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

Submission #5756: Fortranm & MKDasher's DS Pokémon Pearl "no save/reset" in 2:18:17.97

Console: Nintendo DS
Game name: Pokémon Pearl
Game version: USA
ROM filename: 1016 - Pokemon Pearl (v05) (U)(Legacy).nds
Branch: no save/reset
Emulator: DeSmuME 0.9.9
Movie length: 2:18:17.97
FrameCount: 496435
Re-record count: 49079
Author's real name: Fort Ranm & David Roldan
Author's nickname: Fortranm & MKDasher
Submitter: Fortranm
Submitted at: 2017-12-20 07:56:29
Text last edited at: 2017-12-30 00:59:17
Text last edited by: Spikestuff
Download: Download (113679 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
It would be a shame if there is no movie of core Pokemon title being submitted this year, wouldn't it?

Note: MKDasher's input is used until reaching Jubilife City. I suggest adding him as another author.

(Link to video)

Goal Choice

This movie beats Pokemon Pearl without warping by saving in the void, but it uses the tweaking glitch for other purposes. Saving and resetting are avoided because they are necessary for warping. This is to make the goal choice less arbitrary. "No saving/resetting" can be used as the branch name if it sounds better.

Version Choice

Using Pearl or Diamond makes no difference in this run since the legendary event is skipped and no game-exclusive Pokemon is used.

The Team

Thanks to inspiration from SDA Knowledge Base, Abra/Kadabra from an in-game-trade is used as the main battle Pokemon for the majority of the run. I think it's a good idea to use Kazza for this route because it levels up much faster than any starters, and that's an important factor since a big part of the game is skipped. Chimchar is used for the beginning of the game and became HM user afterwards. A Machop is caught for trading. A Psyduck is caught for Surf and Waterfall.

Tweaking Glitch

A detailed explanation can be found in this submission. Void tweaking and object unloading are used. Doing object unloading with bikes also seems to mess up the altitude part of collision data.

Sequence Breaks

There are two major sequence breaks in this run.
  • Psyduck skip(going to the northern part of Route 210 early): allows me to skip the 3rd and 4th badges.
  • Sunyshore guard skip(going to Route 222 early): allows me to skip most Galactic events.

About Luck

  • As always, critical hits are faster than super effective moves. However, due to the difficulty of manipulating luck in this game, it might turn out to be faster to just use the super effective moves sometimes. Super effective moves are also used over critical hits in certain cases for PP conservation.
  • You can only manipulate wild encounter within an area when there are moving objects. Repels are necessary to avoid unwanted encounters in large dungeons.
  • Kazza has disobedience issues almost immediately after trade until getting Forest Badge and after a certain fight on Route 210 until getting Mine Badge. This makes luck manipulation significantly harder during a big portion of the run. Due to this very reason, this strat is not practical for RTA. BTW, Byron's Bronzor is the single hardest enemy to manipulate for because you need a max range critical hit while Kazza has a high chance to disobey.
  • Quick claw is not as useful as it was in Gen 2&3. I haven't found any documentation about how to manipulate it. There are a few opponents through out the run that outspeed Chimchar and Abra/Kadabra. There are even a few ones that have 4 attacking moves with 100% accuracy. Luckily, Kazza is able to take a few hit without fainting.


  • Just like in Gen 3 Pokemon games, when you need to turn while standing still, bumping into objects or walls in front of you instead of turning right away saves a few frames each time.
  • The 4th gear of the bike is slower than the 3rd gear on the first tile after start moving, so changing back to 3rd gear before screen transitions or getting off the bike and turn to 4th gear only after moving one tile saves a few frames each time.
  • During many parts of the battle scenes, pressing A or B makes the cutscenes faster for some reasons.

Difference between This Run and Platinum any% RTA

This run is similar to Pokemon Platinum any% RTA to a certain degree. However, there are a few major difference due to version differences.
  • In Pt, you can't get TM10(Hidden Power) early in the game, and you can't manipulate RNG by waiting after a battle started in Pt. Using traded Abra/Kadabra wouldn't work in Pt even under TASing condition.
  • Surf is enabled by Relic Badge in D/P but by Fen Badge in Pt. Hearthome Gym is only open after getting HM03 in D/P, but you have to beat Hearthome Gym to even leave the city from the right side in Pt. As a result, you can skip both Veilstone Gym and Pastoria Gym in this run, but only Veilstone Gym in Pt.
  • In D/P, you can go to Snowpoint City immediately after getting Mine Badge, but you have to beat Team Galactic in two of the lakes in Pt before heading north.
  • The NPC who blocks your way at the Hearthome/Route 212 gate is gone after visiting Solaceon Town in D/P but only after beating Maylene in Pt. As a result, you can go to Pastoria City via Route 212 from Hearthome and skip a few maindatory trainers on Route 215 and 214. The two maindatory trainers on Route 212 can be skipped by tweaking.

Route details

  • I fought the two optional trainers at the trainer school in order to get TM10 Hidden Power so that Kazza can fight by itself as early as possible.
  • Battle Style is not set to "Set" in the beginning because both Chimchar and Abra are used during the first gym battle.
  • Because Fly is not available, Kazza's Teleport is used to take shortcuts. As a result, I have to keep Teleport until getting Icicle Badge.
  • The Ether in Mt. Coronet and the Max Elixir in Victory Road are picked up to restore PPs.
  • I make Chimchar the leader of the team before the 2nd rival battle to make it faint so the teamed trainers on Route 209 and in Lost Tower can be skipped.
  • I picked up the Zap Plate next to Vista Lighthouse to boost the power of Charge Beam (is this a Metroid reference lol). The special effect of this move(raising the user's Special Attack by one stage) is proved to be important during the last battles in this run.

RNG-unrelated improvement

  • I should have bought 3 Repels in Floaroma Town instead of picking one up on Route 205 and buying 2 at Eterna City. This is a known improvement.
  • I'm not sure whether getting Pokerus early in the run will help a lot, but it shouldn't hurt.
  • I used MKDasher's input for the first 10 minutes of the run so the rival uses a default name. It may or may not be faster to actually give him a single-character name.

RNG-related improvement

  • Battle RNG manipulation can be improved for sure, especially for certain fights early in the run. The manipulation of certain spinners can probably be improved as well.
  • There is a message about the fog when Psyduck is encounter on northern Route 210. It might be a little faster to catch a Bibarel on Route 209 after leaving Lost Tower if your luck is good at the moment. TBH, I think it's pretty funny to have Psyduck in your team though so maybe it can be counted as a minor speed-entertainment tradeoff. :P
  • It might be a good idea to catch a wild Abra on Route 203 with Twisted Spoon after the first gym so that you can save a few crits and let Kazza forget Teleport for new moves. Abra has an encounter rate of 15% on Route 203 with a 5% chance of carrying a Twisted Spoon so it's not easy to manipulate this encounter. Alternatively, you might want to grab the Odd Incense at Solaceon Ruins. It's a less of a potential time saver, but it might allow Kazza to OHKO a few more enemies. You should buy a Escape Rope at Floaroma Town in this case.
  • I actually have an uncompleted(and unoptimized) testrun with a very different route. Piplup is picked at the beginning, Machop is used until getting the bike, and a Chansey with Lukcy egg should be caught at Route 209 or 210(I failed to do this in the testrun since it has a 5%x5% chance). In this case, you don't have to fight the two trainers at the trainer school and the Lucky Egg gives Kazza more exp late in the run. You do need to make suer Machop is exactly at Lv23 so that Kazza can learn Psybeam at Lv24 after using a Rare Candy. The down side is that Machop can be outspeeded very often and Kazza would start with lower Exp and zero EVs at a much later point in the run. You also need to reteach Rock Smash to Chasey since Machop has been traded away at that point.

Special Thanks

  • MKDasher for the any% run and all the lua scripts. This movie wouldn't happen without his work on this game.
  • YOU, for reading the submission text and watching the movie.

Last and not least, merry early Christmas!

Mothrayas: Judging.

Mothrayas: Fixed branch name and added MKDasher as coauthor per suggestions given in the submission message and discussion.

Mothrayas: The quality of this movie isn't really spectacular, with a fair few improvements being known and visible - and some of the RNG manipulating action sometimes feels a bit slow, although that might really just be a limitation of the game. That said, the potential improvements are not massive deal-breakers and the movie still holds itself up as good enough in technical quality overall.

On the subject of the category, it is mildly arbitrary, but it is clearly defined and does make a good showcase of what a TAS of 4th gen Pokémon looks like without glitching to the end and skipping the vast majority of the game as the any% movie does. For that reason, I think there is good enough merit to publish this TAS, and as such, accepting to Moons as a new category.

Spikestuff: Publishing. But it'll probably be published in 2018.

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