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

Submission #5225: Tompa & quo's GBA The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap in 1:40:02.18

Console: Game Boy Advance
Game name: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: 1743 - The Legend of Zelda - Fushigi no Boushi (J)(WRG).gba
Emulator: VBA-RR v24
Movie length: 1:40:02.18
FrameCount: 358495
Re-record count: 578989
Author's real name: Tomas Abrahamsson, Patrick O.
Author's nickname: Tompa & quo
Submitter: Tompa
Submitted at: 2016-09-16 21:58:57
Text last edited at: 2016-10-02 01:18:32
Text last edited by: Spikestuff
Download: Download (28690 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Run only:

(Link to video)

With commentary:

(Link to video)


  • VBA 24, svn422 - This version is actually faster than the one previously used, thanks to better emulation of lag/loading time. Very noticeable when the Ocarina is played for example.
  • Aims for fastest time.
  • Takes damage to save time.
  • Abuses programming errors in the game.

This is a 30890 frames, 8 minutes and 35 seconds, faster than the previous TAS.

Switch to Japanese

The European version was known to have some exclusive glitches to it, most of which were useless at first. It was later discovered that the Japanese version too had these glitches. One of them, see below for Portal Items, proved to have a big use, saving lots of time in the third dungeon. JP version also has other changes making it a lot faster than European. Also has less text compared to English, making it additionally faster. How much time is saved because of the version switch is not known.


Portal Items

You are able to use an item just before jumping up on a Minish Portal. Most of them don't have any useful effects, but can create some odd-looking sprites for Link. If used with the Mole Mitts, Link's position will not be centered on the Minish Portal, and it is possible to end up out of bounds when jumping off. This is used in the third dungeon, Fortress of Winds, to skip half of it.


If you throw a pot, and need to pick up another one afterwards, you can move towards the pot and roll on the same frame you are supposed to lift it. This will instantly pick up and drop the pot, without losing any time from neither lifting nor throwing animations.
This can also be used with bombs. If you throw a bomb, it will explode earlier. This also works if you quick-drop it using the roll-lift trick.

Ocarina Glitch

When you use the Ocarina in stairways and certain doorways, Link will be able to move around while the Ocarina is playing. You will then be able to walk through sprites and on voids. By walking up stairs that take you between two different background layers, Link will be stuck in the upper layer, making it possible to walk through walls in the lower layer. This is frequently used in later dungeons.
You can't roll or use the inventory in the first room you activate the glitch in. Rolling will softlock and the start button simply doesn't work.
A new method to activate the Ocarina Glitch is to play it at the start of certain cutscenes, very limited. Because of the limitation, it's only useful twice in the TAS: The last two dungeons.

The Run

To dungeon 1

This is mostly the same as in the old run. Timesaves were almost purely from better movement, which saved a lot, as well as from the Japanese text differences and emulator switch.
1206 frames ahead.

Dungeon 1: Deepwood Shrine

The previous run got a 20 rupee chest at the end of the dungeon, this was technically a big mistake back then. We skipped it this time in favor of manipulating four blue rupees, first of which are collected in the dungeon.
Other than that, time saved through some better RNG fights, even though RNG wasn't always in our favor here, and greater lilypad movement.
2563 frames ahead.

To dungeon 2

Another blue rupee was manipulated when destroying the bomb blocks. It would have been faster in theory to manipulate two rupee drops instead, but we were unable to do so...
Save and Quit was once again used to skip part of the first fusing cutscene.
Climbing the mountain is very tricky for a number of reasons. When and how to roll isn't always easy to figure out and there are a lot of enemies that could block your path. Bombs were "randomly" used so that they could kill enemies and thus changing the RNG, laying Bombs also don't cost any time to do.
When buying the Grip Ring, we also get a Bomb drop at the same time. The first time you get a new item, a textbox will appear, this textbox was used to skip the last bit of conversation with the Deku Scrub.
3516 frames ahead.

Dungeon 2: Cave of Flames

This dungeon sucks... Lots of RNG struggling. We switched from using the Gust Jar to destroy the wall, to just using a Bomb. A Bomb was also faster to use when killing the Helmasaurs and later on with the Spiny Chuchus.
One small timesaver for the last phase of the boss was to take damage to run quicker onto him. This is only faster for the last phase as the other two are running on a timer.
4308 frames ahead.

To dungeon 3

Mostly the same up to Castor Wilds. As in the first dungeon, lilypad movement was better. You interestingly go faster upwards by shooting to the left/right between the gusts. It was faster to collect the water needed for the book quest here, as the lilypad will move forward while you use the bottle.
S&Q after the Bow was a big and rather obvious timesave that was missed in the last run. A S&Q will also reset the RNG, among other values, making it possible to easily edit the run and have it sync.
LOTS of effort was put into manipulating more heart drops, which wasn't as easy to do while also manipulating enemy patterns. We had one version up to the dungeon finished when we realized that we didn't have enough health. After redoing, we got another heart, two instead of one, and matched the RNG number to have the run sync up. But for some reason, despite the same RNG value, we didn't get the Kinstone drop inside the dungeon. This baffled us for a long time. Apparently, having one heart or less, changes a value which will affect drop rates for items, possibly to easier get heart drops when on low health, unsure. We solved this by getting the Kinstone from the Darknut fight instead of the Armos as in previous TAS. This even ended up being faster, so all good!
6288 frames ahead.

Dungeon 3: Fortress of Winds

You can cancel the Bow animation with the Pegasus Boots, which saved many seconds throughout the run, starting in this dungeon. While it could have been used earlier, no time would have been saved.
The biggest timesaver in the run, thanks to the switch to Japanese, is the Boss Key skip in this dungeon. By using the Portal Items glitch with the Mole Mitts, thanks to the recoil Link's position will be offset. He's then able to jump off the Minish Portal towards the ceiling and get boosted by a Bomb to get on top. If we don't jump down from the ceiling, we will be on the wrong layer to battle the boss. It is also possible to get various softlocks, including one where the boss actually dies, most of it, though we can't proceed.
We chose to pick up the Heart Container for an easy, and actually faster, heart refill than other options we came up with. Having more health gives us a lot more damage boost opportunities. Sadly, throughout the rest of the run, especially in Palace of Winds, RNG was not in our favor for perfection. Getting the Heart Container still saved a lot of time.
15451 frames ahead.

To dungeon 4

There are lots of route variations to take for this section, which weren't properly timed for the previous TAS. Lots of testing went into it this time to make sure an optimal route was taken. Most notable was the route to the third book, which was a huge timeloss previously.
We kill the flying bug (Pesto) before activating the Ocarina Glitch, this will load the book properly, making it unnecessary to reload the room as previously done, and will give Link an amusing sprite.
After obtaining the Power Bracelets, we manipulated an Arrow drop. This was edited into the run during the final boss fight. Because of the Bow animation trick using the Boots, Vaati 2 was killed too quickly before we could get an Arrow drop during the fight, the way it was done last TAS. Through the entire run, up to the final boss, an Arrow drop has been attempted for, but RNG is mean... A couple of frames were lost to grab it after the Bracelets and we also had to redo the Mazaal fight, dungeon 3 boss, to save extra Arrows (Which actually ended up saving time). Luckily the run synced fine the whole way through, thanks to the S&Q's used!
22494 frames ahead.

Dungeon 4: Temple of Droplets

Grab and release the mushroom while on the lilypad to make a nice quickdive.
A much faster, and easier, ice puzzle skip was used. If the lilypad is still moving while you move to another screen, it will be respawn at a specific location. The developers were nice enough to make that location at the end of room so that we could skip it.
Different route in the dungeon. Much faster to kill the Big Blue Chuchu first, S&Q and then use the blue warp.
Big Octorok is an awful boss, may not look like it, but he is. There were many minor things that were looked into deeper when it came to optimizing this, which ended up taking weeks to finish because the fight sucks.
25060 frames ahead.

To dungeon 5

Just a quick visit to the castle and then back into action again!
25554 frames ahead.

Dungeon 5: Palace of Winds

Thanks to this sequence break, you can technically enter the dungeon before Temple of Droplets. Sadly, because of the big block at the start of the dungeon, we can't do anything in it...
Having extra Bombs was very useful in the Wizzrobes fight. While it didn't speed up the fight too much, it was a blast!
Better equips here to have the Boots equipped for a longer time. Looks better and is faster. Win-win!
First use of the new Ocarina Glitch. It can be activated at a fairly decent amount of places in the game, only two proved to be useful sadly. Even more sadly at this location is that it's very close to skipping half of the dungeon. While Link can run on holes while the glitch is activated, he can't move to another screen if he won't be able to stand on solid ground the first frame. Otherwise we could have ran to the boss room, which is on our right after activating the glitch, skipping the Boss Key and second part of the dungeon. So close, yet so far :(.
Strangely enough, using a Bomb to kill the Darknut was actually faster than to use the Sword.
More time could've been saved in the second area of the dungeon if we had more hearts. The game couldn't be nice and give them to us however and manipulating drops took longer than it saved.
When you kill the Blue Gyorg during the boss fight, the next phase isn't started until Link makes it back to the Red Gyorg. Falling down the void instantly puts Link back, saving a good amount of time for the first two phases. Then a lot of good savings from bad gameplay in the previous TAS.
27996 frames ahead.

Dungeon 6: Dark Hyrule Castle

The stone statues; the two guards and Minister Potho, were revived in a different order to have the beam hit them earlier. Two cutscenes can be activated at once to have Link walk during the waiting time.
Exiting the castle is needed to set a warp point for the S&Q coming later.
By activating the Ocarina Glitch after killing the first Darknut and then cancel the glitch again, we are able to use a S&Q after the blue warp spawns in order to skip the cutscene when all Darknuts appear in the castle.
Darknut fights in general were improved quite a bit, especially the triple Darknuts on the way to Vaati (In which we started two cutscenes at once by bumping into the wall). They are however really painful to fight... You can only damage them from the back and back left/right. If you try to walk around them, they'll turn around automatically and you can't walk through them. It is possible to run and roll through them while they are doing an attack. You can stunlock them by hitting on the first frame they become vulnerable between hits. After a lot of testing and researching for weeks, the result is quite satisfying.
Vaati 1 is nice enough to give you both Hearts and much needed Arrows for the next phase. If charging in the right direction and being close to Vaati, it's possible to get a triple hit in to finish off the last cycle. Because of the time it takes to charge the sword, this is rarely faster in the rest of the game.
Vaati 2 gets destroyed with the rapid fire using Bow and Boots. This adds a lot of extra item switching, unfortunately, it still saved over 2½ seconds in the fight despite that. Some of the time saved was also from hitting the small eyes better, having all hits optimal, which was far from the case in the last TAS, I realized....
Vaati 3 is mostly the same. Portal Items could be used with the Cane of Pacci to hit each arm just before you shrink, instead of jumping up on the Minish Portal afterwards. You even have to wait a couple of frames before shrinking to make sure the arm is hit.
30890 frames ahead in the end!

quo's comments

I'll keep this short, this was my first TAS, I've definitely learnt a lot from the game and from Tompa and thankfully the run is better for it! The entire thing took just over 2 years to complete so it's sort of a bitter sweet ending to it cause now I can't just sink my time into this game whenever I want... but thankfully there are other TASes to be made! But if anything, the final product was well worth the effort. Thank you all for watching!


The TMC RTA crew: For being a nice gang <3. Wanna fuse?!
Pika9323: Will forever be the Glitch God!
Warepire: For constant support!
Maximus: For the program TAS Movie Editor which has been a HUGE help when editing earlier parts as well as optimising RNG, both for this and the previous TAS.
mzxrules: For figuring out that this game uses flex drops (which was a headache on the way to D3)
Special thanks to FalcoEagle because he asked for it!

GoddessMaria: Judging.

GoddessMaria: Excellent work, Tompa & quo! Even discounting the text differences, the improvements are very significant and even lead to additional entertainment. Very tightly optimized and audience response was very positive overall.

Accepting as an improvement to the previous movie.

<fsvgm777> Spikestuff: By the way, you haven't claimed Minish Cap for publication yet.
Spikestuff: wait this got accepted?

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