TASVideos

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

Submission #5977: link_7777 & EZGames69's NES City Connection "warpless" in 04:35.6

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: City Connection
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: City Connection (Japan).nes
Branch: warpless
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.2.2
Movie length: 04:35.6
FrameCount: 16563
Re-record count: 8480
Author's real name: Phillip Grimsrud
Author's nickname: link_7777 & EZGames69
Submitter: link_7777
Submitted at: 2018-05-27 03:02:32
Text last edited at: 2018-06-03 13:37:03
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (5731 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

City Connection

City Connection is a side view driving game. The game was originally developed for the arcade by Jaleco in 1985, it later received a port on the NES in 1988. The story is fantastic, and oddly specific. You've broken into an exclusive paint store in New York City and are now on the run whilst carrying leaking 10 gallon cans of paint. You must inexplicibly drive over every mile of highway in order to make your escape.

Just another day in the city.


(Link to video)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.2.2
  • Complete all six cities. True to the arcade style, the game loops indefinitely (the stage rolls from 255 back to 0). The backgrounds for the 6 cities rotate and do not reset when the stage counter rolls over. The platforms are shifted in later stages, but the discription of your world tour is in the game's manual and the progression of cutscene images between each stage in the North American version of this game suggests that the game should be considered complete after the sixth stage.
    • New York
    • London
    • Paris
    • Frankfurt
    • New Delhi
    • Tokyo

Game Mechanics

Controls

  • up - hold up when jumping to jump to a higher platform
  • left - turn left
  • right - turn right
  • down - makes the car fall down faster, doesn't work when jumping
  • B - shoot oil can
  • A - jump
  • select - select 1 or 2 players
  • start - pause

Items

  • Oil cans - You can collect and shoot these at police cars to take them out, but any extra left over are counted for extra points at the end of a stage, costing some time. So we want to end each level with no cans left (only acception is the last stage)
  • Balloons - collecting 3 balloons rewards you with a warp. The warp takes you to the next "stage" (increments the stage counter), but in the limited testing it did not seem to follow the normal progression of backgrounds. Additinally it is not used in this run since the warp animation is so long that it's faster to just finish the stage and sit through the cutscene.

Enemies

  • Police cars - you lose a life if you hit them, but you can take them out with oil cans
  • Cat - you lose a life if you run into a cat. Cats are impervious to oil cans
  • Spikes - these appear if you spend too long on the same level of platforms, but they're not seen in this run.

Strategies

The most difficult part of this TAS is the routing. The route is simple enough that stage by stage details probably aren't necessary, but the high level strategy is to keep turning and changing platform levels to a minimum. It turns out that the best way to achieve this is to work from top down, finishing each layer as you go. If platforms lined up in the right way it may be useful to change levels in some situations, but there were no cases like that in this run.

If you hold up and jump, you can jump towards the next layer up, but if there is a platform in your way you'll bonk against the ceiling. It turns out that you gain control to turn around 5 frames earlier when you bonk into a ceiling, so this is used as much as possible to save time.

You can gain a little extra hang-time during a jump by pausing and unpausing at the right time. This is used to avoid wasting time switching platform levels in New Delhi. Credit to L33Tz0rs (ツ ツ) on youtube who used this strategy in his good, but slightly slower TAS of this game.

Improvements

  • Route testing was by no means exhaustive, so I wouldn't rule out the possibility of saving a few frames with an improved route, but I think what we came up with is about as good as it's going to get.
  • Better enemy manipulation may result in the ability to end input slightly earlier, but should end up with the same real end time.

Thanks to:

  • EZGames69 for the collaboration and for suggesting this project.
  • LackAttack24 and other RTA runners for their interest in the project
  • my Twitch chat for the ideas and encouragement
  • Takanawa for his TAS and for showing us the down button strat.
  • The TASMania team

Screenshots:

372, 4204, 7280, 10862, 12619, 15117
Memory: Claiming for judging

Memory: Replacing file with switch to Japanese version that saves 5 frames with no changes in gameplay.

Memory: Replacing with improvement that reaches the final cutscene 304 frames faster.

Memory: After the implementation of pressing down to fall faster, this TAS seems fairly optimized. While the game does go on pretty much indefinitely, it does have a clear story ending which was reached in this TAS as indicated by the manual, completing Tokyo.

While the improvement seems to have received a little better reception than the original TAS, it still is on the bubble. The TAS is fairly repetitive outside of the one pause trick.

With the road this TAS has painted, I am accepting this to Vault.

feos: Oh hi. I've heard this movie's branch isn't obvious. Let's handle it as I publish.


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