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Submission #5427: Evil_3D's Genesis Sonic 3 & Knuckles "Knuckles, 100%" in 44:57.97

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Sonic 3 & Knuckles
Game version: World
ROM filename: Sonic and Knuckles & Sonic 3 (W) [!].bin
Branch: Knuckles, 100%
Emulator: Gens 11b
Movie length: 44:57.97
FrameCount: 161670
Re-record count: 32249
Author's real name: Alexis Lertora
Author's nickname: Evil_3D
Submitter: Evil_3D
Submitted at: 2017-03-31 04:54:44
Text last edited at: 2017-05-11 19:40:14
Text last edited by: Fog
Download: Download (11269 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Sonic 3 & Knuckles - Knuckles 100% "No Horizontal underflow" by Evil_3D

      Thanks to nineko for creating this picture of the Super Emeralds

Encode without "Super" theme.

Introduction

This time, Knuckles is going to hunting the Chaos Emeralds dispersed in the floating island to use his unlimited power to destroy Eggrobo and Mecha Sonic forever.

Emulator and tools Used

  • Gens Re-Recording 11b + Camera hack + Solidity and Terrain dysplay
  • Sonic TAS tools + Frame Advance

Game objectives

  • Collect all Chaos and Super emeralds faster
  • Best Ending
  • 100% completion
  • No deaths
  • Aim for faster in-game time, not RTA
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Manipulates luck and badniks
  • Avoids underflowing the horizontal position
  • No skip zones/acts

Super/Hyper Knuckles

Knuckles when collect all Emeralds he can reach his super form, double the running, spindash, glide and climbing rate.

Running Speed

      2048 subpixels (8 pixels) per frame

Running Braking rate

      192 subpixels (3/4 pixels) per frame per frame

Running Deceleration (vertical, holding forward, at or below Running Speed)

      8 subpixels (1/32 pixels) per frame per frame

Max Spindash Speed

      3840 subpixels (15 pixels) per frame

Gliding X Acceleration

      12 subpixels (3/64 pixels) per frame per frame

Double the following values

      Running Acceleration, Air Acceleration, Climbing Rate

Hyper Form

  • By gliding into a wall when either his horizontal or vertical velocity exceed a certain value, Hyper Knuckles can cause an earthquake which destroys all enemies within rendering range of the camera. This will also enter any active star rings for bonus stages within rendering range.

Horizontal Underflow

An explication by Marzojr

  • This run uses almost all of the known glitches and abuses: the only exception is the underflowing of the horizontal coordinate; this is the technical form of saying "teleporting from the start to the end of a level" for this game.

And since when Knuckles can do a level-wrap on the 80% of the zones and skip totally Marble Garden and Ice Cap, I decided to ban this glitches for the opportunity to show new zips, strategies and trying to show more entertaining this run.

Timetable

Level/ACT Time
Angel Island 1 0:50.19
Angel Island 2 1:03.42
Hidrocity 1 0:47.34
Hidrocity 2 1:01.29
Marble Garden 1 0:29.18
Marble Garden 2 1:01.06
Carnival Night 1 0:42.30
Carnival Night 2 0:27.46
Ice Cap 1 0:36.44
Ice Cap 2 0:45.18
Launch Base 1 0:59.0
Launch Base 2 1:22.06
Mushroom Hill 1 1:06.48
Mushroom Hill 2 0:53.0
Flying Battery 1 0:55.17
Flying Battery 2 1:17.04
Sandopolis 1 1:36.09
Sandopolis 2 1:08.40
Lava Reef 1 1:01.59
Lava Reef 2 0:44.14
Hidden Palace 0:08.03
Sky Sanctuary 0:57.06

Suggested screenshot

Frame: 25537, 51371, 58222, 62997, 68400, 69547, 80166, 156081, 159061

Stage by stage comments

Angel Island ACT 1

  • 0:10.06/4984 and 0:13.19/5177 With a good possitioning I can zip and jump in this loop to save time.
  • 0:39.58/10894 Spin Dash in this position is required to do a perfect pixel acceleration in the next loop at 0:41.02 to have a max speed acceleration of +4295 spx.

Angel Island ACT 2

  • 0:12.55/13650 Entering the bonus stage for resetting the boundary and taking the Sonic's path to have +2 Chaos Emeralds, This benefits me later in Marble Garden.
  • 0:50.12/25535 Glide clip in these spikes for switch to Knuckles path again and finish the zone.

Hidrocity ACT 1

  • 0:08.58/28390 Using the loop and good positioning for zip and enter on the terrain at 0:09.39 to go to the first giant ring room faster.
  • 0:30.30/33119 With a good running speed and positioning I can enter in this wall and zip to get ejected with +8180 spx acceleration to pass through this part faster.
  • 0:36.30/33479 Is possible to glide clip here, but is more slower.
  • 39482 At the end of the boss battle this position is required for the first zip in ACT 2

Hidrocity ACT 2

  • 0:04.48/40785 Enter in the terrain here for a faster start.
  • 0:33.30/42507 This is one of the few places where Knuckles can do the stair clip, this is good to use the ground to go down to the giant ring room and grab the last Chaos Emerald.
  • 0:42.59/46506 Using again the stair clip for zip to Knuckles path and glide clip at 0:45.44 and go to the boss area more faster.

Marble Garden ACT 1

This is where the fun begins, using super Knuckles to go through the zones faster.
  • 0:17.45/49905 With a good speed and position is possible ignoring this spring and enter on the ground, zipping and finish the ACT 1 normally for no skip the ACT 2
  • 51295 Using the singpost to appear the monitors, lightning shield and monitor rings to have super form earlier in ACT 2, and the flame shield for a good position at the beginning.

Marble Garden ACT 2

Using the Sonic's 100% TAS route because is the most optimal but adapted for Knuckles.
  • 0:31.10/54237 With one-frame jump-climb is possible to go up the sky and take this shortcut, same at 0:40.12/54779.

Carnival Night ACT 1

Using the Upthorn's route and improved some places and level in general, the big improvement is in the boss battle, using a more efficient strategy for 1 Player battle for perfect-frame hits the boss.

  • 60348 Enter in the terrain for a faster ACT 2 start.

Carnival Night ACT 2

Probably the most questionable ACT because can be finished with 3 big zips, but still not underflow, so abusing of this zips is available and can finish this ACT in 27 seconds IGT.

Ice Cap ACT 1

I grabbed the giant ring and used the slope glitch to pass through the zone and fight with Sonic's boss, because his path in the next ACT is more faster than Knuckles one.

  • 67199 Enter in the terrain here for a faster start in ACT 2.

Ice Cap ACT 2

Same route as Sonic 100% TAS but changed a little and adapted for Knuckles.

Launch Base ACT 1

  • 0:04.15/72755 Perfect glide clip in this object saves a lot of time and going to the giant ring room faster.
  • 0:12.58/73278 Enter in this especific frame for manipulates the elevador and skip the spining animation and exit the elevador more faster.
  • 0:24.19/73959 Using this useful series of zips to go through this ACT faster.
  • 0:48.13/75397 Improved the super Knuckles' boss battle version, saving some seconds then Upthorn's TAS.

Launch Base ACT 2

  • 0:00.10/77428 Jump to adjust Y sub-pixel for a fast start.
  • 0:24.54/78912 Jumping in this specific frame the spikes above don't crush me and I can fall down, this a useful shortcut.
  • 0:40.02/79820 Falling in this especific position I can jump at 0:40.33 without lost speed
  • 0:45.12/80130 Perfect positioning here to enter in the wall at 0:45.44, same as at 0:47.23

Boss battle is the same as Upthorn's TAS, nothing changed.

Mushroom Hill ACT 1

The difference in this ACT than Upthorn's version is: I grab all 5 giant rings and showing a new strat for Knuckles with butterbots to go Sonic's start more faster, This will be useful for a future Knuckles Any% TAS, the rest of the ACT is played normally.

Singpost: Monitor ring and flame shield is required for the next ACT route.

Mushroom Hill ACT 2

  • 0:06.12/112246 It is possible glide through the spikes down on the floor and do a zip to the giant ring room later on the level, but sadly the path switcher changes in this room and is impossible for Knuckles doing this trick because the wall on the giant ring entrance got blocked, Is for that reason I taked Upthorn's route and improve it.
  • 0:08.07/112361 Thanks to the S&K TAS authors for this zip, is very useful to save time.
  • 0:41.59/123464 Knuckles with a good position gliding, he can hit earlier and this cause the hit points got bugged and can hit the boss 6 times in 6 frames,Leaving only 1 hit in the auto scrolling part instead of 2, this save time.

Flying Battery ACT 1

Using the tube glitch to pass through the level, is very insane to explain this glitch for me, That's why I left an explanation that Marzojr did.

  • The glitch works like this: in the normal course of things, the FBZ mesh (and the AIZ hollow tree, for that matter) sets the 'standing on object' status flag and an object control flag that disables zipping. The former is standard for objects you can stand on, and it prevents the player from going into a falling state when there is no terrain underneath them; the latter is done so that the object can control how the player moves and not care about walls. The object also puts you on the animation mode for that pseudo-3d rotation when you enter the mesh.

You trigger the glitch by entering this state and causing the object to be unloaded right after. The object does not clean up after itself, so you are left with those bit flags enabled. This is accomplished by scrolling the object offscreen; this happens when you enter the object in forced spin mode (from entering the tunnel offscreen). Also, you are stuck in the pseudo-3d animation now until something clears this mode (not a lot does; an example is super transformation).

In boss battle; I activate the gravity glitch in gapsule's corpse for a faster ACT 2 route.

Flying Battery ACT 2

Using the gravity glitch like in Knuckles/Sonic 100% TAS not much to say, improved the Knuckles version.

Sandopolis ACT 1

Used Upthorn's route, improved and changed a bit, luckily for the improvements in this ACT, the mobile objects are better synchronized, saving more time.

  • 0:27.08/138956 Taking this lower path save some seconds instead to go the upper path.
  • 0:41.08/139796 Glide clip here and grab the giant ring is more faster to go down directly.

Manipulates the Signpost time a little to have a better cordination with the objects in ACT 2 for a very faster start.

Sandopolis ACT 2

This is the most noticeable ACT with improvements, WST showed me a start of TheYogWog in this level, the rest of the improvement are creativity.

  • 0:26.10/146118 Waiting a little here to have a better sync with the object at 0:28.23 and do a stair clip to save time.
  • 0:36.12/146720 Taking the upper route instead of the lower as in the published S&K TAS, is more faster, probably the most noticeable route change in this ACT.

Lava Reef ACT 1

Used Upthorn's route and improved it, save some seconds in comparison and better boss battle.

Signpost: Used the monitor ring to enter in the floor for a faster start in the next ACT.

Lava Reef ACT 2

This level is 50% creativity and 50% TASing, spindash through object and stair clip are the very useful tricks here, saving a lot of time.

  • 0:22.54/155866 Waiting for the iwamadoki explodes and do the stair clip.
  • 0:28.43/156215 Waiting for mobile tank to do a first-frame spindash through him and enter in the terrain and save time.

Hidden Palace

Hold <> in the first-frame avaidable to have +128 spx acceleration in the begining and saved 1 frame compared to the S&K published TAS.

Sky Sanctuary

1 frame saved here in the second battle againts Mecha Sonic, taking damage in his last rolling movement and do a first-frame last hit.

  • 0:20.41/159149 Hit Mecha Sonic 1 frame later because if I defeat him at 0:20.40 he change his attack pattern in the second battle and I lost a lot of time.

Special thanks

  • Upthorn: For his old 100% TAS
  • Kiske: For his help on Angel Island 1
  • WST: For his help on Hydrocity 2 and his S&K TAS
  • Marzojr: For his Help on Flying Battery 1 and his 100% run
  • TheYogWog: For his Boss battles in his Ring-Attack and faster start in Sandopolis 2
  • DMTM: For show the new Carnival Night 2 Zips
  • Qwerty: For his Mushroom Hill 100% TAS
  • Feeuzz: For his S&K TAS
  • Joshep and people on YT for support this project
  • Everyone on the S3K thread :)
  • TAS Videos: for let me sharing this


Fog: Judging.

Fog: Alright, lets get the positives out of the way with this submission. The technical qualities of this run are superb, with nice improvements using new tricks, as well as a new route compared to the old submission. The run was rather entertaining with how the zips work, and the audience was mostly in agreement. However, there is one glaringly obvious issue that this submission has...

The goal choice.

This run aims for a 100% completion of the game, but forgoes using a glitch in particular called the horizontal underflow glitch. This acts in a similar manner to the zip glitch that was being used in the run, but can skip entire levels. While I do understand the reason behind not using the particular glitch, it is still nevertheless a major omission to the run which can save around five minutes compared to this current submission.

Why is the goal choice a major issue?

The issue arises because this run aims to improve upon the previous submission, which used every possible trick known to the author at the time to beat the game 100%. This run could not possibly be published alongside the current 100% publication, as it beats the time of the previous publication. Thus, this submission would be obsoleting the previous publication, and retain the same 100% branch. Taking this into consideration, we need to do a direct comparison to the previous publication, despite the previous submission being more than 10 years old. Looking at the goal choices, we immediately see some differences, with the most prominent being avoiding the use of the horizontal underflow glitch and the skipping of acts/stages. Although the underflow glitch is obviously not in the previous submission, it is the belief of this judge that were such a glitch had been available when the original submission was created, it would have been used.

Now for the actual glitches being used in this submission, there is a zip glitch which effects look similar to those of the horizontal underflow glitch. While not the same glitch, to the untrained eyes of regular viewers, the effects are similar enough that using the zip glitch while banning the horizontal underflow glitch. With this in mind, the lack of a major glitch makes the submission goals feel rather arbitrary in comparison to the currently published 100% run. This feeling has been pointed out multiple times by various comments on the forums for this submission, and I have to agree with them. Even with all of the new tricks and strategies used in this run compared to the previous, the total amount of time saved is only around 30 seconds. While normally this would be fine and dandy, the fact that a glitch exists which can save a lot more time and is actively avoided makes the time saved almost meaningless.

With all of that said, I still have to stress that this was a great run, but the goal choice makes it something that we can't accept. It'll most definitely get a place in Gruefood Delight, but it won't be published here.

Rejecting for poor goal choice.

Fog: Removing myself from this, putting back into new.

feos: So let's judge this drama.


feos: Wow, this was a blast to handle. So many aspects that I don't even know where to start.

Firstly, let's take this branch in isolation. 100% is a standard type of goal no one uses to disprove. Knuckles is a standard type of goal for Sonic games no one uses to object, especially with how many unique abilities Knuckles has. But what about "no horizontal underflow"? Arguably, it's a "low glitch" kinda goal. It's nowhere close to glitchless, but it trades off some time for entertainment. The result is probably not ideal or 10 out of 10, but it still looks impressive, entertaining, and most importantly, it adds uniqueness to this run.

This aspect is among of the most important ones when publishing a new branch for an already heavily branched game. Interestingly, that particular decision seems to belong to nitsuja. His main argument there is this:

Quoting nitsuja:
I suggested those mainly because they would force this run to be different from the existing Sonic+Tails run, not because I thought it would please people that wanted a glitch-free run. TASes that are largely identical to other TASes (that they are not attempting to obsolete) tend to be poorly received, after all. And I was curious as to what a run that has Hyper Sonic going all-out through the levels would be like.

And indeed this added variety compared to the any% runs of "Sonic" and "Knuckles". Due to the lack of that variety this run was rejected:

Quoting Samsara:
As a lot of people have said, the horizontal underflows and the zips remove most of the point of the run. While yes, it's fast and it avoids rings, it removes the central point of the run. The (starred, I might add) S3&K "max rings" submission is an absolutely fine example of a run that satisfies its point and differentiates itself from other published runs.

This addresses the suggestion that the 100% run of Sonic, that also avoids horizontal underflow, was a weak decision to begin with, setting a weak precedent for this run. Judging by the above, it was the best decision of those that were available, and it was no mistake.

Secondly, some people complain about the borderline for glitch abuse as arbitrary. Like, it uses some glitches, but not others, while they look the same to the uninitiated. I can confirm that whenever the camera starts scrolling by itself, when the character outruns it and it tries to catch up (which is called a zip), this run (and the similar ones) loses some of its charm. I'd personally prefer a run that doesn't zip either. And probably doesn't do the slope glitch. And probably avoids some other glitches for good measure.

The "no zips" run by Aglar showed a high demand for such a run, given how broken the any% runs are, and how trivial they might look to those uninitiated people. In this post adelikat refers to the suggestions and states, that the "low glitch" goal for Sonic games doesn't necessarily have to be just "no zips", or any other strictly defined thing. Runs of various "low glitch" goals might compete with each other and the audience could decide which one looks best.

So if we accept this run, we should not demand all the runs aiming to obsolete it to also avoid horizontal underflow. It can avoid any combination of glitches, as long as that combination can be clearly defined and verified, and as long as it looks solid to the viewer.

Speedruns.com defines "glitchless" (only for Sonic 1 though) as:

  • No zipping
  • No level wrap
  • No slope glitch
  • No clipping through solid floors
Hooray, an existing definition accepted by the community! Right? Wrong. There's no way to find a clear borderline between the glitchy nature of some routine and its intended path. See this post for a super detailed explanation of all the problems.

So in the end, there's only a limited amount of conditions that can make sense as a "low glitch" goal, and probably none that would satisfy the "glitchless" goal requirements.

Thirdly, I want to mention the branch name here. I believe than "no horizontal underflow" is just a speed/entertainment tradeoff, just like avoiding the subweapons in my Darkwing Duck pacifist, where it's not mentioned in the branch. "No horizontal underflow" isn't mentioned in the aforementioned Sonic 100% run either, even though it's an essential part of it. So I'm removing that part of the branch here as well.

Finally, let this run obsolete [779] Genesis Sonic 3 & Knuckles (World) "Knuckles 100%" by Upthorn in 45:28.6.

Accepting.

Fog: Processing.


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