TASVideos

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

Submission #5742: PiePusher11's GBA DK: King of Swing in 18:32.55

Console: Game Boy Advance
Game name: DK: King of Swing
Game version: USA
ROM filename: DK - King of Swing (USA, Australia).gba
Branch:
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.2
Movie length: 18:32.55
FrameCount: 66450
Re-record count: 8017
Author's real name: Zachary Maher
Author's nickname: PiePusher11
Submitter: PiePusher11
Submitted at: 2017-12-10 21:01:48
Text last edited at: 2017-12-20 20:56:37
Text last edited by: Fog
Download: Download (33386 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

DK: King of Swing is a DK spinoff game created by Paon. The Kongs are planning a competition to see who's the best in the jungle! Just before it begins, K. Rool steals all the medals for the tournament! DK must hunt down K. Rool and get back those stolen medals for the tournament!

DK quickly loses track of the whole medals thing, only finding 5 of the 24 medals that K. Rool stole.

Comments

Before we get into individual level comments, I want to talk a bit about the controls, and different items and pegs. The controls in this game are very simple. L grabs with your left hand, R grabs with your right hand. When you're holding on with your left hand, DK will spin counterclockwise; with the right hand, clockwise. If you hold on with both hands for at least 44 frames, you will charge up an attack that can be used to break barrels, attack enemies, etc. This charge attack also flings DK slightly farther than just a regular fling. Pressing B lets you use 10 bananas to heal one heart. Pressing A lets you use 20 bananas to do what we call a Banana Boost. This puts DK into a powered-up state for ten seconds (600 frames). During this time, you are invincible, and your speed goes up significantly. This is used whenever possible to save time, especially when the extra speed allows me to make larger jumps not otherwise possible.

Items and special pegs

Note that different colored pegs and pegboards are only different aesthetically, functionally they are no different.

  • Levers - made up of 2 pegs next to each other. Holding on to both for at least 22 frames will lower it, and make something happen in the level. Usually creates pegs or pegboards.
  • Cranks - made up of a stationary peg and a movable peg. Cranking it will make something happen, be it moving the crank along a path, or opening a new path.
  • Gears - Spinning on a gear will move it along a path. Direction does matter.
  • ? Barrels - Destroy these to make pegs or pegboards appear.
  • Rocks - Pick these up and throw them to attack enemies, barrels, etc. Throwing them while holding on to a peg will throw it harder than if you are in the air. If you throw it while Banana Boosting, it won't break right away. This allows me to break through the wall in Necky's Canyon with a single rock, and get double-hits on Fire Necky.
  • Bombs - Pick these up, and after 257 frames, they'll explode. Simple enough. Unlike rocks, they do not do damage on hitting things, only when they explode.
  • Spinning pegs - If you grab these with the proper hand, you'll spin much faster, and fling much farther. Conversely, if you grab it with the wrong hand, you'll spin incredibly slow and fling almost nowhere.
  • Tires - Touch these and get bounced away. They are used for quite a few skips. They actually can bounce you in almost every direction, so optimizing the perfect bounce can be tricky. The cannons seen in Ship of Souls and on the K. Kruizer III act just like tires if DK touches them.
  • Booster Barrels - Get in these, and fly away! You still have control of DK's hands while in these, so you can still grab pegs, rocks, etc. if necessary.
  • Barrel Cannons - There are two types of barrel cannons, automatic and manual. The manual ones, you can use L or R to turn, and press L and R together to fire.

Individual level comments

Tutorial

Cranky teaches DK how to do things such as walk, jump, and eat bananas. Things DK ought to know by now, don't you think?

Banana Bungalow

The first level is simple as can be. Almost all pegboards, pretty easy stuff.

Contraption Cave

You normally have to break through the barrels in screen 2, but since it's possible to squeeze between them, I do, saving about a second. The strat on screen 3 was actually theorized after I was most of the way done with the TAS. The tire bounce in the beginning saves 49 frames over using the gear.

Puzzling Pyramid

The damage boost in screen 1 saves 112 frames over using the gear to spin the pegboard into place. The unfortunate side-effect of that is the constant beeping throughout almost the entire game. In screen 3, I intentionally wait on killing the Kremling because he is pulling the crank for me. This means I have to pull the crank myself less, allowing me to go earlier. In general, the fastest method of cranking is to press and release R every other frame, but for one full crank or less, it's better to just do a full crank as far as needed.

Tropical Treetops

Another very straightforward level. This is likely supposed to be the second level, but I do it last to save time on overworld movement.

Congtazuma's Castle

DK's walking speed is ever so slightly faster than flinging through the air, so walking up to Congtazuma saves a little bit of time over jumping right away and flinging to him. Since there's so much downtime, I try to play around and make it a bit more interesting to watch.

Cactus Woods

In screen 2, breaking the barrel and getting those 5 bananas costs no time, because I have to wait for the bee to move up out of my way anyway. Screen 3 has the run's first Banana Boost. As you can see, it greatly increases DK's speed, and kills the enemies without having to attack them. I collect a lot of bananas on this screen to make up for using 20 of them.

Madcap Mine

Optimizing these cranks is tricky. You want to do a full crank right away to build up speed, but after that, I've found it best to mash R or L every other frame. In screen 3, I crank just enough to make the pegboards grabbable.

Treacherous Twister

In this stage, there is a constant wind to the left in the first screen, to the right in the second screen. This makes optimizing the path through the level pretty tricky. I managed to use the moving pegs to my advantage quite a bit near the end of the level.

Necky's Canyon

This level is why the early game is so tight on bananas. I use a Banana Boost in the first screen to break through the wall with a single rock (the other two are just for playing around). I also use a Banana Boost in the third screen, as playing this screen normally is incredibly awkward and slow.

Fire Necky's Nest

Again I use a Banana Boost, this time to get a single rock throw to do multiple hits on Fire Necky. This means I can defeat him in a single cycle. Normally, he doesn't give you enough rocks to kill him in a single cycle, and you have to wait almost 30 seconds for him to spit more rocks at you. I also manipulate him to spit the rocks all on the left side, so I don't have to waste time going over to the right side to pick up the last rock.

Lockjaw Falls

How the pegs fall in screen 2 is one of the only bits of RNG in the entire game. Every time I made an adjustment earlier in the game, this screen would desync, and I'd have to redo it. Luckily, no outcome ever made me lose any time.

Ship of Souls

The ghosts turn invisible and won't hurt you while you're holding on with both hands. Normally, when you attack a barrel or crate, you get flung back. If you break it on the last frame of your attack, however, you wont. I use this to my advantage in breaking the first crate on screen 2, and get through this section without having to wait and kill all the ghosts. On screen 3, pegs don't exist until you grab a peg adjacent to them. Since pegs can appear anywhere as long as you've grabbed one near them, this allows for a really cool-looking strat of grabbing pegs just as they appear all the way up.

Risky Reef

The first underwater level. Underwater physics are a little difficult to explain. Vertically, you have the same initial speed, but a higher deceleration. Horizontally, you have a much lower cap on your speed, but if you're angled more sideways, the speed cap increases.

Kremling Kamp

I delay slightly at the very beginning, because otherwise, the Kremling will hit me. I skip almost all of screen 2 using a banana boost. It's unfortunate, because that is one of the coolest-looking screens in the game when done optimally.

Davy Bones' Locker

You're normally supposed to charge-attack Davy Bones to stun him, then grab his tail. If you time it just right, you can just grab it right away as he charges past you. I kill Davy as low as possible on the screen, because after he dies, his falling animation is really slow. This ending went through multiple revisions, and I saved multiple seconds over the initial attempt.

Raging Ravine

The first instance of manual barrel cannons. It lets you turn a little bit after inputting to fire. Sometimes doing that makes it shoot sooner, sometimes doing that makes it shoot later. I honestly couldn't tell you how to optimize getting shot out of these, it's really just trial and error. Screen 3 is probably my favorite screen of the whole TAS. Just before starting this TAS, I theorized that you can grab the bomb that the Kremling throws and use that to blow up the ? barrel at the end. It took a lot of optimization, and a few different strats to find the fastest way, but I got it to work!

Ice Castle

By pressing L or R on the same frame you would break the crate, I trick the game into thinking I'm standing on it for a frame before it breaks. This saves the time of bouncing up and falling back down, and on top of that, it's faster to be turned upwards anyway. I initially didn't use a Banana Boost in screen 3, but after doing some testing, I found that a Banana Boost here saves more time than one I initially wanted to do later on.

Underwater Ruins

In screen 1, I get three extra bananas. It doesn't waste any time, since I have to wait for the pegs to rise enough anyway, and I ended up needing every banana I got. In screen 2, the walls actually clip me up a little, resulting in a hilariously disfigured DK for one frame! Underwater physics make grabbing a peg to propel DK downward faster than simply falling.

Cold Cold Forest

A pretty straightforward level for this late in the game. I use rocks in screen 1 to protect against nuts being shot at me.

Sassy Squatch's Lair

In the first cycle, I manage to get 2 bombs in his mouth at the same time. Unfortunately, this doesn't do any more damage. Oh well. I try to play around as much as possible in the downtime, and make each cycle look different. I also try my hardest to blow up DK at the very end!

Booster Barrel Skyway

Very straightforward. Fly up, collect bananas, avoid the spikes.

K. Kruizer III Artillery

I initially wanted to use a Banana Boost in screen 1, as it saved about 120 frames over playing normally. After more testing, I found that using it in Ice Castle 3 was better, so I dropped it from here.

K. Kruizer III Hull

The damage boost in Hull 1 saves 33 frames over using the gear to get close enough so you can make the jump. I had to make sure to avoid getting the gold medal in screen 3, as collecting it would make an extra text box appear after the level.

K. Kruizer III Engine

Ah, the 30 Banana DK Fire Bounce Hoo-Hah Combo DX. The strat used in real-time runs involves waiting a little longer, and jumping on the spike that slowly moves around the level. However, with very precise positioning and timing, I'm able to get a bounce without doing that, saving a few seconds. Initially, I didn't think a Banana Boost would give enough height to get the skip in screen 2, but I discovered a new trick while trying to get it to work. Basically, when you're holding a charge, the game gives you 7 frames of leeway on releasing L and R, so you don't have to release them both on the exact same frame. Normally, this would merely affect your angle slightly. However, if you are only holding on with one hand when you charge it, and release that hand first, you can fling up for 6 frames before starting your charge, giving you more height. When optimized perfectly, this gives JUST enough height to make it onto that spike, skipping about half of screen 2.

King K. Rool

While you are ahead of K. Rool, he plays frame-perfectly (His physics make him much slower than DK). If you fall behind, K. Rool will slow down to let you catch up a little. I initially wanted to give K. Rool a bit of a head start, and barely beat him out at the end, but it ended up that slowed him down. So instead, I opted for slowing down at the end to just barely beat him out. You have to wait for K. Rool to finish before moving on anyway, so this wastes no time. As for the fight, it's simply a case of charging up attacks, and hitting him as soon as you can. I end the movie as the last attack launches.

Closing thoughts

Making this TAS has been such a great experience. I am a real-time runner of this game, so I went into this with a lot of knowledge of the game, and even then, I learned a lot. As far as this TAS goes, I'm sure there are some improvements possible, but for currently-known strats, I feel like this is very close to optimal.

Shoutouts

  • FryinRyan27, for getting me into speedrunning King of Swing.
  • GMM, for developing and discovering countless strats, including fast Fire Necky, Fast Davy Bones, and of course, the 30 Banana DK Fire Bounce Hoo-Hah Combo DX.
  • ThunderAxe31, for helping me with finding RAM addresses.
  • Everyone else who's been watching and supporting me.
Suggested screenshot: frame 46408


ThunderAxe31: Claiming for judgment.

ThunderAxe31: This is a very optimized and entertaining run. Accepting to Moons.

Fog: Processing.


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