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

Submission #6090: arkiandruski's Genesis Bonanza Bros. in 08:21.73

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Bonanza Bros.
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Bonanza Bros (U) [!]
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.3.0
Movie length: 08:21.73
FrameCount: 30065
Re-record count: 31320
Author's real name: Andrew Araki
Author's nickname: arkiandruski
Submitter: arkiandruski
Submitted at: 2018-09-02 14:56:24
Intended tier: Moons
Text last edited at: 2018-09-16 14:55:29
Text last edited by: Spikestuff
Download: Download (22095 bytes)
Status: publication underway
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Author's comments and explanations:
Alright, I'm kind of burnt out right now, so I'll just put in the important stuff. I'll come back later to make more detailed submission comments.

Comparison video:

(Link to video)

To quote the Site Rules:

"When comparing against a prior movie for faster time, the faster time must come from improved play in the actual game-play segments. For example, gaining time by switching to another version which loads faster, has shorter cut-scenes, or by more optimized usage of the title screen menus is not counted as an actual time improvement. A movie which doesn't have any actual in-game game-play improvements over its published predecessor will not be accepted."

In light of this, since this movie actually has improvements on Sprintgod's in game input, I claim that this movie obsoletes Movie #194 and thus is an obsoletion of an almost 14 year old movie. I would also like to join the club of people who have obsoleted one of the first 500 movies on the site.

This movie plays on normal difficulty. That's done so I don't have to go into the option menu. The only difference between the difficulties in this game is the points you get in the final score tally of each level. It doesn't change the time limits on the levels, enemy behavior, or the points you get for doing any actions in the stages. If you're dead set on watching a run of this game on hard difficulty, just rework the opening inputs to choose hard difficulty, then paste the in-game input in the right spot. Congratulations. The run is now in hard difficulty and about 150 frames slower.

As such, I am only counting in game frame saves toward this improvement. Timing each level from when you gain control of the brothers to the black screen after the score counts down, this run saves 1744 frames over the previous run.

If you would like to look into it, the TAStudio project for this run is available here. As always, it's not completely necessary to enjoy the video, but may help to provide insight into what was tried and how the run was made.

There is also a subtitle commentary in the video file, which was mostly put there as a joke. Bonanza Bros is not really that complicated a game, also most of the time, the brothers are locked into a grid of sorts, which means in many cases you can still be optimal without being frame perfect. There are, however, times where frame perfection allows you to get ahead, though. The subtitles themselves go by fast, are kind of immature and I do not at all expect the encoder of this movie to try to incorporate them into any encodes. I know they can be a pain in the best of times. I'm not sure if these subtitles would even be possible as is.

The previous movie was done on Gens 11a. This movie is on Bizhawk 2.3. For the most part, the biggest difference is that Bizhawks opening menus and some level transistions are slower by about a frame or two. Most of the levels in the game still sync with Sprintgod's input. There are some levels, though where enemy behavior is just slightly different (or lag happens in a slightly different way), which causes a desync from what Sprintgod had. In most of the cases, those small differences were pretty much negligible, however, in the second level, the enemy behavior change actually worked to my detriment. The enemy on the right of the second floor will in most cases alert the enemy in the alcove to the left, which causes him to step out of the alcove into the player's path. This means the player has to jump or shoot him to get past, which wastes time. Often, even when the guy isn't alerted, he will step out of the alcove before player one can walk past him, which leads to the same problem. The other levels I remember desyncing are the last two levels of the game, but in those cases the same techniques still work. Also, since my entire strategy was based around drastically changing the last two levels, I guess that's basically a null point.

But enough about that, let's talk about some gameplay.

The story of the game is the Bonanza Bros were hired by some big shot CEO to rob his company blind so he can test the effectiveness of his security forces. The goal of each level is to go through collecting every item in the level then get to the roof where your blimp will come along and take you out of there. Obviously, there is a great advantage in having two well coordinated players going through the game, since you can divide the responsibility and cut out a lot of otherwise mandatory backtracking.

The level ends when all treasures are collected and both brothers have made it to the exit. As a couple levels in the movie demonstrates, the game won't even let you go to the exit unless all items are collected. The goal of each level is to get the brother in second place to the exit as quickly as possible. The brother in first place is allowed to do whatever he wants as long as he makes it to the exit before the other player. Otherwise he has no effect on the overall level time.

Jumping and shooting slow you down. If you must, it's better to put them both at the same time so you're only slowed down once instead of twice.

The brothers are different heights and that leads to gameplay differences. Player 2's shots are lower, which is advantageous if you have to shoot in the air. Also he can fall off stairs sooner than player one.

I mentioned the players being kind of locked in a grid. Sometimes, when grabbing an item, the character will jump to a grid position. This can sometimes be used to push the player forward. Often when you see a player go to the center of an item, they're taking advantage of it. Sometimes, though, the fastest way is to just approach the item from the side.

suggested movie description: The Bonanza Brothers are a pair of professional thieves trying to rob a series of places. Unlike most thieves, the Brothers don't rely on stealth that much, instead preferring to blitz through the place alerting every guard in the process. And even the best thieves know when the going gets tough, it's best to abandon your brother and escape with half the loot"

Memory: Claiming for judging

Memory: Optimization seems very on point, great job on finding actual gameplay improvements!

I initially was feeling meh towards this run and voted as such but I later changed my mind and think it's pretty decent. The death abuse towards the end is especially clever. The audience seems to like it as well.

Accepting to Moons to obsolete [2764] Genesis Bonanza Bros. (USA v1.1) by SprintGod & Spikestuff in 08:53.79. However it spiritually obsoletes [194] Genesis Bonanza Bros. (USA,r1) by SprintGod in 09:03.02.

Spikestuff: Spiritual Publication AWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

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