TASVideos

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

Submission #5037: Nacho's GBA Mario Party Advance in 1:40:47.93

Console: Game Boy Advance
Game name: Mario Party Advance
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Mario Party Advance (U).gba
Branch:
Emulator: BizHawk 1.11.4
Movie length: 1:40:47.93
FrameCount: 361228
Re-record count: 413
Author's real name: Sean Sutherland
Author's nickname: Nacho
Submitter: Nacho
Submitted at: 2016-03-08 17:43:01
Text last edited at: 2016-03-19 00:55:48
Text last edited by: Guga
Download: Download (59498 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Rough Encode

Game Overview

Mario Party Advance is a spin-off from the main series that follows quite a different format. There is one board that can only be played in single-player, and the goal is to complete 50 quests by visiting NPCs and doing what they ask. These quests include fetching items, answering questions, and playing mini-games. There's also a compulsory mini-game every 3 turns that rewards you with the most important item in this game: Mushrooms. Every turn costs you 1 Mushroom to move, and you start with 5 (reaching 0 results in a game over).

There are 5 kinds of spaces on the board, although only 2 are used in this run:

  1. Yellow spaces are normal spaces. Landing on them ends your turn with no side effects.
  2. Red spaces end your turn and subtract 1 Mushroom from your total.
  3. Blue spaces force a mini-game, allowing you to earn 2 extra Mushrooms.
  4. Green spaces are the first good kind, as they let you roll again without using a Mushroom.
  5. And finally, location spaces are where you find NPCs and quests.

Game Objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 1.11.4
  • Heavy luck manipulation
    • Dice rolls, mini-game choices, and board events are all manipulated throughout the run. A lot.
  • Uses death to save time
    • A rare occurrence in the game is a "special mini-game" that rewards twice the number of Mushrooms from beating it. By manipulating a few of these, I'm able to intentionally die in other mini-games to save time and still have enough Mushrooms to continue.
  • Genre: Board

Run Notes

The L Button

Holding L scrolls the text at its fastest speed and advances text boxes automatically. Except for in some very specific situations, there's no reason to not have it held down. I have it held for 99% of the run.

Opening Sequence

The game starts by asking you to fill in a passport. Naturally I fill every section with intricate details about myself ("A"). Pressing the Start button makes the cursor jump straight to OK, but it's a lot quicker to use the D-pad to wrap the cursor from left-to-right and top-to-bottom.

Character Selection

All characters are used in this run. Swapping characters involves quitting out or getting a game over to return to the character selection screen. Swapping is necessary because there are three quests that require you to visit them with a specific character to complete them:

  • Spear Thicket (South-West Jungle) needs Mario or Luigi.
  • Loch Dorrie (North-West Jungle) needs Yoshi.
  • Mr. I (East Horror) needs Peach.

Because of the distance between Mario's starting location, Spear Thicket, and the Island Area in the south, Luigi is used despite being optional.

Dice Rolls

The dice are very easy to manipulate. Each number that appears is random and has a 4 frame window to be hit, but the input must be in advance, and the first cycle only has 3 frames. Getting the perfect roll is just a matter of waiting for the right frame.

Mini-Games

Mini-games show up every 3 turns, and can also be a quest objective. The ones that appear on the board every 3 turns work the same as they do in the main series: a roulette appears and randomly selects one from the list. Fortunately, this can manipulated through delaying text. I do this heavily throughout the run by waiting on confirmation boxes or releasing L to prevent text from advancing. Quest mini-games are set and will always be the same game.

Koopa Kid

A mechanic that is never shown in this run is the only board event. While moving between spaces, Koopa Kid can show up to "cause trouble". The more quests you have completed, the more likely he will appear. Koopa Kid has two super sweet pranks he can play:

  • Rochambeau (or rock-paper-scissors) is exactly what it sounds like - you select rock, paper, or scissors and he does the same. If you win, he leaves and you end up with a bunch of wasted time. If you lose, Bowser drops a big ol' rock on Koopa Kid, blocking you from continuing on in that direction.
  • Warp Time is also exactly what it sounds like - Koopa Kid will call on Bowser, and Bowser will call on a lava geyser to shoot you into the air, causing you to fly to a random space anywhere on the board. I spent a lot of time trying to manipulate this, but in the few places I could get an advantageous space it was still slower than regular movement.

There are a couple of places where my board movement doesn't look optimal. Avoiding this guy is why that happens.

Koopa Kid Mini-Games

The final 9 quests of the game all belong to Bowser, and they all require beating a mini-game along with some other, easier request. 6 of these mini-games pit you against a number of Koopa Kids between 1 and 99. At least, they do in free play mode. The story versions of these mini-games set the bounds at 30 and 50, presumably to set a challenge without making it ridiculous. A roulette appears to decide how many you will face, and it is easily manipulated. 30 appears early enough in each situation that it is the best option every time.

Author Comments

My first proper TAS, and it took just under two solid months of work. Hoo boy.

Special thanks to Cosmoing on speedrun.com for their RTA guide, which helped lay the groundwork for the route.


Samsara: AIN'T NO PARTY LIKE A MARIO PARTY *raises roof* SPRING BREAAAAAK WOOOOO YEAH GET JUDGED

Samsara: In retrospect, that was far too enthusiastic of a judgement message, especially considering it's preceding me dropping it due to life constraints. Sorry about this.

Fog: Judging this party like no tomorrow!

Fog: Pleasantly surprised by the run, contained great technical aspects with a lot of luck manipulation and optimization. However, the run did start to get stale as it went on from an entertainment point of view. The audience seems to have mixed opinions on the run, but I felt it was entertaining for the type of game it is. With that in mind, I'm accepting this to Vault. Good job Nacho!

Guga: Processing...


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