TASVideos

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

Submission #5788: link_7777 & Inzult's NES Pin-Bot in 01:36.38

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Pin-Bot
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Pin Bot (USA).nes
Branch:
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.2.1
Movie length: 01:36.38
FrameCount: 5792
Re-record count: 5160
Author's real name: Phillip Grimsrud
Author's nickname: link_7777 & Inzult
Submitter: link_7777
Submitted at: 2018-01-10 07:27:00
Text last edited at: 2018-02-04 12:57:16
Text last edited by: fsvgm777
Download: Download (2822 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Pin*Bot

Pin*Bot is a pinball game developed by Rare. It is based on the 1986 pinball machine made by Williams.


(Link to video)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.2.1
  • Top the leaderboard (score more than 9,983,270 points)

About the run

The game has multiple avialable stages. Later stages feature fantastic things like a cloud that can chew up the ball and spit it out, or the ball becoming triangular in shape. The end credits are based on score only and this TAS foregoes later stages in the interest of obtaining the requisite score quickly.

Pin*Bot includes many features you'd expect to see when playing pinball, and many ways to score. The controls are what you'd expect from a pinball machine, but the big advantage the TAS can exploit is bumping the table. Note that as in real life too many bumps can result in a tilt.

Scoring Strategies

  • The 'vortex' - The biggest point value for our time. When you start the game and pull the plunger the ball is launched up to a spiral in the top right, the middle of the three holes in this spiral nets you a cool 100,000.
  • multi-ball - Triggering multi-ball not only gives us a second ball it also gives sets the multiplier to 2x and stacks on a separate 2x multiplier for multi-ball.
  • Solar ramp - Shooting the big ramp on the left deposits the ball on an upper layer on the right, from here the ball can end up back on the plunger. Falling into this chute increases your multiplier (separately from the 2x for multi-ball, and with a cap of 10x)

Controls

  • D-pad - left flipper
  • A - right flipper
  • B - plunger
  • select - bump right
  • start - bump left
  • p2 B - pause
  • p2 D-pad - move selection in pause mode
  • p2 A - turn options on/off (voice, music, or sound effects can be disabled)

Route

  • The first step is to pause and turn off the voice. The menu costs a handfull of frames, but if left enabled the synthesized voice will halt the game at the start of ball 1 and when triggering multi-ball. The savings here is hundreds of frames.
  • Next lose the first two balls as quickly as possible so we can pack the activity into the last ball and end the input early.
  • On the third ball we go for multi-ball first to get a second ball and the 2x multiplier.
  • Once we have the second ball we shoot the solar ramp with both balls a couple of times to work our multiplier up to 6x.
  • Last we shoot the vortex. At 1,200,000 each time (100,000 x 6 (multiplier) x 2 (multiball it only takes eight trips to get to 9.6 million. Hits against the pop bumpers as we manipulate our way back into the vortex (along with a few other incidental points) make up the balance of our high score.

Improvements

  • I imagine this could be improved, especially with some botting. The limited controls and risk of tilt limit the input set pretty significantly.
  • Manipulating the balls to go from the pop bumpers back up the right side with the right speed to get back to the vortex is particularly difficult to manipulate and therefore has the most potential.
  • This route came together pretty well, but depending on how the vortex maniuplating goes it may be faster to spend less time shooting the solar ramp for multipliers and more time manipulating your way into the vortex for an overall faster time. This would take a lot more checking, and would be easier with the aforementioned bot.

Thanks to:

  • Inzult for his help and previous (unsubmitted) run
  • Beerfullofbelly for his WR run
  • The TASMania team
  • my Twitch chat for the ideas and encouragement

Screenshots:

745, 4341, 5527, 10950


feos: This is a nice run. Having to compete with (presumably) Tim Stamper in score to see the credits is an amusing requirement. This run is even vault eligible, because we don't have to max out the score - we just need to beat the highest score programmed into the leaderboard, which is the only way to see the credits.

The run got good feedback, so I'm accepting it to the Moons.

It's also interesting what the title should be. PinBot is the original title presented in the cover art and in the title screen of the game, Wikipedia calls it Pin Bot, MobyGames calls it Pin-Bot, GameFAQs calls is Pinbot, Nintendo Wikia call is Pin*Bot. Sounds like the matter of opinion really.

fsvgm777: Processing.


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