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Submission #5666: Zurggriff's Genesis Target Earth in 23:04.6

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Target Earth
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Target Earth (U) [!].bin
Branch:
Emulator: BizHawk 1.11.9.1
Movie length: 23:04.6
FrameCount: 82969
Re-record count: 9197
Author's real name: Jonathan Jourden
Author's nickname: Zurggriff
Submitter: Zurggriff
Submitted at: 2017-10-01 18:32:36
Text last edited at: 2017-10-16 17:43:18
Text last edited by: thecoreyburton
Download: Download (42002 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Target Earth, released as Assault Suit Leynos in Japan, is an action platformer where the protagonist, Rex, uses an arsenal of weapons to battle a fleet of enemies to terminate conflict throughout the solar system.

Movie Features

  • Emulator Used: BizHawk version 1.11.9.1
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Manipulates luck
  • Plays on hardest difficulty

General Information

  • Fast gameplay relies on fast movement and destroying enemies to increase score. Most stages require travelling to the far side of the stage and fighting a boss. A high score is important because it unlocks items that make level movement faster and boss fights quicker.
  • The hardest difficulty is used for this run. The only change observed was an increase in health for enemies.
  • Aiming Mode B is used rather than the default Mode A. Mode A uses the LEFT and RIGHT direction buttons along with UP and DOWN to adjust aim whereas Mode B only uses UP and DOWN. Mode A would make destroying enemies above or below 45 degrees from horizontal more difficult and this was thought to be a problem in achieving scores needed to unlock items in time. This may have been an unnecessary switch, losing 5 frames over using Mode A.
  • Allies are generally brown or gray and fire blue shots. Enemies are generally green or blue and fire red shots.
  • Most of the dialogue is sped up by depressing any button as the text is being displayed. The dialogue that scrolls slower does not have this feature available and in some instances this only applied to part of the text within the same dialogue box.

Movement

  • Maximum horizontal speed is 288 sp/f on ground and 320 sp/f in air. In areas with no gravity, the limit is 368 sp/f. While moving up very steep slopes, maximum horizontal speed is reduced to 144 sp/f. Distances that take approximately one second to travel are done faster with jumps.
  • Objects travelling down a slope do not stick to the ground. This causes objects to fall in air once they reach the edge of the terrain for the particular height they are on. Ideally, Rex hits close enough to the edge that only one frame of ground travel occurs.
  • Pressing FORWARD on the controller while on ground will immediately drop Rex to the maximum speed for the terrain. This also applies when air speed is above the maximum but this only occurred in the beginning of Stage 3. When landing, no input allows Rex to coast down to the maximum ground speed.
  • Jump height is determined by how long the jump button is held while on ground. Regardless of how long the button is held, Rex will remain on the ground for 7 frames in most cases. If Rex is travelling down a slope when a jump is initiated, the duration becomes 13 frames, allowing for jumps that achieve a lot more height.
  • Landing with low vertical speed gives Rex a smooth transition from air travel to ground travel. When vertical speed is greater than 618 sp/f, Rex will coast to a stop. This is always 16 frames in duration, regardless of initial horizontal speed, and the player has no influence on horizontal speed during that time.
  • B-PACK propels Rex upwards for several seconds. Landing resets the availability of B-PACK, however, short bursts may be used before landing. This is very useful in maintaining a higher horizontal speed throughout the game.

Combat

  • Rex can equip various items to fight enemies or provide protection from damage. Items gradually become available throughout the game as the score reaches the threshold to unlock them. Up to 8 items can be unlocked at a time. There is a limit of 6 items that can be carried throughout a stage and these can only be swapped out at the beginning of a stage. Additionally, when items can be swapped around, only the latest item equipped can be unequipped so the order of selection is important if an item will be unequipped later.
  • Weapons have limited ammo with the exception of LG-GUN and HG-GUN. LG-GUN and HG-GUN require a reload when the current ammo is expended and reloading only occurs while that weapon is selected. Changing weapons does not reset the time required to reload.
  • For most weapons, Rex can aim the weapon in one of 17 directions facing forward. The rest of the weapons can only be fired directly horizontal.
  • When a weapon is fired, there is a cooldown before another weapon can be fired. Switching weapons does not remove the cooldown.
  • Rex starts the game with 16 units of health. ARMOR, which is not used, improves the health capacity by 4 units per ARMOR. SHIELD, which is not used, reduces damage taken by half. Health is displayed by the red bar in the lower left area of the screen.
  • Objects are not considered destroyed until the value for health is below zero. An empty health bar indicates that Rex's health is at zero.
  • Health regenerates one unit every 128 frames. This does not apply to enemies.
  • There are no invincibility frames from taking damage, however, there are instances where a weapon will not deal damage. Weapons such as D-D, E-AS, and the enemy's equivalent weapons, will only deal damage on particular frames, typically either once every 4 frames or once every 16 frames.

Score

  • Points are accumulated from destroying enemies and receiving bonus points. Bonus points take time to count through and are avoided when they are not awarded for finishing a stage faster.
  • Enemies have varoius point values which depend on the enemy type. This is determined when they load based on the value of a RNG. This is manipulated in several ways:
    • Advancing the RNG by creating dust from landing, walking off an edge, or using B-PACK near ground.
    • Destroying enemies. This creates explosions which advances the RNG.
    • Hitting enemies with LG-GUN shots on particular frames. This causes the shots to ricochet off the enemy while still dealing damage and advancing the RNG.
  • Many enemies change their object type when transitioning between being airborne and grounded. Destroying an enemy on the frame when this occurs results in doubling the points awarded. When an enemy is destroyed, there is a check to determine its health and when this is below zero, it awards points and clears the object type value. On frames where the object type also changes, the change occurs after points were awarded and assingns a non-zero value for the object type. This results in the game recognizing that the enemy exists on the next frame and awards points again. It is possible for one enemy to award points three times when an enemy lands and then goes airborne the next frame.

Stage By Stage Comments

Stage 1: Raid on Ganymede

The objective is to destroy the large enemy ship approaching the base. The ship advances at a fixed rate, spending a considerable amount of time off the right edge of the level before entering into the field of play. Going through the level as fast as possible and getting into position to destroy the ship results in approximately one second of extra time waiting for the ship. This excess time is utilized to destroy more enemies. The weapons available in this stage are weak or ineffective on small enemies and destroying all of them without slowing down is not reasonable. When the large enemy ship is destroyed, it explodes for a while and then the game advances on. This process is shortened by getting the ship far enough off-screen to unload, which immediately progresses the game. Bonus points are awarded for how far away the ship was from the base.

Items equipped: LG-GUN, 25-SC, D-D

Stage 2: Escape

The objective is to get to the other side of the base and escape. Along the way Rex encounters a blue enemy, Rance, the nemesis. Rance is impervious to attacks and has a powerful lightning-like attack. Rance moves so as to stay to the right of Rex, backing up as Rex approaches. This lasts until sufficient time has elapsed, at which point, Rance retreats and Rex can reach the escape vessel. Bonus points are awarded for the number of allies that escape with Rex. Saving allies is avoided to save time.

Items equipped: LG-GUN, 150BZ

Stage 3: Orbital Attack

The objective is to survive and defend ally ships from enemy fire before atmosphere reentry. Enemies only target Rex so staying away from ally ships accomplishes this task easily. This is the first stage to take place without the effects of gravity. There is nothing to shorten the duration of the stage so maximizing the score is the only task of the run. There is a medium-sized enemy ship in the area and it is not required to be destroyed, but it is worth a lot of points so this opportunity is not passed up. There is a limit of 9 enemies loaded at a time so enemies are destroyed before reaching this limit which would result in potential enemy spawns to not occur. The bonus at the end of the stage awards points for how early Rex enters the ship, so entering with zero seconds remaining is done to avoid the bonus.

Items equipped: LG-GUN, 150BZ

Stage 4: Front Line Assault

The objective is to enter the enemy base and destroy the reactor. This stage has some notable changes in item management. The points acquired in the first three stages were important to unlock B-PACK which greatly improves the speed of Rex through this stage and the remainder of the game. LG-GUN is removed to make room for more weapons later on which rids Rex of the only available weapon with unlimited ammo. This also removes a good source of RNG manipulation. Weapons that deal higher rates of damage become more important as enemies here have more health. When approaching the entrance to the base, a trigger is passed to load the ally that will open the entrance. After some time has elapsed, a dialogue box will pop up directing Rex to stand clear. This dialogue is avoided by staying far enough to the right so that the game does not care to give Rex this warning. The reactor is at the bottom of the interior section of the stage. Most of the reactor never comes into view because it is quicker to progress the game after its destruction by unloading it with it off-screen. The bonus after the stage awards points for how quickly the reactor was destroyed.

Items equipped: 150BZ, 150BZ, E-AS, M.POD, B-PACK

Stage 5: Surprise Attack

The objective is to survive and defend the base. This lasts for approximately 3 minutes. After the time has elapsed, Rance arrives to attack the base. This time Rance has limited health before triggering the retreat of enemy forces. This fight is almost completely avoided by moving to the left at maximum speed when Rance loads on the right. This moves Rance far enough off-screen to unload, triggering the enemy retreat. The bonus at the end of the stage awards points for how many enemies were destroyed so Rex spends the entire stage jumping and running around, ensuring all enemies are spared. This is apparently sufficient activity to defend the base.

Items equipped: 150BZ, 150BZ, E-AS, M.POD, B-PACK, 203BZ

Stage 6: Headquarters Blitz

The objective is to infiltrate and attack the enemy headquarters. By this point in the game, all of the items that will be used for the run, and are within reasonable reach, are unlocked. Efforts to maximize score are no longer necessary, however, survival while going fast still requires destroying many enemies along the way. The first half of the stage has a grounded ship with an impenetrable barrier and must be destroyed to proceed through the stage. At the end of the interior of the base, Rex encounters Rance again. Rance can take damage prior to triggering the dialogue which starts the battle. Rance would start moving to the left, toward Rex, and then upon being defeated, would fly off to the right. This fight is done optimally by dealing the final blow at the same time as triggering the fight so that Rance does not move to the left, therefore, moving off-screen and unloading sooner. Triggering the fight to start is required as putting Rance below zero health does nothing until then.

Items equipped: 150BZ, 150BZ, E-AS, M.POD, B-PACK, 203BZ

Stage 7: Space Colony Smash

The objective is to recapture a colony that the enemies are using for supplies and destroy the enemy ship. The stage features zero gravity and not zero gravity. The fight against the enemy ship at the end of the level features the use of the most weapons of any boss fight: M.POD, E-AS, and 203BZ. There is a bonus available for destroying canisters in the colony so none of those are destroyed.

Items equipped: 150BZ, 150BZ, E-AS, M.POD, B-PACK, 203BZ

Stage 8: The Final Conflict

The objective is to defeat Chron, the mastermind behind the whole operation, and end the war. This stage features three fights. The first fight is against Rance who is now a cyborg. After taking a set amount of damage, Rance retreats off the right side of the screen. The scene also features another gray ASSAULT SUIT that looks just like Rex. The next fight is with Rance again who now has powerful attacks available again but these are not shown off because of the fight's short duration. Not only is it unnecessary to move Rance off-screen after the fight as the camera lock is removed before Rex can reach the right edge, Rance would warp to the right edge to complete the destruction sequence. The final fight has a long dialogue sequence which is skipped by avoiding the trigger for it. While navigating the ship's interior, there is frequent weapon switching to reset the aim angle.

Items equipped: 150BZ, 150BZ, E-AS, M.POD, B-PACK, 203BZ

Additional Information On Items

Weapons

Weapon Damage Cooldown
(frames)
Ammo Damage Per
Second
Period
(frames per hit)
LG-GUN 1 8 20 7.5
HG-GUN 2 11 20 10.91
25-SC 1-3 20 60 3-9
40-SC 2-6 20 50 6-18
GL 5 43 50 6.98
MGL 6 43 45 8.37
150BZ 5 17 50 17.65
203BZ 7 15 40 28
MISSILE 4 50 50 4.8
M.POD 6 20 50 18
E-AS 1 8 70 15 4
E-CN 2 8 55 30 4
D-D 2-8 180 30 7.5-30 16
BURST 1 10 10 15 4
  • 25-SC and 40-SC fire 3 shots at a time.
  • D-D fires 4 clouds of explosive projectiles at a time.
  • E-AS, E-CN, D-D, and BURST are not stopped by hitting enemies and continue to deal damage at the interval specified in the above table.
  • The table below shows damage rates that can be achieved with multiple shots active at a time.
Weapon Damage Per
Second
Condition
E-AS 75 5 shots dealing damage at a time
E-CN 150 5 shots dealing damage at a time
D-D 60 2 shots dealing all 4 hits each at a time
BURST 150 10 shots dealing damage at a time

Item Availablility

Score Item First Availability
0 LG-GUN Yes
0 25-SC Yes
0 D-D Yes
22000 GL Yes
28000 ARMOR Yes
32000 150BZ Yes
59000 MISSILE Yes
67000 MGL Yes
74000 25-SC
81000 150BZ
92000 D-D
105000 E-AS Yes
119000 B-PACK Yes
131000 40-SC Yes
142000 M.POD Yes
156000 40-SC
171000 GL
183000 MISSILE
194000 ARMOR
201000 M.POD
213000 MGL
227000 40-SC
234000 203BZ Yes
257000 ARMOR
285000 203BZ
301000 E-AS
338000 M.POD
341000 HG-GUN Yes
373000 SHIELD Yes
459000 E-CN Yes
479000 ARMOR
700000 BURST Yes
SHILED, E-CN, and BURST were not unlocked prior to the start of Stage 8.

Memory Addresses

Address Set #111: Target Earth

Suggested Screenshot: Frame 53123


Mothrayas: Judging.

Mothrayas: This run contains some decent shooting action, but is bogged down by the overall sluggish pace of the game, exacerbated by the occasional dialogue interruptions and the handful of missions that are just waiting periods. Voting response was not particularly great, especially after discounting yes votes based on the author and not on watching the movie. Accepting for the Vault.

thecoreyburton: Processing.


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