TASVideos

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

Submission #5204: RobynS's NES Wolverine "warpless" in 07:57.46

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Wolverine
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Wolverine (U) [!].nes
Branch: warpless
Emulator: FCEUX 2.2.2
Movie length: 07:57.46
FrameCount: 28695
Re-record count: 9198
Author's real name: Robyn Schumann
Author's nickname: RobynS
Submitter: RobynS
Submitted at: 2016-08-23 23:13:47
Text last edited at: 2016-11-06 19:25:50
Text last edited by: RobynS
Download: Download (4870 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
This is a 810 frame (13 seconds) improvement over the published movie by goofydylan8.


(Link to video)

Fancy savings table:

Level Frames saved Total frames saved
1 - The First Trial 10 10
2 - Trial by Air 24 34
3 - Trial by Traps 33 67
4 - Trial by Water 154 221
5 - Trial by Terror 52 273
6 - Trial by Fire 28 301
7 - Into the Fortress 59 360
8 - Defeat Magneto 294 654
9 - The Final Battle 156 810

General comments

I chose to run this game after seeing feos' post about a real-time run that used warps in the game. I decided to improve the warpless version first as it would make doing a warped version ultimately easier. At first the savings were fairly small but they definitely added up over the course of the run, something that definitely pleased me.

In general this game can be tricky to optimize. Wolverine's speed as he jumps is slightly slower than his running speed. This means it is important to plan out where to jump and where to run. Another important thing is health management, since Wolverine takes large amounts of damage fairly easily but getting hurt doesn't slow him down. This, combined with the fact that jumping over enemies is slower than walking through them, means that a fair amount of tactics have to be planned out in each level. goofydylan8 did a great job of this already, but there was still some more optimization to be had.

New tricks

There are two new major tricks used in this movie to save time. The first is that when Wolverine lands from a jump while punching, he is able to jump again 1 frame earlier. Although the time saved seems minimal, there are quite a few climbing sections in the run, so it adds up to more time than you'd think.

The second trick involves Wolverine's claws. Normally, Wolverine attacks with his claws unsheathed. You can have him use his claws by pressing select. It deals x2 damage but every attack with claws enabled costs Wolverine 1 HP. However, it is possible to start a regular punch and press select during a brief frame window, which causes Wolverine to take his claws out and deliver a punch that deals the same amount of damage as a claw punch, but costs no HP. This saves quite a bit of time as it renders claw usage infinite, and as there is no HP being drained by their use it opens up more possibilities for taking damage.

Stage by stage comments

The First Trial

This level is pretty straightforward; there's not much time to gain or lose. I saved a handful of frames from better jumping around the start and end.

Trial by Air

At the start of the level I dodge a bullet fired by an enemy, this leaves me with enough health to run through some enemies at the end of the level instead of having to dodge them.

Trial by Traps

Simply more jumping optimizations. I also kill a few enemies instead of fully jumping over them. Around the ~5700 frame mark, I was able to prevent an axe from appearing that goofydylan8 had to crouch to dodge.

Trial by Water

Excluding the bossfight, this level has the second-largest amount of time saved. In addition to more minor optimizations I take a different route near the beginning that allows Wolverine to walk a bit longer before he has to start swimming again. Since swimming is noticeably slower than walking this route ended up considerably in my favor.

Trial by Terror

Due to the crazy amount of enemies, this is easily the most annoying level in the run -_- I saved about a second due to greater damage management. Most notably I use the claw trick to kill off one of those big enemies around the ~12800 frame mark instead of running through him and taking a large amount of damage. Near the end of the level, after I pick up the last hamburger, I abuse a collision detection glitch to avoid getting hurt by a skull.

Trial by Fire

There's not a whole lot of time saved here, since this level is pretty cut-and-dry. I use the claw trick to take out a few more enemies and jumps were optimized more efficiently. I was also able to avoid getting hurt by fire during a climbing segment near the end.

Into the Fortress

I avoid taking damage from a few of the green cannons and save them for later enemies. I'm able to kill an enemy around the ~18500 frame mark by doing a jump punch instead of having to crouch to punch him. Later, around frame 18990, I land on a higher platform to go left quicker. I'm not entirely sure why goofydylan8 dropped down to the lowest one. There's a pretty lengthy vertical ascension segment near the end of the level, so the punch trick comes in handy to save a few frames.

Defeat Magneto

This level has the most time saved by quite a large margin. I noticed that goofydylan8 ended this level with a rather big berzerker meter, causing a lengthy countdown. Berzerker goes up whenever you kill an enemy, and when the meter maxes out, you enter Berzerk Mode, where you become invincible and attack/jump rapidly. Berzerk Mode drains the meter continually, and it ends when the berzerker meter hits 0. It wasn't used in the previous run at all, and I probably wasn't going to use it, but there was no other way to drain the berzerker meter in this level, so I figured I might as well try activiating berzerk mode near the end of the level since there's a lot of jumping happening there anyway. Sure enough, it saved quite a bit of time. Just goes to show that sometimes you should entertain your TASing whims, lol. Aside from that there's a few other minor time saves here, for example when Wolverine does the jump trick while landing on an opposite direction conveyor belt he's not affected by its speed. When fighting Magneto I attack while jumping because the animation is shorter, resulting in him getting defeated much quicker.

The Final Battle

I saved an unexpected amount of time here by heavily using jump punches, whereas goofydylan8 mostly stands in place to attack him.

Other comments

Overall this was a fairly fun run to make, and yes, I'm working on a warp version too, as a separate branch for this game. I'm pretty surprised it took this game until 2012 to get a run, it seems like a fairly typical platformer that early runners would've leaped at. in any case, it makes a nice TAS, warps or otherwise, so I hope you enjoy the improvements!

Thanks greatly to goofydylan8 for his previous run of the game!


Tompa: This will be judged!
Tompa: Minor improvements have been noted, nothing major enough for a reject. Accepting for publication!

feos: Pub.


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