TASVideos

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

Submission #6045: juef's NES Lizard in 18:39.82

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Lizard
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: Lizard.nes
Branch:
Emulator: FCEUX 2.2.3
Movie length: 18:39.82
FrameCount: 67300
Re-record count: 7767
Author's real name: Fran├žois Gingras
Author's nickname: juef
Submitter: juef
Submitted at: 2018-07-17 19:22:44
Text last edited at: 2018-07-27 18:09:44
Text last edited by: fsvgm777
Download: Download (10319 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Put on a lizard and go for an adventure!

Lizard is a homebrew game by Brad Smith, released for NES and Windows/OSX/Linux in 2018. In this game, you literally wear lizard suits which grant you different abilities, some of which are required to reach the end of the game. It is as much exploration as it is platforming, similar to what the original Metroid was.


(Link to video)

  • Emulator used: FCEUX 2.2.3 (default settings)
  • Aims for fastest completion (any%)
  • Deathless / pacifist (you'd have to go out of your way not to achieve these though)

General information

Hello! I'm juef and this is my second TAS. The ending is reached in 67300 frames, which is 8055 frames faster than my previous tas, and about 1 minute and 17 seconds faster than the current world record by Smartball. I applied the following suggestion from the game's author: The starting seed of the random number generator will not be deterministic on hardware after power-on. If you wish to record a TAS that can be played back reliably, hold LEFT + RIGHT when pressing START to begin the game, which will initialize the random seed to a consistent starting value. To verify this worked correctly, you can check the password, which will be set to 11111.

There isn't much to say about this, as the game is pretty straightforward once you know where the lizards and bosses are. Most of my time was spent on entertainment during wait times, and movement optimization. While the choices made for this movie are pretty self-explanatory in my opinion, I will list a few points of interest below, and gladly provide explanations and comments in the forums.

Please note that the rerecord count isn't exactly accurate, as I used a lot of the input from my previous TAS. In fact, the inputs for the bosses were only adapted to the RNG changes.

Improvements

Most of the saved frames are a courtesy of a new route by Smartball and Garrison, which was motivated by a single feature that somehow went unnoticed when I made my previous TAS: after beating a boss, going left to the password room and entering the door will take you back to the last used save stone, with the lizard you had back then. This run uses this after all bosses but one, which saves a lot of unnecessary travel time in the rather big world of Lizard. Since no password is actually entered as they are earned by playing the movie and automatically displayed, this is not a Uses password TAS.

I also expected to be able to shave a handful of frames through the TAS (the previous one was my very first TAS, after all). That was indeed the case: while I did not count the number of frames saved by more thorough optimization, I would estimate it's somewhere between 100 and 200 frames. It is rather difficult to tell exactly anyway, because of the route change and varying luck. Speaking of which, I got much better luck in some places, and much worse in others. I would say luck doesn't account for much of a framecount difference, globally.

TASing notes

  • X and Y positions are stored in 0006 and 0007, respectively.
  • X and Y speeds are stored in 0058-0059 and 005A-005B, respectively.
  • Anything that is on a global timer isn't as manipulable as in the previous TAS, as this ones uses route in which the boss order cannot be changed.
  • Another route which uses a secret lizard was tested, but not used as it is slower. Bummer. :(
  • I tried using owls to save a couple of frames on the way to / from the Lizard of Surf, but the RNG gods said No .
  • Smartball uses a different route in the Void Zone: I tried it and ended up being about 19 frames slower. It is still much more reliable for human players, though.
  • Swimming is vertically optimal by pressing B once every 7 frames.
  • A hard thing to do when speedrunning this game is skipping the save stone before Shaft, the octopus boss. When running at full speed, there is a 3 frame window to jump.
  • Other "plug" orders were tried for the raccoons, but this ended up being the fastest by up to ~200 frames.
  • Coins were skipped entirely, because if you're not grabbing a lot, why grab them at all? No frame was lost to this.
  • The ending mentions Continued , as we used the door in the password room. It also mentions the number of jumps, which could definitely be reduced by sacrificing entertainment.

Possible improvements

Again, should improvements come up (and I hope they will), I suspect they will mostly be from a different route and better critter/boss manipulation. I am rather confident that very few frames could be saved by movement optimization, if at all... but feel free to prove me wrong! :) There is definitely more studying to be done, notably about subpixel positions and speeds.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Brad Smith for the great game, Smartball and Garrison for the new route and the great speedruns!

Suggested screenshots (frames 51325, 52045 and 56255):


Memory: Judging

Memory: Optimization seems good, improved over the published movie.

I'm not a huge fan of this TAS because of how long the bosses take and how simple the movement seems but others seem to like it plenty. The published TAS has an entertainment rating of 6.2, but it does seem to have improved in entertainment slightly by having a more continuous feel to the exploration. As such I'll send it to Moons for now to get some more feedback.

Accepting to Moons as an improvement to the published movie.

fsvgm777: Processing.


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