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Submission #6105: Vince7778's Linux VVVVVV 2.2 "no telejumping, least checkpoints" in 15:35.17

Console: Linux
Game name: VVVVVV 2.2
Game version: Ubuntu 18.04.1
ROM filename: VVVVVV.exe
Branch: no telejumping, least checkpoints
Emulator: libTAS 1.3.0
Movie length: 15:35.17
FrameCount: 27505
Re-record count: 742
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: Vince7778
Submitter: Vince7778
Submitted at: 2018-09-21 23:05:10
Text last edited at: 2018-10-15 01:15:52
Text last edited by: Spikestuff
Download: Download (12510 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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ALERTS POSSIBLY COMPROMISING MOVIE INTEGRITY:

Version info:

libTAS version: 1.3.0
Author's comments and explanations:
This is a TAS of VVVVVV with as few checkpoints as possible. There are 54 checkpoints hit. Many checkpoint skips are frame or pixel perfect and therefore cannot be performed easily by a human.

The actual time is 12:31, but the time is not the point of the run. I played the credits at the end of the TAS, making it a few minutes longer. I can remove it upon request.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: libTAS v. 1.3.0
  • Objective: To complete the game with as few checkpoints as possible

Comments

This TAS was completed with 54 checkpoints. The route used was Intermission Skip, which is normally not used to speedrun the game, but in this case it has fewer checkpoints than DIS (Double Intermission Skip) or Gravitron Skip. The category is No Telejumping, where you cannot telejump, which is used to skip many large sections of the game.

Stage by stage comments

Beginning

At the beginning, I completely skip Space Station 1 by killing myself and then teleporting back to the ship during the cutscene. This means that one crewmate is skipped, and you have to have all the crewmates rescued to complete the game, but I'll get back to that later.

Space Station 2

Checkpoints hit: 25 This level has the most unskippable checkpoints compared to all the other stages. There is one room with 11 checkpoints alone. This stage has the Double Gordian Knot trick and the Lighter than Air trick.

In the Double Gordian Knot trick, the player flips onto the two moving platforms and then flips in between them to get on the underside of the second platform. The player waits on the platform for a little while, then flips onto the top of the ground on the opposite side. This requires two frame-perfect inputs, but is still used by speedrunners in real time.

In the Lighter than Air trick, the player falls onto the checkpoint, flips immediately twice and falls upwards without having to pause in the holes like in the intended route. This requires two frame-perfect inputs, but is much easier than the Double Gordian Knot trick as you can buffer the flips. The trick requires you to hit the checkpoint, but that checkpoint is unskippable anyways.

There is also another trick that is used many, many times throughout the run. It is called the edge flip. In VVVVVV, the game gives the player 2 extra frames to flip after they walk off a platform. This means that you can flip when you're already falling off the platform, causing you to gain more height and distance. You cannot use this trick if you flip while you're on the ground, except in a special case which I'll talk about later.

Warp Zone

Checkpoints hit: 3 In this level, there are screens that wrap around the sides, so you can continually fall up or down or move left or right. This level uses the Warp Token Death trick, but only once compared to the usual two. The second warp token death requires the use of a skippable checkpoint, however, so it is not used.

In the room "Short Circuit", I use a skip where instead of having to wrap around the right side of the screen, I just fall straight into the hole. This trick is performed in real time speedruns.

In the room "Shockwave Rider", there are two tricks. First of all, you don't have to go the intended route in the first part of the screen, you can barely squeeze into the hole without getting hit by the enemies. Second of all, you don't have to fall down twice, you can just flip onto the bar in between the enemies and avoid them.

In the room immediately afterwards, "Sweeney's Maze", there is a frame- and pixel-perfect turnaround to avoid the checkpoint. I thought that this was impossible, until tzann, another runner, found that it was.

The first death warp in the rooms "This will make you flip" and "Twisty Little Passages" causes the warp token to teleport the player up to a platform that is closer to the next room than the regular route.

The problem with death warps is that you have to get a checkpoint for them to work. The checkpoint in "This will make you flip" happens to be unskippable, so that is used for the death warp.

Intermission Skip

Checkpoints hit: 1 As I stated in the comments, this skip is used instead of the Gravitron Skip or DIS because it hits fewer checkpoints. Normally, at the beginning of the game you complete Space Station 1 and get the corresponding crewmate, but that is skipped. Usually, after 3 crewmates are rescued, you get teleported to an area called Intermission 1. However, the crewmate at the end of Space Station 1 initiates a cutscene, allowing the intermission to be skipped. However, in the cutscene the rescued crewmates get erased from memory, causing the game to think they aren't rescued and softlocking the game. However, if you kill yourself as the Level Complete screen shows up, you can skip the cutscene, making the crewmates still saved. During the next stage, though, there will be the Level Complete banner at the top of the screen, obstructing the view of the level.

Another interesting thing to note is that you usually have to touch a teleporter to use it again, but if you go straight back to the teleporter without walking offscreen after teleporting, you have the teleporter at the end of Space Station 1 unlocked. I do not know why this is the case.

The Tower

Checkpoints Hit: 6 It may seem like there are only 5 checkpoints hit, but that is because there is a checkpoint hidden behind the Level Complete banner. This level has an autoscrolling theme, causing it to be one of the slowest levels in the game. However, there is a trick where you die near the top of the screen, causing the screen to scroll upwards faster. This is normally used 6 times in a run, but the trick requires you to hit a checkpoint. There is one checkpoint there that is unskippable, so I do the death scroll there.

At the end of the level, I rescue Vermilion, which causes me to teleport to the Gravitron.

The Gravitron

Checkpoints hit: 0 This is one of the most tedious levels in the game for causal players and speedrunners. It is an avoidance level, with lines that flip your gravity bouncing you up and down while trying to avoid enemies. In this category, the Gravitron is usually skipped, but it has fewer checkpoints than the other routes. There is one checkpoint at the end of the Gravitron, but that is skippable. Even if it wasn't skippable, this route would still have fewer checkpoints. The Gravitron takes longer than Intermission 1, though, so that caused my run to be longer.

The Laboratory

Checkpoints hit: 8 This level is normally the first level found in casual gameplay, but in this route it is done last. It introduces the gimmick of gravity lines, which are strings that flip your gravity when you touch them. There is one trick that is used four times during the run, called the line clip. If you flip again two frames after you flip off the ground, you can clip through a line because the game thinks that you're still on the ground, so it causes you to flip and negate the line flip. This is only used once in "Three's a Crowd", but it will be used three times in the next level.

The Final Level

Checkpoints hit: 11 In this level, Viridan (the player) is teleported to a different place, without the rest of the crew.

Right off the bat, I flip off the platform because this makes me not have to flip back up when landing on the platform in the next room.

In the room "The V Stooges", there is a frame- and pixel-perfect movement to avoid the second set of checkpoints.

There is a line clip in the room "1950 Silverstone Grand V".

In the room "DIY V Repair", I kill myself after activating the terminal so I won't have to wait for the death animation and I don't have to walk all the way back out.

I line clip twice in the room "Three's Company".

That's about it for the run!

Other comments

I missed the opportunity to do another death scroll in The Tower.

Please inform me on my YouTube video here if I could skip any more checkpoints.


feos: Judging...

feos: Hi Vince7778, and welcome to TASVideos! Thanks for you interest in modern rerecording tools, but unfortunately, your movie can't be accepted here.

First of all, our Rules for Linux TASing require the authors to provide installation instructions. Since inbuilt movie annotations that should be used for that were only introduced in libTAS 1.3.1, and your movie uses 1.3.0, as the rule says, you should have posted all the setup steps in the submission comments. This wasn't done, so we had to make guesses on how to make your movie replay properly.

Second, your movie is clearly sub-optimal. We have a record comparable to your run in the imposed goals. By simply looking at both movies and trying out things from Masterjun's run against your movie, I was able to easily save frames here and there. Here are the first few places where you lose time to bumping corners:

Frame number Frames lost
903 1
1148 3
1754 2
1819 3

Just to ensure the whole run is like that, I also tried to improve your room that goes at frame 19717. By reapplying Masterjun's strats, I saved 4 frames there too. Not providing the example movie, because all this is very trivial and obvious.

Note that it's barely possible to compare actual frame-wise timings to Masterun's record, because the Windows version of VVVVVV duplicates every other frame and also runs at 60 fps, while the version used here uses 29.412 fps and doesn't duplicate frames. So all that's there to compare is strats and techniques. And in that regard, you're losing to an existing record, which breaks another one of our Movie Rules. This could have been avoided, if you followed out Guidelines and did due research in advance, before considering your movie complete.

The third problem with this submission is its goals. What we expect from the goals of a given movie is mentioned in the Rules, how goals relate to our Tier system is explained in the Guidelines, and more insight on how to select your goals is described in details in this particular paragraph.

This movie can't be considered Fastest Completion category by our standards, so it can't go to Vault. It has to be entertaining to the general audience and to represent some unique content with what it selects to accomplish in addition to going fast. So what does it accomplish?

It avoids telejumping, which was introduced by this movie. Even though the run that movie obsoletes had a star, it was decided to still obsolete the run with no telejumping by the run that has it. Which means, telejumping alone is not the kind of trick that could spawn new branches distinguished solely by its usage.

Moreover, we already have a movie that forbids telejumping! [2715] Windows VVVVVV (2.0) "20 trinkets, no death mode" by Masterjun in 17:33.77 avoids such glitches to bring back the enjoyment the previously mentioned starred (and obsoleted) run was providing. So this particular restriction is nothing unique compared to existing branches of this game.

The "least checkpoints" goal is even less meaningful. While "no telejumping" can be a part of some other goal, like glitchless full completion, minimizing the amount of checkpoints one activates adds nothing novel at all. The audience showed no interest in this condition, instead it was several times mentioned how pointless this goal is. And indeed, there's really nothing outstanding it could add to a TAS (aside from confusion). It is an example of a blatantly arbitrary goal, like "jumping at least thrice in every room" of Super Mario Bros. Unlike avoiding kills which can be really challenging in some games, and also has some humanist appeal to it, in a VVVVVV TAS, avoiding checkpoints adds no challenge and no appeal.

Finally, this is a case when a game has nearly identical versions across platforms, so Linux and Windows versions of VVVVVV can obsolete one another if needed, and if there's general consensus about actual cases. As usual, if some version is so different that it features obviously unique tricks and glitches, it can be published just because the run showcases them. Or some branch can use a specific version to increase the diversity. But similar branches of different PC versions of VVVVVV will not be accepted.

All in all, thanks for trying, and don't lose your energy over this rejection, but next time, please consider all the rules and guidelines I linked here. Following the discussion thread for your submission is also important. Rejecting for numerous reasons.


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