TASVideos

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

Submission #6048: tutelarfiber7's SNES EarthBound "inbounds" in 3:10:11.57

Console: Super NES
Game name: EarthBound
Game version: USA
ROM filename: EarthBound (U).smc
Branch: inbounds
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.2.2
Movie length: 3:10:11.57
FrameCount: 685822
Re-record count: 77365
Author's real name: Clint Price
Author's nickname: tutelarfiber7
Submitter: tutelarfiber7
Submitted at: 2018-07-20 01:32:47
Text last edited at: 2018-08-06 12:59:58
Text last edited by: Stovent
Download: Download (190126 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Originally released as Mother 2 in Japan as the sequel to the popular Mother game, EarthBound, is the very nostalgic English version released in the US. Here we have four children leaving what family and friends they have behind to save the world from the evil power that is Giygas. The translation for Mother was never released in the US until much later after EarthBound, so the meaning from Mother 2: Giygas Strikes Back never was conveyed in this release. Giygas decided though that he patched all the glitches in the game, and we have to normally progress through the story to stop him unfortunaetly. Combining the psychic powers and effectiveness of weapons though, these kids are unstoppable.

Game Objectives

Youtube Link

Legend

  • BBR = Big Bottle Rocket
  • MBR = Multi Bottle Rocket
  • SB = Super Bomb

Definition of Glitchless

Having all game mechanics work as intended.

Glitchless Techniques

  • Luck Manipulation
    • Using the B menu to advance RNG once every frame.
    • Fast cursor movements in battle to have favorable outcomes.
    • 1/128 item drops from enemies.
    • Turn order before fights start.
    • Guts Saves and Smashes (1/20 chances)
    • Paula's Praying

  • Lag Management
    • Despawning to keep the lowest amount of sprites on screen
    • Each item individually adds 1-2 frames of lag in the separate inventories
    • Can teleport through lag in high spawn rate areas
    • Poo being dead while in party saves menu lag when teleporting

  • Enemy Movement Manipulation
    • Some enemies in the game only move once you walk for 2 or more frames consecutively, and this can be used to effectively stutter past them.
    • Other enemies have a swaying movement and can be abused to despawn them immediately when loaded onto the screen

  • Walking or Teleporting Through Event Triggers
    • There are two types of event triggers in the game. Ones that are on top of the map, and ones that are a part of the map.
      • For the ones that are on top of the map, similar to the enemies that move when you do, the event only activates with 2 or more frames of consecutive movement. This means some can be skipped by stuttering every other frame through it.
      • For the ones that are a part of the map, these can't be stuttered through, but some are skipped by teleporting through them or deathwarping past them.

  • Sequence Breaks
    • A lot of scripted fights are stuttered past frame perfectly to avoid fights intended to be fought.
    • Notable teleport off a helipad that is not possible RTA saves sitting through a bus ride cutscene.

  • Teleportation Abuse
    • There are two types of teleport, a linear one and a swirling one. The linear one is a shorter animation but is harder to pull off in tight spaces.
    • The linear teleport is also used to move around quicker. A fully extended teleport saves about half a second each time.
    • Teleports effectively let use ignore lag during their animations, and can be used to go through areas with a lot of sprites without losing lag frames.

  • Death Abuse
    • Deathwarps are used to save walking time in the early game before getting teleport, to skip some dialogue not required for story progression, and for dungeon item escape (exit mouse) management.

  • Spawns Off
    • One of the event triggers stuttered through allows spawns to continually be off in the game for a brief amount of time. This allows us to go through a dungeon without worrying about 100% spawn plates.

  • Spawn Plate Holes
    • Spawn plate triggers were coded with an off-by-one error, which results in holes in spawn triggers at the top-left, top-right, and bottom-left of the plates. We can walk through these holes, when map geography allows, to have any spawn plate, including those that are 100%, not activate.

  • Status Ailment Check Abuse
    • We get sunstorke by manipulating a global timer in the desert that checks for sunstroke on each character every 20 seconds for a deathwarp later.

Improvements over Halamantariel and Nitordon's (H&N) TAS

First off, they made an unintended glitchless TAS with a side goal of no deaths, since there were no known glitches at the time of their submission for this game. They only learned about some glitches about a year later after they submitted and suggested them as improvements. This is hoping to make glitchless as it's own category for EarthBound TASing, and to give H&N more credit for what they had and knew at the time. In total this saved about 16 minutes over H&N's TAS.

  • Stuttering through event triggers
  • Stuttering past enemies
  • Not getting the bike
  • Spawns disabled abuse
  • Teleportation for faster movement in most places
  • Better item and inventory management
  • No fights with random encounters
  • Overall faster fights in general
  • Better use of exit mouse

Making the TAS

  • The TAS took two months to make along with having to start the TAS over three times due to a crash that was happening repeatedly in late game. We later figured out that this crash was known and it is due to a sprite memory overflow. This is caused by chaining teleports too quickly because during teleports when a sprite goes off screen it is still stored in memory until about 10 frames after the teleport crash animation. If the total amount of loaded sprites exceedes 24, then the game will leak memory randomly. This causes the game to crash in random cutscenes and was apparent in H&N's TAS during their Giygas fight initially. I got a hold of Nitrodon and he gave me some Pro Action Replay (PAR) codes that monitor the sprite count stored in memory and prematurely crash the game if that number is ever exceeded rather than randomly crashing later. These codes did not affect the making of the TAS in anyway and were removed on completion. The TAS was replayed afterwards without them for validity.
    • PAR codes are C09C21FE and C09C2080

  • If ever having to edit a mistake earlier in the TAS, even by one frame, everything afterwards had to be redone due to subpixels changing on a global timer and NPCs walking on screen for different amounts of times. This made replicating anything past the edit near impossible.

Walkthrough

Before Starting

  • All characters and other naming options receive one character names since text prints each character per frame.

Onett

  • We manipulate 100% spawns to be either stuck behind a tree or to get caught when aggroing on the way to the top of the hill.

  • Pokey is pulled as close as possible to Picky before joining because party members join at the back.

  • The event trigger for Buzz Buzz is stuttered until Pokey is in the middle so that Buzz Buzz gets to Pokey as soon as possible
    • Buzz Buzz dialogue won't start until he touches Pokey.

  • The Starman Junior fight and the Buzz Buzz destiny monologue before he dies are both event triggers on top of the map which can be stuttered and skipped.
    • The Sound Stone that records Our Sanctuary melodies is not required to get to Magicant.

  • We buy the tee ball bat from the store to kill the Sharks (gang members) faster and save for a deathwarp. Manipulate a 1/128 pizza drop off the Skate Punk first. Change direction quickly while in the arcade to avoid a scripted fight with the Pogo Punk on the way in and avoid his text on the way out.

  • Head into Giant Step and get two 1/128 bomb drops off of two different slugs, which are used to kill the first Sanctuary guardian, Titanic Ant. After obtaining the melody, a deathwarp is used off of antoids to skip walking back and some extra dialogue a cop NPC.

  • Afterwards, we head to the police station and beat up the cops using smashes to one-shot each of them, followed by two smashes on Captain Strong. Then after the police brutality we are allowed to move onto the next town.
    • Get 1/8 burger drop from the first cop to feed Apple Kid later.

Twoson Part 1

  • On the way to Twoson, we grab an exit mouse from the mouse house, which is used to leave dungeons quickly. Upon entering Twoson, we head to Apple Kid's house to feed him and invest in his inventions because they are required to conveniently help us when we need them.

  • After visiting Apple Kid, we go to Peaceful Rest Valley to load a Pencil Statue into memory, and go back to Twoson.

  • Apple Kid gives us this invention he made that erases pencil shaped statues (how convenient!). A butterfly is gotten for Psychic Points for some fights coming up later.

Peaceful Rest Valley

  • Cup of Lifenoodles is grabbed for a revival after a later deathwarp.

Happy Happy Village

  • Manipulate turn order for the shack fight and use a Rockin and bash to take them out.

  • Later in the Cultist Headquarters we Rockin a cultist in our way, followed by having Mr. Carpainter take himself out on the first turn with two lightning reflects.

Lilliput Steps

  • Go back to grab Paula and enter Lilliput Steps. Walk past some 100% spawns that don't aggro immediately and use Paula's Pray function as the main damage source (1/16 for damage from Dazzling Light, which is equal to Rockin Beta) when fighting Mondo Mole.

  • After obtaining the second melody, we use the exit mouse and walk back through Peaceful Rest Valley to get back to Twoson.

Twoson Part 2

  • Before we can progress to the next town, we have to watch the Runaway Five show and use their bus to get through the ghost tunnel.

Threed

  • Progressed story to be seen in the graveyard and then follow the mysterious lady in order to start the Winters sequence

Winters Part 1

  • Grab the Pop Gun, but don't equip it because it is required to have it in the inventory to leave the Snow Wood boarding school.

  • Bubble Monkey has random "stop" and "catch-up" movements affecting RNG while in party, which made it more challenging to get around spawns. Avoided a photo trigger in the Tessie Watch camp by walking a little higher under the right tent.

  • All scripted encounters were manipulated to get stuck so they could be walked past in Brick Road.

  • Grabbed bottle rocket in Pond Cave for later.

  • Bubble Monkey moved closer to the rope so it takes less time for him to float to the spot he drops it, and less walking to return to Jeff.

Threed Part 2

  • Jeff joins the party followed by a lot of inventory rearrangement to prepare for shopping later, and to skip the text on the door leaving.

  • The Boogey Tent and Mini Barf fights consist of two rounds of high damage roll prays and Rockins.

  • The delivery guy mysteriously disappears while departing inside the tent compared to walking off screen normally.

Saturn Valley

  • Have to interact with a Mr. Saturn for the password to enter Belch's Base.

  • Password to enter base is to wait in front of the door for three minutes.
    • Any kind of d-pad input will require the timer to start over, and any opening of the menu will pause the timer.

Belch's Base

  • Stuttered around two scripted NPCs, which had dialogue and/or a fight.

  • Master Belch
    • Paula uses a prayer to put everyone to sleep to avoid Belch's scripted turn-one nausea. Ness then uses the Jar of Fly Honey to remove Belch's invulnerability and Jeff one-shots with a BBR.

Back to Threed

  • Walk out of Belch's Base the same way we came in since we have no exit mouse.

  • Grab Protein Drink now versus earlier so save menu lag.

  • When back in Threed, it is a few seconds faster to walk to Dusty Dunes Desert versus taking the bus.

Dusty Dunes Desert

  • Since the bus wasn't taken, sunstroke has to be avoided on party members until the return trip.

  • BBR is grabbed in the desert for Jeff later.

  • Save in the desert shack for deathwarp respawn.
    • Saves an exit mouse and skips a photo.

  • Gave Gerardo Paula's bread roll as a convenient item she starts with.

Before Mole Cave

  • After talking to the theater manager about the Runaway Five's debt, Jeff is given sunstroke on the walk back to start Mole Cave to setup a deathwarp.

Mole Cave

  • Mole 1
    • High damage rolls on Jeff's bottle rocket and Paula's Freeze Beta to kill. Mole attacks Ness intentionally before dying.

  • BBR is grabbed for Jeff later.

  • Mole 2
    • High damage rolls on Ness's Rockin Alpha and Paula's Freeze Beta to kill. Mole attacks Paula intentionally before dying.

  • Grab exit mouse on the way to the third mole.

  • Mole 3
    • High damage rolls on Ness's Rockin Alpha and Paula's Freeze Beta to kill. Mole attacks Ness intentionally before dying and kills Ness before Paula's freeze goes off.
      • Game has roll down HP mechanic to prevent death of a character until the next action after the HP reaches 0 is done.

  • Grab Secret Herb for a revive after the deathwarp. Use enemy random movement against them to walk past a 100% spawn plate after grabbing the herb.

  • Mole 4
    • Mole attacks and kills Paula immediately and dies. Jeff then uses BBR to one shot mole.

  • Mole 5
    • Mole causes mortal damage and Jeff one shots with BBR.

  • Afterwards it takes a few seconds for sunstroke to finish off Jeff and complete the deathwarp.

Fourside Part 1

  • Get the diamond from Montague and use it to save the Runaway Five from debt.
    • Have to sit through another show.

Department Store

  • Withdraw money and buy BBRs for Jeff and SBs for the rest of the party.

  • While the Dept. Store is dark, the third floor event trigger is stuttered through, which doesn't activate the fourth floor trigger in general.

  • Dept. Store Spook takes one shot with a BBR.

  • Since all the event triggers weren't activated on the way up, the third floor event trigger has to be stuttered once again on the way down to not get it.

Moonside

  • Stutter an event trigger to avoid dialogue and to keep spawns off.

  • Mani-Mani out-sped and taken out with a BBR and SB.

Monkey Cave

  • Constant manipulation for the monkeys to move out of the way after receiving their respective items.

  • Used exit mouse to save a few seconds walking out.

Milky Well

  • Go back to complete the third sanctuary while taking advantage of spawns still being off.
    • Avoids 100% spawn plates and reduces lag.

  • Trillionage Sprout is taken out with 1 BBR and 2 SBs, while Jeff gets diamondized to give Ness all the experience.

Monotoli Building

  • Scripted robot fights avoided by making use of doors and pulling them away from the doors for extra movement.

  • Clumsy Robot taken out with 3 SBs.

  • After the Runaway Five tells us they'll take us to Threed, the helipad can be teleported off of, and is used to go back to Threed instead.
    • Requires many 1-2 frame perfect turns to pull off.

Threed Part 3

  • Pulling Jeff into the middle of the Skyrunner saves many frames before interacting with it.

Rainy Circle

  • Shrooom! is taken out with 2 BBRs and 2 SBs.

Summers Part 1

  • Player name chosen and movement is optimized using teleports.

Dalaam

  • Walk behind the sign to skip the Starmaster's dialogue.

Summers Part 2

  • Skip the scripted Shattered Man fights by stuttering.

  • Kraken is taken out with 1 BBR and 2 SBs.
    • Poo is killed off to save time on his level ups later and to give more experience to Ness.
    • When opening the PSI menu to choose teleport, Ness is the only option and doesn't have to be selected between Ness and Poo since Poo is dead

Northern Scaraba

  • Teleports are used for movement and to avoid a photo in front of the pyramid.

Pyramid

  • All scripted hieroglyph fights stuttered past and skipped.

  • Guardian General taken out with a BBR and a SB.

Dungeon Man

  • Key to the Tower gotten from the native and Dungeon Man scaled.

  • Dungeon Man is pulled over before he leaves the party so he doesn't respawn at the top of the trees.

  • Money withdrawn for last shopping trip.

Deep Darkness

  • Dad call immediately when exiting off submarine
    • Happens about every 2 hours and is an in-game reminder that you have been playing the game too long.

  • Teleports are used throughout Deep Darkness for movement cause of ignored slow-down.
    • Swamp slows movement down and causes damage to each party member every few seconds.

  • Buy MBRs for Jeff, and SBs for the rest of the party.

  • Master Barf is taken out with one MBR.

  • Enter and immediately exit Tenda Village to receive phone call.

Winters Part 2

  • Higher leveled enemies are teleported past on the way to Dr. Andonuts, and, since Shrooom! was beaten earlier, all enemies inside Pond Cave will run from the party even though their levels are very high.

Stonehenge Base

  • Many despawns due to swaying enemies despawning themselves.

  • Grab exit mouse for use upon completion of dungeon.

  • Starman Deluxe dies from one MBR.

Magnet Hill

  • Grab another exit mouse from Onett first.

  • Have to watch the Venus show before entering the sewers.

  • Plague Rat dies from Flash Beta.
    • Flash Beta has a 1/8 chance to instantly kill any enemy past their inherit flash resistance.

  • Grab carrot key after obtaining the melody.

Pink Cloud

  • Use carrot key to get past the rabbits.

  • Thunder and Storm die to Flash Beta.

  • Few seconds faster to walk out versus getting another exit mouse.

Lumine Hall

  • Go to Onett to grab the Shyness Book.

  • Confirm player name once again as one character in Tenda Village.

  • Grab the Rabbit's Foot and equip it on Jeff.
    • Rabbit's foot increases speed by 40 and bottle rocket accuracy is determined by speed, which by default is related to the damage.

  • Electro Specter is not susceptible to Flash and so is defeated with an MBR and SB.

Lost Underworld

  • Teleport into Lost Underworld immediately to save some movement.

  • Teleport is the main movement here.
    • Small sprites move very slowly compared to normal sprite speed.
    • For big sprites, they take up most of the 24x16 image box but their collisions are only 8x8, so the collisions are quite a bit smaller than the physical representation, while the tiny sprites appears to be between 4 and 6 pixels in size depending on which one, so there's very little "let".

Fire Spring

  • 100% spawn plates on higher floors require taking fights and running on the first turn.
    • Use I-frames after running to minimize getting another fight in the same areas.

  • Carbon Dog dies to Flash Beta. Diamond Dog dies to an MBR, a SB, and a Starstorm Alpha.

Magicant

  • Use Skip Sandwich DX for faster movement.
    • 20 seconds of increased movement speed.
    • Timer continues through transitions and lag. This is the longest point with no transitions and least amount of lag.

  • Ness' Nightmare inherently has a psychic shield so Ness defends first so he can override the shield with a normal Shield Beta, which is a physical shield. Ness follows up and kills with Flash Beta.
    • Psychic shields dissipate flash.

Dark Onett

  • Teleport through increased spawn rates and for faster movement.

Cave of the Past

  • Surprisingly no 100% spawn plates in the final dungeon and we can easily walk through everything.

Giygas

  • Phase 1
    • Used MBR and 2 SBs to kill Heavily Armed Pokey and queued up Starstorm Omega for Phase 2.

  • Phase 2
    • Starstorm Omega goes off as soon as the phase started.
    • Rockin Gamma, Freeze Gamma (to solidify), SB, and another Starstorm Omega to finish out Phase 2.

  • Phase 3
    • Defend with all characters except Paula. Paula prays for nine turns to finish off Giygas.

Going Home

  • Go back to Onett and teleport through a photo trigger and some dialogue in front of Ness' House.

  • Talk with Mom and confirm we are done with the game.

Post Credits

  • Finish out the rest of the dialogue and end on the "?" of "The End...?"

Possible Improvements

  • Better movement in some places. ~2-3 seconds
  • Fix some dialogue mashing. ~30 frames
  • Stutter through the three times we visit a museum to skip paying. ~10 seconds
  • Talk to Bubble Monkey from the bottom when he joins. ~3 frames
  • Better inventory management when shopping in Department Store. ~2 frames
  • Better Teleport Chains. ~1-2 seconds
  • Better luck in general which is speed dependent. Up to 1 minute
  • Better PSI menus in Mole Cave. ~6 frames
  • Not grabbing the Bottle Rocket in Pond Cave. ~5 seconds

Resources

  • PKHack: Used for detailed game information.
  • Starmen.net: Used alongside PKHack with its EarthBound DataBase (EBDB).
  • Nitrodon and Chaz: For helping with the memory leak crash solution.
  • Chaz: For frequent code analysis and verification.
  • ceriam: Help with proofreading and RTA testing.
  • Aurillux, ceriam, DanielRGT, and ms_uko: Single Segment runners who shared a lot of useful information pertaining to routing of this TAS.

Recommended Screenshot Frame

  • Frame 347697 or an adjacent frame showing the helipad teleport.


Memory: Judging.

Memory: Optimization seems very good. The luck manipulation and movement seem very clean.

I'm not in love with Earthbound and as a result this movie. I feel too much of the appeal of Earthbound is the cutscenes and the dialogue whereas the gameplay itself is fairly barebones. However, I do acknowledge that the game is well-liked and that the submission has its moments. I definitely can see why those that like Earthbound would like this movie, which reflected in the nearly unaminous positive reception from the audience. The main complaints were in regards to the movie using the same single character whenever the game asks the player to name something or someone but this does not impact the entertainment too greatly. It should be noted that taking the time to name characters something interesting would not be counted against a TAS. Additionally it was brought up that in the future an improvement might be made using Mother 2, the Japanese version of the game. It should be noted that according to the rules, we will ignore such differences in text when it comes to improvements. I think switching versions would in fact negatively impact entertainment so I would recommend against it.

This movie does not qualify as either fastest completion or full completion nor does it improve upon any existing branches so we must consider this new branch against the existing ones. There are currently two accepted branches on the site for Earthbound: [2466] SNES EarthBound (JPN) "save glitch" by pirohiko in 04:04.35 and [1297] SNES EarthBound (USA) by pirohiko in 1:10:00.95. The former uses save corruption to get placed out of bounds and activate the check glitch which can be used to trigger the ending. Previous variations on the branch used methods of walking through walls to get to an area where one can use the check glitch. [1297] SNES EarthBound (USA) by pirohiko in 1:10:00.95 uses all glitches except SRAM corruption and the check glitch to complete the game. It uses walking through walls and out of bounds to skip massive portions of the game, but still ends up going through much more of the game than the SRAM Glitch branch, including the final boss.

[1297] SNES EarthBound (USA) by pirohiko in 1:10:00.95 currently obsoletes [567] SNES EarthBound (USA) "inbounds" by Halamantariel & Nitrodon in 3:26:09.18, a movie that was made prior to any known glitches. [567] SNES EarthBound (USA) "inbounds" by Halamantariel & Nitrodon in 3:26:09.18 goes through far more of the game than [1297] SNES EarthBound (USA) by pirohiko in 1:10:00.95, actually reaching all 8 of the "Your Sanctuary" areas and going through the entirety of the main story. The rating on the older movie was fairly good as well. It could very well be considered as a different branch from [1297] SNES EarthBound (USA) by pirohiko in 1:10:00.95 due to the massive differences in content.

This submission most closely resembles [567] SNES EarthBound (USA) "inbounds" by Halamantariel & Nitrodon in 3:26:09.18 and the author of this submission stated that it was intended to be seen as an improvement. It also reaches all of the 8 "Your Sanctuary" locations. It elects to not use any forms of out of bounds or walking through walls. The main differences between the two is that this one elects to use time saving deaths and uses "stutter-walking" to avoid encounters and avoid some triggers but does not impact the overall flow of the story.

The low amounts of glitch usage was well received, and creates a drastically different movie from that of the currently published branches. As such I think a branch that uses less glitches than [1297] SNES EarthBound (USA) by pirohiko in 1:10:00.95 has a place on TASVideos.

Whether or not stutter-walking would qualify as a glitch is not exactly clear, so using the "glitchless" label the author proposed might not be wise. Since this would be the only branch to not use out of bounds in any form it might be best to label this sort of branch "inbounds" with a note that for all intents and purposes walking through walls is not considered inbounds. [2085] DS Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (USA) "Julius, in bounds" by cpadolf in 19:20.63 exists as a precedent for this.

Accepting to Moons as "inbounds" obsoleting [567] SNES EarthBound (USA) "inbounds" by Halamantariel & Nitrodon in 3:26:09.18.

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