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

Submission #5931: Mitjitsu's Saturn Elevator Action -Returns- in 14:39.5

Console: Sega Saturn
Game name: Elevator Action -Returns-
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Elevator Action Returns (J).bin
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.1.0
Movie length: 14:39.5
FrameCount: 52770
Re-record count: 7535
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: Mitjitsu
Submitter: Mitjitsu
Submitted at: 2018-04-15 14:10:12
Text last edited at: 2018-05-02 10:55:43
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (32037 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
As members of a special task force. You must stop an anarchal communist terrorist organisation from setting off nuclear bombs, as well as thwarting their most diabolical scheme of all.

Character Choice

There is three distinct choices to make here. Kart is an obvious choice here. He is the fastest runner and his jumping animation makes it easier to reach a fast rising elevator. His grenade sweeps across the entire floor, which can be highly advantageous in certain circumstances. Jad, while the slowest has the unique abilty to damage enemies and obstacles whilst running. His shrapnel grenade is generally the most useful, but can be difficult to use, as it must be within the proximity of an enemy to explode. The effect of the grenade allows enemies to be taken out in an easy and efficient manner. Edie, while the recommended choice for real time runners due to her rate of fire, as well as being a well rounded character. Isn't suited to a TAS. Her only upside is her incendiary grenade, which creates a pool of fire that lasts for a short while. Damaging any enemy that touches it. It is useful for the final boss, Making him easier to beat, and ending input time much quicker. Had I chosen not to enter names on the final score screen.

Being the fastest runner. Kart generally does the legwork, whilst Jad acts as elevator operator. On top of that he provides additional services such as clearing paths of enemies by running through them and acting as a bullet shield.

Level 1

The first level is an tribute to the original game, which can be unlocked either by beating the game or using a cheat code, Elevators in this game are preset in that they'll load when the screen scrolls to them. This can cause a lot of frustration in terms of forced waits. However, they can be manipulated by having enemies entering the lifts. Sadly, I don't understand how RNG works in this game and is something a future TASer would need to look into.

Level 2

Falling even short distances is fatal in this game. There is also a limit to how far your character can fall. Before automatically being declared dead (the exception being end of level invulnerability). In order to fall from even a short height your character needs to take damage or have come back from life. Due to the limit of how far your character can fall. Kart needed to clip floor below the plane; rather than just falling straight to the bottom floor.

Level 3

This was by far the hardest level to do. Try as I might I could not get any of the enemies to cooperate at the start of the level. By making them enter the lifts. There is a long running section at the end, meaning it was advantageous to kill Jad and let him catch up that way. During the boss fight I deliberately miss a shot to manipulate enemy spawn. The final 3 enemies have long periods invulnerability. The hardest part is trying to group them together and making sure they don't go too far off screen.

Level 4

Relatively straight forward level. Jad's grenade does wonders in this level. After killing Kart I needed to wait a while to find an applicable time to respawn him.

Level 5

Before embarking on this TAS. I knew many deaths were going to be required on this level. To the point where I was worried I may run out of lives to sacrifice before the end of the game. I abuse the horizontal scrolling mechanic by letting Jad fall far enough behind that Kart can hug the left side of the screen (think SMB1) and get onto a normally unreachable elevator. Once that's done, all I have to do is kill Jad and let him respawn next to Kart.

Level 6

I missed a shot in the forced wait section, and was too far ahead to go back and fix it. The plan on this level was to let Jad take as much damage as possible and suicide him after opening the final red door. It turned out with frame perfect input. He could actually reach the elevator right next to door. Saving a decent chunk of time. I ended up killing him off anyway due to the long running sections that follow it. I switched to Edie at the end because she is far more advantagoes to use as a result of her grenade.

(Link to video)

Final thoughts

I was going to use this game as a tutorial for people wishing to make 2p runs. However, I did not have the appropriate software to do it. I used a GameCube controller, and used the start button for autoholding. At the start of the game I sacrificed time in the options menu by setting the violence level to high. The TAS took about a year to do as a result of being too tired or not in the mood as a result of work. RNG is a real bitch in this game. If it could be properly manipulated it would mean having less forced waits.

Mothrayas: Good action-packed movie with interesting two-player death strategies. Accepting for Moons.

feos: Pub.

feos: About game name. On the cover of this Japanese-only game, it's ELEVATOR ACTION² -RETURNS-. On the disc, it's ELEVATORACTION² -RETURNS-. In-game, it's ELEVATOR ACTION -RETURNS-. I couldn't find a manual, and I wouldn't understand it anyway, since it'd presumably be in Japanese to. So the only clear part is that those dashes persist everywhere and serve to separate 2 parts, so the final game name uses the name of the original game, something like "Elevator Action" Returns. We apply general English capitalization rules to game titles, so we don't use all caps, but I really think the dashes should be there.

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