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Submission #6111: Challenger, EZGames69 & GarbitheGlitcheress's SNES The Addams Family "all bosses" in 12:53.39

Console: Super NES
Game name: The Addams Family
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Addams Family, The (USA).sfc
Branch: all bosses
Emulator: BizHawk 2.2.1
Movie length: 12:53.39
FrameCount: 46480
Re-record count: 243388
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: Challenger, EZGames69 & GarbitheGlitcheress
Submitter: Challenger
Submitted at: 2018-09-26 02:31:42
Text last edited at: 2018-10-17 06:37:10
Text last edited by: Stovent
Download: Download (30996 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
After 3 months, this game returns! This is an improvement of 10956 frames by redoing almost everything to optimize speed setups to extreme, better optimization, new tricks, and even skipping a level directly to the boss!

Encode

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.2.1

  • Defeat all bosses

  • Have every family member (except for Morticia) present in the piano room before the hall of chains

  • Have all heart upgrades

  • Heavy glitch abuse

Development of the run

First of all, EZGames and Garbi have started this run back from January. Garbi had made a movie of this category before, and they were improving this game during some months. At the time, I was looking this game for some things, such as finding addresses to BizHawk and a possible way to reach that post-boss exit door of "The Crypt" stage through zipping (I considered this for some years). I tested and managed to reach the door only once (but was different), and soon getting another problem with the blocked acess from the lower path of the boss room.

Since I was interested with this game, EZGames asked me about the project, but I totally forgot to ask him (and this game) because I ended busy working on Cadash (remotivation, and I switched to TAStudio - because TASing 2 players is definitely tough). My plan was to finish on a month or two, but problems appeared starting with the last boss (I spent a month trying to optimize) and the revisions (2 months). Despite painful work, I learned experience with TAStudio I've used not only for this game, but for my future projects.

Back at June 21 - Since this game isn't easy to optimize, I thought that the run would be finished with more weeks (at the time when the "furnace stage" was completed). The Cadash run was pratically finished, so 4 days later...

All bosses finally comes at TASVideos! I watched the run, but after the second time, I decided to test some things and ended finding more than I expected. Initially some mistakes, almost everything would be redone because I started to learn the mechanics of the game. During 2 months and a few weeks, the stages were a lot improved thanks to better optimization, new tricks, skips, and even finding some shortcuts!

When the crypt was nearly reaching the final product, I finally realized that a zip on that wall of the lower path of the boss room can be possible by reducing speed to 2 + perfect positioning and pressing the attack button in order to clip the wall (all of them needs to be performed with a short distance), allowing Gomez to reach that boss! Actually I discovered the possibility a week before, on the 7th room of the crypt. Additional 1m40sec were saved. But before, I decided to finish the remaining improvements so after implementing that skip, only resynching the input would be necessary.

Even without that, the crypt was the most improved of all stages. If you are interested to see the crypt stage without skipping directly to the boss, here's the movie file (1m22sec were improved at the time): http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/1906333843/AddamsFamily-allbosses-improvement-v8.0.bk2

After implementing that skip (as well as trying to avoid desyncs) and swapping the route from the 2 stages before the lastest stage (which 4 frames were saved), I reached that last boss again and finished this run at last, resulting on 3m02sec saved totally.

And also I decided to include a new strat for the last boss. This was originally discovered by Kyman on 2012, but the glitch was "lost" for some years because a video that shows was unavailable. I watched back from 2012, but some years have passed and forgot how he did that. But recently (a month ago) I finally managed to do this, saving 4 seconds but delays the game ending so much that I decided to create an alternate movie file: http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/50474140063816859

EDIT 13/10: Updated alternate movie file.

TAStudio was used for this work so, with a lot of effort (similar as Cadash), the rerecord count is roughly 7,693 times more than the previous submission. When not using, poking addresses were very used, for testing and finding better solutions.

Tricks, mechanics and glitches

Sword weapon

This is the most important item we will need in this run. This item you lose if you take damage, and the developers never intended that you would be able to reach any of the bosses in the game with it, so they didnt bother to nuke the sword's ability to kill bosses almost instantly (hp decreases every 2 frames). The sword seems to ignore i-frames after you do damage to a boss, which makes them die instantly.

Since the sword fails to work sometimes, it's better pressing a frame before then press on the right frame. Also, when running, using the sword for more than 3 frames will slow Gomez down.

Speedshoes

The SNES version allows you to stack 2 speedshoe powerups. Gomez runs at a max speed of 2 pixels per frame, when he grabs a set of speedshoes, that increases to 3 pixels per frame. You can then grab another set to get a maximum speed of 4 pixels per frame. not only does this make Gomez move extremely fast, but it also allows us to do Zips.

Zipping/Clipping walls (not finished - still in progress)

When you jump at a wall at a specific angle while going either 3 or 4 pixels per frame, gomez will momentarily clip into the wall until the game corrects itself. So, he'll zip upwards very quickly. There are several effects, which depends:

  • Most of the rooms doesn't have vertical scrolling, but has tiles on the top/bottom of the screen. If you zip upwards without stopping, Gomez apparently will appear on the bottom of the screen, but still also somewhere on the top of the screen. Once reaching, you can't return unless if a room has holes (you can see an example of this during the "first stage").

  • If Gomez changes your jumping sprite to falling sprite, after clips the wall, the zip will be diagonally. This also works when clipping certain walls then press down 2 times (like on the music room, and the conservatory).

  • While certain walls needs some more x position then press down to enter, other walls requires precise positioning + pressing the sword attack on the right time.

  • Without the top and bottom tiles: a oob zip can result in a different effect depending of your positioning overall. Some of them is a mystery for me.

  • And for last: While crouching to across tiny passages (such as when riding a moving platform - second room of gallery for example), you must be facing the opposite direction and a good positioning inside the tile. Then you press down + b for 1 frame, wait a bit for zip out of the wall. Used twice.

Speed explanation

Optimizing this game to its fullest potential is impossible unless you understand how speed works. From a stop, it takes 8 frames to accelerate to 2 pixels a frame, then it takes 16 frames to accelerate to 3 pixels a frame, then it takes 24 frames to accelerate to 4 pixels a frame (assuming you have 2 speed upgrades that are at the beginning). If you accelerate for 7 frames from a stop, you won't make it to 2 pixels a frame. This would seem useless, but if you stop after you accelerate for 7 frames, and then start moving again, it only takes 1 frame to get to 2 pixels a frame (the counter doesnt reset itself). You can do this with the 16 frames and 24 frames too. So if you optimized the counters enough, you could get 4 pixels a frame in 3 frames.

To decrease the level speed, you must need to turnaround for 2 frames, then go forward. But when moving at level 2 or level 3 speed, if you press L+R on the first turnaround frame, you only need to press left on the second frame. This decreases a countdown unit as well!

Slowing down movement

When running at full speed, you can decrease speed by 1 pixel by letting go of the left/right button for 4 frames (X speed decreases to 3), then move on the next frame (X speed returns to 4). This also works if you drop for 6 frames and then move on the 7th frame. You can do it with level 2 or level 3 speed too.

Keeping speed through a door

When you enter a door, if you hold up and left, or up and right (depending on the direction you are going), you can keep a speed on 1 pixel per frame into the next room.

Jump through hills

Where there is fairly steep hills, but not too steep, you can bypass them by jumping (not too much). An example of usage is "Inside the Tree" room.

RAM addresses

Address Set #118: The Addams Family
System: Super NES
Download .wch file for: BizHawk
Domain Address Data Type Signed Endian Description
WRAM 0004 Byte Unsigned Little Countdown to 2 pixels
WRAM 0006 Byte Unsigned Little Countdown to 3 pixels
WRAM 0008 Byte Unsigned Little Countdown to 4 pixels
WRAM 006E Byte Unsigned Little X position (without scrolling)
WRAM 0070 Byte Unsigned Little Y position (without scrolling)
WRAM 0075 Byte Signed Little Y speed (pointer)
WRAM 007F Byte Signed Little X speed in pixels
WRAM 0080 Byte Signed Little X speed (level)
WRAM 0081 Byte Signed Little Y speed in pixels
WRAM 0082 Byte Unsigned Little X speed (pointer)
WRAM 009B Byte Unsigned Little X position (while scrolling)
WRAM 009D Byte Unsigned Little Y position (while scrolling)
WRAM 00A1 Byte Unsigned Little X position (blocks)
WRAM 00A2 Byte Unsigned Little Y position (blocks)
WRAM 00EE Byte Unsigned Little Sword weapon
WRAM 00EF Byte Unsigned Little Ball weapon

or a Lua Script from ThunderAxe31: http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/48040953679364406

Stage-by-Stage Commentary

  • Before entering a level, first we'll get the shoes twice (like the any% run) and then return to hall of stairs. "Gallery" stage is chosen first.

Gallery

  • We choose this stage first because the sword weapon can be picked up faster than in any% (located at the second room).

  • On the third room, after the clip (which allows us to avoid the grandfather clock), with precise optimization + decreasing pixels while at full speed, you can avoid that pendulum and the bear without stopping at all! This game has a bunch of tricky optimizations, like this and the other (see below)

  • Flying room: You can skip the first hat, but acrossing the long amount of spikes without taking damage requires precise positioning and speed.

  • Flying has slower vertical acceleration, so, it's better landing on the ground, then jumping (around frame 7230) to faster fall.

  • In the library rooms, Gomez kills a bunch of enemies for getting more score and entertainment, without wasting time.

  • Before exiting this stage, I sacrified 3 frames to avoid losing 2 pixels during transition to the main hall, as well as decreasing 14 countdown frames, allowing Gomez to gain 4 frames while going to the next area.

Games room

  • Dropping pixels to avoid traps, better optimization...

  • Before entering the boss door, 4 frames were sacrified to decrease some pixels' countdown and combining with a faster defeat, Gomez exits the stage before triggering Pugsley's dialogue (which depends of when you defeat the boss. In other words - timing) which is skipped.

After this, to the kitchen!

  • There's a double route: The left leads us to the freezer area while the right leads us to the oven area. We'll beat the left first.

Freezer

  • Ice physics are more harder to optimize, and the turnaround requires 4 frames instead. Because of this, I only saved a minimal amount of frames compared with other stages.

  • The boss was also improved for the first hit by stomping + using sword = double damage.

  • Quit and continue are a few frames faster than exiting normally.

Now, the right side...we can clip into the entrance instead of hitting a switch to open it. This saves a great amount of time.

Oven

  • This stage was difficult for maximum optimization. First of all, by pressing down on hills, gomez can fall earlier. Used twice (first room).

  • Second, avoiding traps are painful.

  • On the third room, we can use a zip, and with some careful control, Gomez successfully reaches the next room instead of scaling.

  • Even with optimized positioning and speed, he can't across the lava without taking damage. So, we're still wait for the moving platform.

  • We can get an early hit without taking damage by first stomping then using the sword. The zip must be like that, for safely.

Conservatory

  • During the revisions, I swapped route between this and the next stage because I ended saving 4 frames later.

  • More clipping walls. I also figured that clipping on the "second room" works on a shorter distance.

To the graveyard and the crypt

  • I found this "broken" exit when I was improving that oob glitch. I don't know how was triggered, technically. But positioning is important for this. Unintended exit = Nice timesaver!

  • On the next room, that "ceiling clip" present on the NES port of the "other game" surprisingly works here! But the exit is only reachable where's actually located. But with the zipping glitch, the moving platforms were skipped, exiting this room even more faster than before.

  • The crypt stage is entered by the left entrance instead...

  • ...because in that room, there's a door below which leads to the post-boss room, but can't be accessed due to blocks in the way. But...

  • We can get past it using zips to confuse the game of our position. For this, I sacrified 1 frame before entering this room in order to work properly.

  • When Gomez reappears below, the down button is pressed to boost him a bunch of x pixels.

  • Once entering the boss room, since the below path is blocked, clipping the wall is the only way to reach the boss.

Dungeon

Last stage, which is the goal of any% run. This time we found improvements:

  • I found another way to spawn that door which leads to the next room (but you can't see without disabling the background layer). Previously was from the right side, but the oob failed even with the same input of any% run, for some reason.

  • Better optimization...

  • Improved those 2 vertical oob zips with the down button.

  • Can get a slight boost from walking on the moving platforms (see the last room before Addams' Vault)

  • On the same last room, avoid going into the water as maximum as possible because it will slow us down.

  • Final boss: Same as any% run.

Also, this room actually has walls and you can zip upwards to appear on an unrechable position. So,going up to the point where Gomez can hit the boss by simply stomping without needing additional input at all!

This saves 252 frames, but...this result on a longer wait (~1050 frames) to kill the boss (1 hit per cycle) The sword isn't enough to defeat instantly while oob. But the ball weapon would be possible to defeat the boss even more earlier than normally. But collecting the ball...it sucks.

The alternative movie file located above includes that strat ;)

Other Comments

First of all, I'd like to thanks the co-authors: EZGames69 and GarbitheGlitcheress, for the previous submitted (but cancelled) run of "all bosses". The routing, strategies and my recent experience with TAStudio were a key to learn and improve this game even more.

Also thanks to Kyman, for the game resources which include tricks, the snes9x addresses, was the original discover of the new strat for the last boss, and for the published any% run (w/Sonikkustar).

Despite how harder the game is, I really love this game since a long time and this is the reason why I TASed this one. I'll take a break from TASing for a month and half after TASing the any% run (I have ideas, and the run is shorter).


feos: Judging...

feos: Amazing improvements! As explained in this post, this branch is full completion. So it can be published alongside any%, even in Vault.

It was suggested that maybe this movie should obsolete any%, since most of the content of the latter is represented in this movie. But I must clarify that content overlap, while being a huge factor for different unvaultable branches, is not how we decide whether some movie supersedes others. It only supersedes them if their goals (and mandatory routes resulting from those goals) are fulfilled in the new movie.

That way, if we have several branches, each playing some instantly available game mode, we can have a movie playing all those modes in one go, and such a movie will supersede them. If a full completion movie contains the any% movie in it, fulfills its goals, and then completes extra content on top of it, it supersedes the any% branch.

But if different branches have entirely different goals, significantly changing the resulting play, they can't supersede each other if they merely happen to have content overlap. I watched this move side by side with [1579] SNES The Addams Family (USA) by Kyman & Sonikkustar in 03:06.8. This submission goes out of its way to defeat all bosses, showing more of the game that any% just skips. For a non-linear game, especially when the main route is different between 2 movies, we can't fairly state that one movie is contained, and its goals are fulfilled, because any% does not have to go out of its way to defeat the bosses. Moreover, if a glitched setup is found that ends the game without having to defeat the boss, it'd still be within the current any% run's goals, and surpass it in them, leading to obsoletion. We don't want to set and unset obsoletions just because some content happens to match. Lastly, these 2 branches are entertaining each on its own, and both represent something meaningful that principally distinguishes them. Not even the audience felt that either movie is fundamentally obsolete.

Accepting as a new branch to Moons.

feos: Replaced the movie with a 5-frame improvement, and re-accepting.

Stovent: Processing...


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