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

Submission #5592: DrD2k9's C64 Diamond Mine "all diamonds" in 17:51.69

Console: Commodore 64
Game name: Diamond Mine
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: DIAMOND_.CRT
Branch: all diamonds
Emulator: BizHawk 1.13.0
Movie length: 17:51.69
FrameCount: 53718
Re-record count: 6184
Author's real name: Mike D
Author's nickname: DrD2k9
Submitter: DrD2k9
Submitted at: 2017-07-07 23:05:52
Text last edited at: 2017-08-14 14:45:15
Text last edited by: Fog
Download: Download (36446 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Diamond Mine - for Commodore 64

Diamond mine is a game about mining diamonds. Someone please call Captain Obvious.

While the gameplay has some similarities to Pac-Man games in that you roam around in maze of walls trying to collect dots (diamonds) while avoiding enemies that chase you; this game has some complexities that add to the challenge.

The game consists of 20 unique levels (mine shafts) each with 8 diamonds. The main goal is to dig through each mine shaft with your digger to collect all the diamonds on the screen and then exit the mine shaft. Each mine shaft cannot be exited until all the diamonds in that particular maze have been collected or lost to the enemies. Once you clear a mine shaft of diamonds, it becomes walled off and you move on to the next shaft. Once the 20 levels are cleared, the game loops back to Mine Shaft #1.

Notes on Gameplay:

  • The diamonds trail behind you like train cars after they are collected.
  • The enemies can both kill you as well as steal your diamonds once you've picked some up.
  • You can shoot the enemies to either kill or stun them (depends on enemy type).
  • Diamonds cannot simply be collected and removed from the mine shaft...
    • Collected diamonds must be processed at the processing center (which looks like an upside down L) before they can be removed from the mine shaft.
    • Once they are processed the diamonds can be left in the processing center while you go get more diamonds, or they can be removed from the processing center to take out of the mine. The choice is yours depending on whether you exit the processing center going down (leaving diamonds) or going right(taking processed diamonds).
      • The only benefit to leaving the diamonds is to keep the enemies from stealing them while you dig for more diamonds. This is rare and only used sparingly.
  • Many mine shafts contain transporters that (almost) instantly transport you to another area of the maze.
    • These transporters are sometimes active from the start
    • Other times they must be activated by bringing a key to the diamond processing center.
    • Transporters are often necessary to reach areas otherwise un-reachable due to walls. These transporters typically also need to be activated before use.
  • There are 3 game options.
    • One-Player
    • Two-Player Co-op (Your shots don't kill the other player)
    • Two-Player Competitive (Your shots can kill the other player)

TAS Notes

  • Goal - Collect all the diamonds in the 20 Mine Shafts as fast as possible.
  • This run uses Two-Player Co-op settings
  • Moving through dirt is slower than moving through already cleared areas.
  • Moving both diggers through the same path of dirt will clear it faster than one digger alone.
    • This is only used a few times, most notably in Mine Shaft #19
    • Going after different diamonds is usually faster than co-oping a tunnel.
  • When a transporter needs activated, usually one digger bee-lines for the key and the other is ready to enter the transporter as soon as it's active.
    • There are very few instances where both diggers use the transporter to reach a walled-off area.
  • As only one digger can be in the processing center at any given moment, one digger often ends up with more diamonds than the other to stagger the times needed for the processing center.
  • As the levels repeat indefinitely, the TAS ends after the 20th Mine Shaft--once no more unique shafts are available.

Improvement Possibilities

  • Someone may come up with better routing than I deduced.
  • If someone were able to manipulate the movement of the enemies to clear dirt on needed paths, movement speeds might be increased. Manipulation would likely alter routing as well, so the movement speed gain would have to be weighed against routing.
  • An "Any %" run may possibly be faster. While all diamonds still need collected, they wouldn't all need taken out of the mine shaft.
    • By losing diamonds to enemies, they would then not need processed resulting in fewer trips/uses of the processor while still clearing out a mine shaft.
      • The movement changes to accomplish this may or may not improve overall time unless death were used to lose the diamonds. Death transports your digger to the beginning of the maze. Death could only be used a couple times per player for this strategy.
    • Losing more than 4 diamonds in each 5-level group results in not being awarded with a passcode that would otherwise be given.
      • The passcodes allow you to skip groups of levels from the beginning of the game. (Obviously useless in a TAS).

Other Thoughts

I named the branch as "100%" in consideration of diamond collection. I suppose someone could argue that this isn't a "100%" run because it doesn't completely clear all the dirt or kill all killable enemies. While both of these increase score, they are not necessary requisites of exiting a mine shaft. If general consensus suggests that it's not a 100% run for these reasons, I suggest that the branch be changed to "2-Player Co-op - All Diamonds"

A 1-Player TAS would be a longer video and slightly more difficult from a gameplay perspective, but an easier TAS to complete as 2-player inputs can sometimes interfere with each other and create odd sync issues when re-playing in TAStudio. These sync issues haven't seemed to be a problem with .bk2 files

A 2-Player Competitive 100% TAS would look identical as there are no instances where bullets pass through either digger in this run (nor would there be a reason to kill the other digger in a 100% run). A competitive 'Any %' run may be feasibly faster by using each other's bullets to kill diggers and lose diamonds to speed up any given mine shaft.

If published, the above screenshot from the first level where the walls spell "Stay Out" would be my suggestion.

feos: Cleaned up the branch, Judging...

feos: This is a nice run. In a few questionable places, once you try to improve and fully understand the mechanics, you get how tricky they are. In some places delays are just unavoidable, in others, everyone is welcome to find a better strat, we're a competition site after all.

This run is also extremely boring due to the nature of the game, and it can only go to Vault, but the good thing is that it aims to beat the game as soon as possible while fully collecting the main item in this game - diamonds. Using 2 players is faster, so it doesn't need to be in the branch.

Accepting to Vault as a full completion branch.

Fog: Processing.

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