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

Submission #6142: Strife's GBC Harry Potter 2: The Black Art Wtrstle Edition in 08:50.01

Console: Game Boy Color
Game name: Harry Potter 2: The Black Art Wtrstle Edition
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: Harry Potter 2 - The black art wtrstle edition (Unl) [Fixed].gbc
Emulator: BizHawk 2.2.2
Movie length: 08:50.01
FrameCount: 31656
Re-record count: 7776
Author's real name: Olivier Renaud
Author's nickname: Strife
Submitter: Strife
Submitted at: 2018-11-07 19:03:07
Text last edited at: 2018-12-01 21:22:49
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (5098 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
This TAS was made during my gain of interest in the subject of Chinese bootleg games. The game has a lot of original and interesting content and a few techniques that make it a worthy TAS to make and show. I abuse a few things like an incredible quantity of iframes to go through the level faster. The game is comprised of 8 levels that require you to collect a set number of items to finish them and a final boss which is probably the most boring part of the movie. Notice that the rom I used is the only one I could find that works online.

Here is a temp encode of the TAS:

(Link to video)

- The two main mechanics used are the broom and the spellcasting which are both bound to the B button. The broom allows Harry to go around 4 times faster than the normal walking speed, with a very quick acceleration.

- The spellcasting is useful to kill ennemies and the last boss, but is also useful to cancel jumps which normally have a set height and can slow everything down.

- To be able to broom more often, I take a lot of damage, since taking a hit gives Harry more than a second of iframes, during which he cannot be hit again, which allows him to go through other ennemies.

- This level is a straight line so I take a lot of damage to go from collectible to collectible.

- When I get to the tire, I jump and cancel the jump a frame after with a spellcasting to be able to trigger the tire bounce, which gives me a higher jump than ordinary, without which I can't reach the first star.

- The roof surface is a very peculiar one and the only time we see it in effect in this run. While on it Harry slowly slids down up until he falls, which forces me to use jumping to go as fast as possible off of them. The broom can't be used either on those surfaces. This part was pretty annoying because in some spots Harry would just fall through the roof instead of being able to jump so I had to be careful. At the end of the roof section I use a spellcasting to go directly through the roof down to the ground and go on my broom again.

- When I get the last star I go back down by spellcasting which gives me a small horizontal movement to the left and subsequently allows me to not stop on any of the platform which would have lost me a few more frames.

- This level is entirely vertical and requires me to go from one end to the other multiple times as i climb the building. However it also features the only skip of the game, around frame 3240: by taking damage from an enemy on the floor higher than the one I was on, the game automatically zips me to this level, saving a few seconds over going the whole way around that includes two staircases which are very slow.

- I cannot use as much damage abuse as I want since I don't pick up any additional health items at any point, but it's overall faster to do it that way than to pick any of those on the way over.

- I still wonder why everything in Hogwarts wants to kill you.

- This level is once again a straight line but I do have to go to the end of the level first to pick up an item there then come back to get the last star because you cannot actually go down from a platform in this game. Otherwise I'm just abusing iframes through most of the level.

- At the end of the level, at frame 6860 onwards, I cut the momentum of my jump using a spellcasting to be able to have the maximum amount of time brooming on the platform, but sadly I cannot avoid getting hit by the bullet shot by the ennemy. It results in a few frames of apparent lag.

- This level is actually a loop in which the Snitches spawn one by one. The route I take follows what I found to be the fastest, by taking the first 4 snitches on the first loop on the level and then changing the loop to have snitches spawn again (around frame 9020 you'll see the tire on the right edge of the screen disappear, which from what I could gather meant I changed the loop of the level or at least the spawns of the Snitches).

- This level is vertical with only one objective on the top left of the map, the rest being on the right side of the map. I focused first on the right side before switching as quickly as possible to to the left side then coming back to the right side for the end. Nothing much to say apart from the fact that this level is hard to complete as fast as possible: there's not a lot of possibilities to use the broom and platforms are really far from one another.

- This level also introduces us to the mechanic of ladders that I tried to avoid as much as possible as they're incredibly slow.

- At the end, I get hit by an enemy that comes out of the ending block. It is faster to take the hit than jumping over him.

- This level introduces the crawling mechanic which is also extremely slow and cannot be skipped sadly.

- I need to wait before cancelling my jump at frame 14400 because if i do it a frame earlier the cloud doesn't respawn and it's an instant kill.

- When near the top of the ladder I can jump in a direction and cancel with B to skip a few frames of climbing and directly broom.

- Every time I go down a ladder I'll cancel the climbing animation as soon as possible with a jump to fall much faster.

- Routing this level was pretty complex and the game requires you to crawl a lot here. Otherwise not much else to say.

- For whatever reason I'm not sure, but I can pickup the item at frame 20485 on the very left of this rock while getting hit. The only alternative would be waiting for the rock to disappear which would waste a considerable amount of time.

- At frame 21985, you can see the only usage of a specific spell in the whole run, to be able to damage this enemy and go past him. It is the fastest solution I could find to this situation.

- This boss is excruciatingly long. You can hit him only once per cycle with cycles where you can't actually hit him. He dies in 10 hits and each cycle is more than 10 seconds long. I tried to make up some entertainment during those 3 minutes but it's still very long and I didn't do that good of a job.

- The last ncessary input is on frame 32123 although I did press start on frame 32447 to skip the end screen and show the bugged credits which look like a rainbow QR code. Since I thought I needed to get to the credits I left it in but I'm not sure what should be the ending frame.

This game is not too bad and I think I did an ok job tasing it. As it is still my first submission and my first completed TAS, I know there's probably some optimizations that can be done left and right to save a few dozens frames but I optimized it to the point I wanted it to be. I think it's a good thing to take a look at some of the "better" bootlegs made out of China and Russia that are games of their own and not just a title hack.

ThunderAxe31: Judging.

ThunderAxe31: File replaced with a 464 frames improvement.

ThunderAxe31: This movie is enough optimized, as it appears to use the shortest routes for clearing the levels as fast as possible, as well as usage of the known tricks everywhere it was applicable.

The audience reception was mixed, probably because the game doesn't feature much original content, and the gameplay doesn't showcase anything particularly mind-blowing. Also, the last stage was particularly repetitive.

It must be noted that movies made with unofficial games can be accepted for Vault only if the game in question is enough notable, which seems to be the case here, as there are unique game mechanics and level layouts.

Accepting for Vault.

feos: Pub.

ThunderAxe31: Removed 403 blank frames from the end of movie, as well as an extra input that skips the actual ending and shows glitched intro; current judgment stands.

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