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

Submission #5118: TheRuseman's GC Pac-Man World 2 in 39:25.07

Console: Nintendo GameCube
Game name: Pac-Man World 2
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Pac-Man World 2 (USA).iso
Emulator: Dolphin 4.0 - 7840
Movie length: 39:25.07
FrameCount: 141907
Re-record count: 16855
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: TheRuseman
Submitter: theruseman
Submitted at: 2016-05-21 01:31:44
Text last edited at: 2016-06-05 22:53:03
Text last edited by: RGamma
Download: Download (84442 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Game description: Pac-Man World 2 is a 3D platformer for the Nintendo Gamecube. Pac-Man has 2 unique movement options, butt bouncing (mario's ground pound) and rev-rolling (sonic's spindash). The goal is simple, just make it to the end of each stage, and kill each boss at the end of the world.

The TAS is different from RTA speedruns because because minute details in the level geometry are very often abused using the rev-roll. This allows many strategies to be shown off that aren't viable in real-time runs.


(Link to video)

PLEASE NOTE: cutscenes suddenly stopped working while I was dumping frames. Because I wanted a clean video to stream/post on YT I spliced the opening cutscene onto the start before any gameplay, and spliced the final cutscene onto the end after the game had ended. No actual splicing was needed or done in the actual run itself. Figured I should be upfront about that. The .dtm file plays it identically, but the cutscenes don't appear for some reason. (I am not very skilled technically, so if this video is published then I'll put my faith in the publisher to identify the issue and resolve it.)

Programming errors abused: Allowing i-frames to run out during pauses for faster kills. Jumping and butt-bouncing out of pac-chains with precise timing. Clipping out of bounds to skip a major portion of a level. VERY frequently abusing level geometry with rev-rolls. Stunlocking the final boss. Beating the penultimate boss in a single phase by shooting off all the propellers in a very short amount of time.

Death is abused to reset the final bosses position to make a stunlock possible. Taking damage can also maintain momentum in specific circumstances. (midair in the final frames of a rev-roll.)

SHA1 checksum: 3BBEDCCA3B1118872483BCCF41F0F0893ED90EF2

I used the free dsp_*.bin files that came with dolphin. (I think.) Not sure what BIOS I used so it's probably the default.

Individual level comments: Pac-Village: This level is literally finished in 2.5 seconds. Nothing to say.

Bear Basics: Rev at the start off the wall and onto the platform allows a clean path above the maze instead of having to navigate through it. The chain can be butt-bounced out of with a precise analog position and button press, getting pac back onto the ground and into a position to rev roll quickly.

Canyon Chaos: Level geometry heavily abused here. Because rev is the fastest way to move in this game, we rev over tiny bumps to act as ramps to cross pits instead of having to jump across them. The button in the 2nd area is used as a ramp to access an area where rev rolls are more useful.

Pac-Dot Pond: The start of the level is stuck on a phase, so I just mess around with a reverse ref roll at the start. Precise butt bounces allow me to climb the wall without having to grab any ledges (which usually waste around a second). More level geometry abused, so we beat pac-dot pond without ever actually touching water. Intentionally take a hit from the ghost to maintain momentum.

Blinky: This boss is damaged by rev rolling into his body. Usually this is done by waiting for him to stick out his tongue, and then rolling on top of it to hit him, but using the pond as a ramp allows me to hit him early. Then, I let his i-frames run out in the pause menu so that I can get multiple hits in the same rev roll.

B-Doing Woods: Standing on the edges of the b-doings (trampolines) tilts them so they can be used as makeshift ramps. A sequence break is used to skip to the final section of the level. (saves around 20 seconds) More level geometry ramps by using the trees to cross gaps instead of having to jump across them. Ghost messes with me at the end of the level, but it actually gives me a pretty decent boost, so I don't mind.

Treewood Forest: First part similar to RTA. Revving on the sides of the ramps maintains more horizontal velocity, so I do that. Precise rev rolls are used on the tree branches with saws to avoid having to jump over them. Release the rev roll on the bear platform a frame before he would have hit me.

Butane Pain: Sequence break right at the start, rev roll to a bonus area that is accessed in the middle of the level allows us to take a quick shortcut to where we were supposed to find the bonus area. Later, a chrome ball powerup is skipped by just powering through the fire as fast as possible. A short rev roll from the end of the branch to the rope gives him enough vertical momentum to avoid a ledge grab. (Thats why I do two small ones)

Inky: Boss number 2 is simple, just rev roll into him to damage him. You can hit him twice in a single roll if you charge it long enough, which saves time.

Ice River Run: Momentum can be maintained from rev rolls if you jump immediately after them while on ice. This is abused throughout the level. Rev-rolling around the mini ponds instead of jumping across the platforms that form a path also saves a lot of time throughout.

Avalanche Alley: My 2nd favorite level in the TAS. First part is pretty standard stuff, the only thing that stands out is starting a rev roll while sliding onto ice. The momentum from the ice slide directly adds to the speed of the rev-roll. A variant of the oversight is first used around halfway through the level. The whistlin' willy was intended to blow you off the side if you mistime your rev-roll across the ramp, but instead of pushing you to the side, your angle isn't changed, your momentum is just massively increased. Around 5 seconds later, more level geometry to perform PAB skip to go directly to the cave entrance. The final section is why this is my 2nd favorite level. Because of the oversight with the whistlin' willy's momentum being directly added onto pac's rev speed, truly ridiculous speeds are obtained. On the first boost, I ride the wall to maintain my momentum before I land. The pac-chain is skipped by riding the wall around the side. However, its the final boost that I'm most proud of. I bounce off the ceiling to get pac man close to the ground, and then use a portion of the wall as a ramp that launches me directly to the goal and skips the pac-chain. When all of these are combined, TAS saves around 30 seconds over the fastest human AA time.

Blade Mountain: Just movement. Only real skips are the tight jumps over pits at the end of the level and skipping one ramp.

Pinky: Boss #3 is taken out in much the same way as Inky. Because 3 hits can't be landed in a single roll, I land back on the central platform after doing the first hit, and then knock out the last two.

Into the Volcano: I'm sure you're all used to it now, lots of abusing level geometry. In the final section a cycle is skipped with a precise rev roll off of the wooden platform as it's moving.

Volcanic Panic: Here we do a skip appropriately titled "VP Skip" where we clip out of bounds and then immediately goes to the end of the level. This saves around 2 minutes.

Magma Opus: Loads of really cute rolls in this level. A puzzle is skipped by doing a rev roll on the edge of a platform so it can act as a ramp and get us to the exit without having to get a platform to appear below. i-frames are used to jump across the lava instead of having to go across the platform. At the end of the level, you're supposed to ride a slide down to the very bottom, but if you know where the level exit is you can just go down there directly.

Clyde: My favorite level in the TAS. Unlike Inky and Pinky, he can't be damaged by rev rolling into his side, you have to butt bounce on his head. By bouncing on one of his eyes (only his left eye has a hitbox) we can get onto his head early, instead of waiting from him to do his full cycle and then descend normally. These bounces are extremely precise, but that's what TAS is for. Saves 65 seconds over the fastest human time. (Note: 4th phase looks unoptimized, but you must do the extra butt bounces, if you don't then clyde is able to move quick enough to get away from you.)

Scuba Duba: First water level. Looks like an autoscroller, but you can save time by doing mine boosts, they work by running into the back end of a mine while you have i-frames. Sometimes two are close enough to each other that you can hit them both in a single boost. I go a tiny bit out of my way to collect pac-dots here, because at 50 you get an extra health wedge which is used to do another boost.

Shark Attack: Same as Scuba Duba. Lots of mine boosts.

Yellow Pac-marine: An 8 minute autoscroller. I spice it up by not firing any shots or taking any damage (much harder than it sounds) Note that I do shoot one enemy to collect an orange, because if no fruit are collected a glitch occurs that wastes 4 seconds. This only happens because how the level completion percentage are calculated in this level is different from every other level, which has some strange effects.

Megawhale: Another ridiculous level. Usually you shoot off one propeller at a time, then the sub floats away and you have to shoot the small enemies for 30 seconds until it returns, but if you're fast enough you can knock off multiple propellers before he has time to move away. Because I kill it in one phase its hard to conceptualize how tight the window actually is, but I'm the only person who has done this trick RTA, and it took me around 10 hours. Saves 35 seconds.

Haunted Boardwalk: Rollerblading level. Most of the pillars don't actually have hitboxes, so you can make slightly closer turns than it looks at first sight. Fairly straightforward.

Night Crawling: In RTA runs everyone gets essentially the same time because at the end of the level there is a platform that follows a global cycle. In TAS we manage to skip 2 full cycles of the platform with ridiculous movement through the maze and an absurd rev roll onto the moving platform as its floating away. Even though it doesn't look like it, the double cycle skip was the hardest thing to TAS after the final boost in Avalanche Alley.

Ghost Bayou: Massive sequence break turns this level from 7 minutes long into 1 minute long. Reason I go slightly out of my way to hit the button and do a short rev roll to where it would have sent me is because they both trigger the final chain appearing. At the end of the level I jump out of the chain and land on the level exit which skips a handful of cutscenes of spooky talking to a tree.

Spooky: The final boss has a stunlock, so he's really not so hard. I abuse death to reset his position, so that I can land a stunlock on every phase.

Thank yous:

Pikachulikespie/AverageTrey/Ahbeef for strategy suggestions and advice.

Winslinator/C13 for finding lots of skips that allowed this run to be sub 40.

PMW2 community for giving me support and motivation while I was making the TAS.

You for reading all this and watching the TAS. :)

I hope you enjoy!

Suggested Screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/nJ4qYMe

Samsara: Guess who's Pac, Pac again. Judging.

Samsara: File replaced with a revision that uses Real XFB to fix cutscenes. Note that this introduces some warnings at the end of the run, but they don't affect sync and the game still finishes fine.

Samsara: Excellent first run! I'm always impressed by TAS newcomers who pick up a 3D game and produce a neatly optimized run from it. Accepted to Moons.

Publishers take note of the XFB warnings that pop up at the end of the run. If this is a problem, we may have to roll back to the original non-XFB submission file.

RGamma: Publishing once I have cleaned up my drives.

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