pedestrians without bailing, we eventually grab the fourth pickpocket before making our way to the K in SKATE.

There is a slight angle that one can wallride to grab the K without grinding the lights, but it requires the skater to be slow enough to not overshoot the wallie. So I get the correct angle and the correct speed to collect the K. From here, it's all optimizations to grab the final letters of SKATE, "visit" 10 countries, give the tickets to the skaters, knock down the final pickpocket, and finally grab the Secret Tape. The route itself is similar to RTA, with some variations. The most notable variation is grabbing the T first before knocking down the final pickpocket. Current RTA routes grab the T after knocking down the final pickpocket, collecting the E in SKATE, and visiting the rest of the countries before grabbing the Secret Tape.

When grabbing the secret tape, it's actually faster to grind the second level of rails, then to wall ride and jump to reach the tape instead of riding out the third level rail. All in all, 11 seconds of in game time are saved between the current RTA best time and the TAS.

Skater Island

Here we have yet another competition which looks almost identical to the any% run. However, this was the level where I figured that the scores at the end of each run are determined by RNG which advances every half second or so. Luckily for me, I get great RNG where the total score needed to get first place is in the low 90s (91 and 92 for rounds 1 and 2). This allows me to do basically the exact same strategy as in any%, but with a higher angle to throw in more tricks. The second run does require a quick One Wheel Nose Manual into a wall to get a 92, but I don't lose any in game seconds doing this.

This was also the level where I found doing the Beni Fingerflip to One Foot Japan scores more points in a combo than doing a One Foot Japan to 360 Hardflip, so I replaced the 360 Hardflip to do the Beni Fingerflip. I save the most time with competitions in Skater Island, due to the better RNG as well as the course layout allowing more air tricks and height quickly. With the RNG, I only needed 100k points for the first round and 130k for the second round to get enough of a score for first place.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles shares many similarities to the any% run as you complete almost every goal in the level. The level route is virtually the same, but with some new found improvements, up to knocking the car off the freeway. Instead of jumping off the bridge to do Free Ballin', I continue on the bridge to get to the top of the movie theatre to make the jump and grab the Secret Tape. After grabbing the tape, I jump down to my right and land on the kicker ramp to keep my speed and knock off both of the balls to complete Free Ballin'. The rest of the level is similar in grabbing the last two letter of SKATE, but I do make a change at the end grabbing E by doing a Boneless off the ledge instead of grinding around.

Tokyo

The last of the competitions, the route is once again a slightly extended route of the any% run. Nothing really too special here, but I do require between 165k and 180k points per round to get a high enough score to get first place. Because this is all goals, I do not end the run here, but instead go to the secret level Cruise Ship which does contain goals.

Cruise Ship

The last level, Cruise Ship is notoriously one of the hardest levels to run in All Goals and Golds in RTA runs. So much so, that the best known RTA time is 19 in game seconds slower than this run. The overall route itself is not too different, but there are many optimizations which make it much faster. Starting off, I do a complete U-Turn and jump off the ledge onto the deck below while doing tricks to impress the first Neversoft girl. Once I land I turn right around again to get into the museum and trash the place. After trashing the place, I need to impress the second Neversoft girl and then quickly set up for the jump onto the slide. Current RTA routes do use the slide to jump onto the high rail, but usually take the long way around to go up the slide. Instead, I jump straight from the pool onto the slide, which allows me to jump up to the rail. This saves roughly 5 seconds on it's own. I then grab the secret tape, collect the S, and fall down to the Atrium below. Instead of landing on the ground below in the Atrium, I do a grind on one of the hanging ornaments which saves another few seconds while maintaining speed.

From here, the route looks similar to the RTA route up to grabbing the A in SKATE. Normally done after grabbing the A, RTA runners do a setup to get enough speed to get onto the awning. However, it's actually much faster (and simpler) to grind the handrail to get onto the awning. I'm a bit confused as to why RTA runners do it in this way, but it does save me another few seconds. From here, I do a noseblunt on the awning, grab the E, and then fix the electrical box to bring up the boat. I found that a wallride isn't needed to "fix" the electrical box, but only a simple nudge jumping into the box. Going into the home stretch, I do some tricks and land right on the edge of the last Neversoft girl's trigger and grab the T.

Other comments

When I finished the TAS, I was quite surprised at how much faster I was compared to the current RTA record. When comparing RTA time to TAS time, I'm two seconds ahead. When comparing in game time without loads (PC does not have loads really), I'm roughly 2 minutes ahead of the current world record at 6:41. It shows that RTA has a lot of space to improve upon, but it will be a lot of work ahead for RTA runners to get near the TAS time.

It was a fun experience to TAS both Any% and All Goals and Goals. With THPS3 out of the way now, I'm not really quite sure which game to TAS next. I'm thinking of doing THPS4 Any%, but I'm also considering branching out into other games. We'll have to see what I eventually end up with.


Tompa: Delayed as requested by author.

Samsara: File replaced with a 1053 frame faster file. Setting submission back to New.

Mothrayas: Judging.

Mothrayas: More great skating action. Accepting for Moons as a new branch.

Fog: Processing...


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