Majin Buu has taken many forms over the course of the Dragon Ball Z series.
Keeping up two of my TASing trends with this new submission, the first one being that I'm taking a movie I started years ago and finally finishing it up, and the second being that my submission texts are getting worse and less descriptive over time.
Majyuuou, or Majuu Ou, or King of Demons, or I've Never Heard Of This Game, is a Japan-only SNES game that chronicles the story of Abel rescuing his family. Except his wife's literally right there at the beginning, so it's more about rescuing his daughter. Over the course of the game, Abel can take a grand total of 7 unique forms: A Red form, a Green form, a Blue form, upgrades to these three forms, and a special Black form.
This run aims for the game's True Ending, which requires unlocking and using the Black form in Stage 6. To unlock the Black form, you need to use a unique form for every stage before Stage 6. Any combination of Red, Green and Blue will do, as long as you use all three of them.
The most notable difference in Hard is that there's about double the number of projectiles at any given time. Some bosses also move much faster on top of firing more projectiles, though it's hard to notice given how quickly most bosses are dealt with in the run. Basically, watch Stage 2 in this TAS, then watch a normal run of Stage 2, and you'll see quite clearly how many more projectiles end up being added.
- Red Form: Red is more or less a balanced form, being relatively quick while still having some good power behind it. The normal attack is horrible but the charge attack is excellent.
- Green Form: Green is the slow powerhouse, having a powerful normal attack and probably the best charge attack of the three initial forms.
- Blue Form: Blue is the only good form in the game, by far being the fastest form. It has the worst charge attack of the three, but the normal attack is just fine, and it's the only form with a unique dive attack.
- Black Form: You can only use it in the final stage, and it's pretty alright I guess. It has the strongest charge attack, with the downside that it's basically useless against anything small or in the air.
Abel's normal human form must be used for Stage 1, so that's pretty much alright.
Green is used for Stage 2. Since Green is so slow, with a dash that barely outspeeds normal walking, it makes sense to use it for the shortest and most straight-forward stage of the pack. The bosses are also fairly well suited for Green's attacks.
Blue is used for Stages 3 and 4, which are both played in order before being able to switch forms again. Blue's primary advantage is in Stage 3, with its excellent dashing and diving being 20-30 seconds faster than Red would be here. Blue also gets another 5-6 second advantage in Stage 4, though that's because Stage 4 is balls. Except for the music, which is glorious.
Red is used for Stage 5 because it's the only one left. It's slower than Blue would be, since Blue is the fastest in every single stage, but Stage 5 is much better suited to Red than Stage 3 is, making this the fastest route.
Black, being unlocked at the end of Stage 5 and required for the true ending, is used for the boss rush of Stage 6, and it exists.
Prologue - Abel
The game starts with Strutmaster Abel rolling his way into a cutscene. The cutscene establishes some things: The demon is Bayer, your old friend, who basically sold his soul to demons and tells you that your wife and daughter were also given up to the demons. He then kills the hell outta you. Your wife (Maria), daughter (Iria), and cat (Eria) show up in thought-based form and tell you to shoot the hell outta Bayer. That's exactly what I do.
It's a little faster to stay on Bayer's right side at the beginning, it makes the cutscene trigger a bit earlier and it's also a better setup for the fight, which lasts a couple of seconds before Strutmaster Abel meets the real hero of this game not half a screen over to the right. Thankfully, your wife's just hanging out offscreen as a green hologram, telling you that she failed to protect Iria. But! Iria is still alive, and Maria will join you in fairy form for the rest of the game. From here, the game becomes a heartwarming tale about a fairy woman protecting her husband as he blindly rolls into oncoming danger.
Stage 1 - Abel
Maria can be sent out along with a bullet, doing an extra point of damage, however she has a fairly long cooldown time after being sent out. This mechanic is heavily used throughout this first stage to allow Abel to roll unimpeded for as long as possible. In the opening corridor, Abel rolls like mad while Maria makes short work of a bunch of imps. This is probably the first time in recorded history that the term "spousal abuse" applies in a positive context where no one is actually being hurt physically or mentally... Except the demons, which are getting killed. The fadeout at the end of the corridor is not brought up by falling into the pit, it's a set amount of time. Take note of that bigass thing that would've been chasing us throughout the corridor if we weren't rolling away at the speed of sound.
The sewer level gets out of the way early, and finally Abel starts killing things for once. The rushing water actually does push Abel back while he's in it, so I make a point to try to stay out of it whenever I can. Usually, even if I have to fire at some enemies, it's faster to stay out of the water.
The elevator section is also out of the way early as we face our first real miniboss. With Abel's fast firing speed, it is much more efficient to just rapidfire the spider to death. A charge attack is used as a lead-in to the fight: The spider normally tracks Abel's movements, and will constrict him if it catches him, but the first time the spider comes down is preset, so it's much easier to open with a decent charge. The spider is two-cycled. Maria helps a little.
A novel concept in video games: Going left. We meet the bigass thing that would've been chasing us in the opening corridor and decide it's high time to fire bullets into its mouth. It fires rocks and then charges at us, and that's basically all it does. I delay the last hit to save a few frames when rolling back to the right after taking the key. Maria proves super useful, like usual.
Atop massive skulls, we fight our first actual boss, who is disposed of very quickly with Abel's insane ability to fire rapidly. We take our first form after the fight. Fun. The form change thing is "activated" with an attack, and needs to be picked up by ducking near it, so I use Maria to activate the thing and duck at the earliest possible moment to change ASAP.
Stage 2 - Green
Green is a bad form, and Stage 2 happens. I kill most of the flowers along the path for a few reasons: Lag reduction, bullet reduction, and manipulating the first miniboss's pattern.
The first miniboss, apart from being My Nightmares, has a few different attacks, some much faster than others. It always starts with that wave, but after that it's a crapshoot. It can wave in the same way, it can spiral slowly across the screen, it can dart wildly around the screen, and there's probably some other dumb attack that it does. We want the spiral, and the spiral is what we get. Green's laser comes in handy here: If positioned right, it can do up to 5 points of damage, so I angle my shots in such a way to get as much damage done as possible. When the centipede spirals back, I hit it with a charge shot then start making my way toward the right edge while firing high-damage lasers at it, ensuring I kill the boss and make it to the edge of the screen just in time for it to scroll.
We're instantly greeted with another miniboss after a not-so-instant section of avoiding tons of projectiles. This giant eye has multiple forms that we don't get to see because I laser it to death way too quick. I take damage on the last charge attack to be able to get it out quicker, but the actual last hit on the boss is delivered by Maria. Real MVP.
We're instantly greeted with the stage boss, but this time it's actually instant. Lasers are particularly slow here due to the need to constantly jump, so charge attacks are the way to go. Abel dicks around a bit while waiting for Blue form to slowly pop up.
Stage 3 - Blue
Here's the best stage of the game, using the best form in the game.
Those skeleton cannon things are the biggest threats in this stage, but we only see that one before the first miniboss, who isn't a threat at all. Blue's charge attack arcs upward as well as forward, taking the hitbox with it, so I take special precautions to make sure I'm always getting the most damage I can out of it. In the next section, those laser things will actually attack you in most cases, but Blue is fast enough to just dash through those lasers without setting them off.
I'm gonna take this section to explain Blue's dive attack. The earlier you activate the dive, the longer Blue will hang in the air before diving. Obviously, we want to avoid these hangs, but sometimes they're necessary to do more damage or to avoid those skeleton cannon volleys. There are a couple sweet spots that allow a dive to go very far while landing as early as possible (and allowing for a dash), and I spent a while trying to find the most optimal locations for diving all throughout this stage.
The DANGER crates actually do explode if you hit them 4 times, but it's almost never worth doing so.
The next major thing is... Well, how do I put this lightly? Two half-naked horse-headed men beat a woman to death. Then we beat them to death. And then we fight the train, which is a giant skeletal worm with an exposed brain. It's a rollercoaster of emotions. Taking damage on the horsemen allows better positioning after the first charge attack, meaning a quicker kill. As for the boss, it's laggy as hell and it's faster to fire normal shots at it after the initial charge attack. If you notice some weird delays on the normal attacks, it's because technically the boss is taking hits slightly slower than my fire rate, so rapidfiring as fast as possible means that one out of every few attacks actually misses. You can see this in action if you watch the train's brain: The blood spatters progressively move to the left with each hit, and the pauses come once they reach the far left.
There's a weird global timer issue when it comes to this stage that actually makes the end of this stage significantly slower than it could be: Basically, if I'm significantly faster or slower here, then the end-of-level cutscene could be 10-15 seconds faster. From my calculations, I would have to kill the boss before it's vulnerable to be able to hit the next fast cycle, and the amount of delay required to get the fast cycle when going slower is much longer than the amount of time the fast cycle saves. So, sadly, it's a lose/lose situation.
Stage 4 - Blue
Hot on the heels of Stage 3 is, ironically, the ice level. It simulates frozen temperatures well, since you move a lot slower when you're cold and this stage is mostly autoscrollers.
I take as much time as possible to farm kills here for extra HP, which is a mechanic I haven't mentioned at all up to this point, but since I damage boost excessively in Stage 5 it's a dang good idea to farm HP here, during all these autoscrollers.
Also Bayer's here. But there's no story or anything. He's just here.
The only thing good about the second of the stage's 3 autoscrollers is that it allows some nice music listening. This stage theme is particularly great. There's some dancing, but not a lot. Not enough places to really get down.
Bayer appears again as the boss of this stage, but it's not really... exciting. He just transforms into a larger Bayer and ambles around getting his ass kicked again. We take Red immediately, because it's the only form that can be taken immediately.
Stage 5 - Red
There's nothing outstanding about this stage.
Stage 6 - Black
The spider returns for the first boss, and with Black's insane charge attack it gets one-cycled.
The centipede is next, and it's dealt with mostly the same way as in Stage 2.
The skeleton thing is destroyed faster than it took me to write this.
It's one of those laser things from Stage 3, but it's got a body! It's also killed in one great charge attack.
The penultimate boss is the titular King of Demons himself, and finally we get another cutscene to explain. The King basically just says "Your daughter was so cute, also I keep her in my forehead now". Iria pops out of the King's forehead for a brief moment before you're launched into the battle. This boss is a huge pain in the ass.
You need to destroy his horns and eyes to actually be able to kill him, and the eyes in particular just HATE to be damaged. You can fire shots right through them that will do no damage. That, and Black has a nasty habit of blank-firing if you have too much happening on screen at once, so there were times where I'd need to delay a shot by a few frames just to actually get it to appear on screen. Once the horns and eyes are down, the head itself attacks you, where it's taken out in a single charge attack.
But now you have to beat up your daughter.
Iria, in her new demon form, has a lot of attacks that render her invulnerable, so a lot of the fight is just careful luck manipulation and throwing in a charge attack whenever she's standing still or moving backward, allowing for huge amounts of damage. She's taken out with relative ease, at least, and as the last shot is thrown out, the TAS ends.
The end cutscene involves Iria and Abel finally reuniting as demons, vowing to make the world a better place where humans and demons can co-exist. No Abel, you are the demons. And then he was the King of Demons.