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

Submission #5960: arkiandruski's NES Conquest of the Crystal Palace in 10:48.5

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Conquest of the Crystal Palace
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Conquest of the Crystal Palace (USA).nes
Branch:
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.2.2
Movie length: 10:48.5
FrameCount: 38974
Re-record count: 9398
Author's real name: Andrew Araki
Author's nickname: arkiandruski
Submitter: arkiandruski
Submitted at: 2018-05-07 16:46:28
Text last edited at: 2018-05-08 20:26:35
Text last edited by: arkiandruski
Download: Download (13953 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:
Whoa, it's been how long since I submitted my last movie? Talk about a gap.

To tell you the truth, when TASing started shifting toward being about reverse engineering, deep code diving and programming with the Lua scripts and bots and everything and less about trial and error and intuitive problem solving, I started feeling overwhelmed. The art was shifting toward requiring a skill set that I did not have any experience in. Combine that with less time and new interests and you get a lack of motivation to really get any work done.

I never really left the site, though. I still enjoy TASes and care about this community, I was just working in different ways.

However, the climate of the site seems to have changed again and the tools to do those things I mentioned previously have become easier to use. Also, though I don't have more time than before, I think I've come up with a routine that allows me to work on this stuff in the time I do have.

The real reason I started this run, though, is I was looking at the Conquest of the Crystal Palace run by Aloysha and me on youtube, and this one user called spiderweb_ commented that we were using a bad strategy on the second level boss "10 seconds saved, easy" he said. Well that was too much, I couldn't allow this to stand! So I redid the entire run.

So thanks to spiderweb_ for annoying me into making this improvement, but no thanks to him because I extended an invitation for him to look at my WIPs and he didn't respond.

Right, I guess I should start talking about the actual run now.

For the sake of tradition:

Conquest of the Crystal Palace is the story of a boy and his dog who overthrow an evil rock (or is it a brain?).

Comparison video (give it time, it's still uploading) (also apologize in advance for poor video quality (looks like I need to rework my avisynth script, or my video making workflow, or something. Actually I have no idea why I'm taking hits in quality.) )


(Link to video)

This run

At least I think that's so. Just in case I provided a quick encode which shows what the subs are supposed to look like.

So, as I think I mentioned, but most definitely should probably have mentioned earlier, this is an improvement on the currently published run of the same game As such, it improves on the previous movie in pretty much every conceivable way. Here are just some of the things that make this movie better than the currently published run.

So, like I said (and I checked, I actually did say it this time) there are some new amazing techniques that were found, but let's talk about everything that makes this game fun to TAS

1. LAAAAAAAGGG

Wait, is lag supposed to be fun to deal with? Anyway, yes. This game has a lot of lag. So unlike me when I made my first run, every person TASing this game needs to take minimizing lag into account for pretty much everything you do. Here's some of the things that might increase lag for you.

Minimizes lag is a lot about finding the right time to attack and kill enemies, or sometimes to ignore them. Often it's also about accepting a little bit of lag or slowdown now to get rid of a lot of lag later. It is a big part of trying to play this game.

2. Using the dog as a platform

You can jump on the dog. The best and most consistent time to do this is when you first call him on screen. If you manage to land on top of him in midair, you can jump again, effectively giving yourself a double jump.

3. The dog's cloud.

When you tell the dog to go away, he plays a short animation where he turns into a cloud that disappears. One of the great things about this cloud is that it causes no lag. One of the other great things about this cloud is you can walk on it. One of the third great things about the cloud is that it remains on the same place on screen, even if the background is scrolling. This gives you some extra travel options, such as..

4. Doggyvator

If you manage to get stuck near the top of the screen farther left than it wants to start vertically scrolling, the screen will move really quick trying to catch up with you. If you happen to be standing on top of the dog's cloud at the time, the cloud will pull you up with it, allowing you to travel up real quick.

5. Doggy Triple Jump

A new discovery for this run, but the evidence was there from the start and everyone who previously made a movie for this game should feel stupid for not realizing it. (so that's basically me, I think). Since the dog cloud scrolls with the screen, that means if you jump off the dog on a vertically scrolling screen, he will travel with you. That means you can land on the cloud after you jump off it and jump a third time. Sadly, this only seems to save time in the first level. It's the only level that is focused on moving upward. The second level and fourth level focus on moving right. The third level focuses on moving down. The last level hates your guts.

6. Backwards attack

Your normal attack does four damage. If you attack then press in the opposite direction, though, the second attack does 16 damage. This attack requires quite a bit of planning and set up to use properly, though mostly because when you decide to sword attack, you immediately drop like a rock, so if you want to use it, you need to make sure you're above the target first.

7. Dog and soldier minibosses

So, in level 2 and level 5, there's a point where you're first attacked by a man dressed as a dog. After you kill the dog, a man dressed as a soldier comes to attack you. All four of these people have 48 hp, which means that they will take three backwards attacks to kill.

But, arkiandruski, I watched that run by Aloysha which mostly uses your input, and the dog and man in the 2nd level go down in two hits

I was getting to that. Please let me finish. See, there's a little quirk of the game that allows the backwards attack to do more damage.

8. Critical attack

So, if you manage to attack an enemy at the right time from the right distance and angle, (usually the right time is when the enemy is changing states (e.g. going from standing to jumping or vice versa) ) The attack will register on two different frames. This in effect allows you to do double damage with one attack. The previous runs were doing this on three of the four minibosses without even realizing it. I managed to get it to work on the fourth as well.

Oh, man, that's great, arkiandruski, maybe that can be used to shorten the second stage boss fight

Sadly, no. The second stage boss has one feature that most of the other bosses don't have: an invulnerability period after getting hit. That means he'll take 16 damage a hit no matter what. I tested this with the dog. For example, if you manage to have the dog attack the final boss before attacking him yourself, both those attacks will register. Also, if you manage to attack the final boss with both your forward swing and your backward swing, both those attacks will register. The 2nd boss can't take damage immediately after taking damage though.

Level comments:

Level 1: Most of the improvement comes from taking a different path up the mountain, though I do get a faster boss fight by manipulating that bird to drop into backward attack range sooner.

Level 2: By avoiding taking damage from anything that damages me for two health, I manage to take damage more often. Also this level features that new strategy that spiderweb_ mentioned. Because of his invulnerability, I still wasn't able to avoid having a moment when he does his wind attack. He does not take damage during that attack.

Level 3: I was more aggressive with the fireball powerup than the published run. Boss is unchanged.

Level 4: Mostly the same, just a couple small time savers that most people probably wouldn't notice. Boss is unchanged.

Level 5: By taking damage only on things that deal one point, I'm able to take damage more often. I also kill many more enemies in an effort to reduce lag. For the penultimate boss fight, I attacked around his invulnerability, unlike the previous movies on the site that just whaled at him and didn't notice he had stopped blinking. Absolutely nothing interesting happens during the final boss fight.

Known improvements:

I don't know if they will actually improve anything. The things I mention might save time in the short run, but when I corrected them and moved on, worse enemy patterns and more lag destroyed any gains that were made.

I think most everything else should be covered in the subtitles. Enjoy.


Mothrayas: Judging.

arkiandruski: Found an improvement worth starting over for, so I'm setting this to cancelled. See you in a few weeks (hopefully).


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