TASVideos

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

Submission #6256: mcill's N64 Space Station Silicon Valley in 56:56.47

Console: Nintendo 64
Game name: Space Station Silicon Valley
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Space Station Silicon Valley.z64
Branch:
Emulator: bizhawk 2.3
Movie length: 56:56.47
FrameCount: 204988
Re-record count: 28521
Author's real name: Jesse
Author's nickname: mcill
Submitter: mcill
Submitted at: 2019-02-04 03:51:24
Text last edited at: 2019-02-12 12:23:02
Text last edited by: ThunderAxe31
Download: Download (93833 bytes)
Status: judging underway
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Author's comments and explanations:

Commentated TAS (amateur encoded):

Description

In SSSV you play as Evo, a robot who has been sent to investigate a mysterious space station. Along the way, Evo loses his robot body and must inhabit the corpses of dead robot animals to survive. As you carry through the game you secure the space station and rebuild Evo's body. The game features a variety of animals with unique abilities that must be used correctly to complete objectives within each level. Because no two animals are the same, many skips and glitches are only useful in one or two stages, so expect to see a wide variety of gameplay.
  • Emulator used: BizHawk v2.3
  • Goal: Reach the end credits
  • Heavy glitch abuse
  • Genre: platform

Comments

General Notes: This run was performed on a "fresh" ROM, which requires you to watch a cutscene upon powering-on. A used ROM can skip this cutscene, but I opted to keep it after consulting the TASing community, where I was informed that skipping a cutscene was not reason enough to modify SRAM. The game emulates well using the Glide64 plugin (mark 2 used here) but it still has significantly less lag than a console, so a direct time comparison is not accurate of game play. This can be observed in the first level, where the TAS completes it in ~2:43, but the best RTA time is ~2:58 on a level with ~20 seconds of actual game play. The previous TAS was encoded using fillRectEdge to decrease the prevalence of patterned black dots that sometimes appear on the screen. If this video is accepted and encoded, the encoder might consider this as well. I tried to do this in my amateur encode for the commentated TAS, but it didn't appear to work. This TAS improves upon a previous TAS I made in 2016 (submission #5006). I calculated an improvement of 5m51s. Every level except an auto-scroller is improved due to primarily to new strategies, but also through improved movement from the previous TAS. One major change is the use of a "New Animal Cutscene (NAC) skip" route, which performs levels out of order but results in one less cutscene being played. The time lost to menuing is more than made up for by the NAC skip. A commonly used technique is the "cutscene skips", which involves transitioning into an animal (either from Evo or from a different animal) as a cutscene starts. The cutscene still plays, but you retain control of your animal where normally you do not.

Stage by stage comments

Smashing Start

You must play as a sheep and pick up an energy cell. The teleporter activates faster if you collect the energy before killing the sheep. By activating a "complete the objectives first!" textbox before playing as the sheep, the level can be completed before the cutscene ends.

Have A Nice Day!

You must herd the sheep into their pen and play as a mouse. There is a sheep on the centre island that runs away as you get close. This trigger is activated first. The "teleporter active" cutscene is skipped by reaching the teleporter before the cutscene starts. Barking/biting as the dog is faster than walking.

Honeymoon Lagoon

You must play as a sheep, turn on the big machine, and deactivate the electric fence. Turning on the big machine and deactivating the fence are done at the same time. A cutscene skip is used to progress through the stage during the big machine cutscene. The mouse can be used to reach the teleporter, allowing you to skip having to play as the slow-moving sheep.

Battery Farm

You must raise the bridges, grow some carrots, and deactivate the electric fence. Another "sheep push" is used to move the ram. A cutscene skip is used for the first bridge. The dog is used as a platform to allow the ram to get across the water to raise the second bridge.

The Engine Room

You must collect a keycard, open a door, and activate a bridge. The keycard is obtained early by tail-whipping the scientist. A cutscene skip is used during the "found the door" cutscene. Another cutscene skip is used during the "bridge activated" cutscene. During this cutscene skip, the "Leap of Fox" is performed: a glitch that lets the fox reach the teleporter platform from a lower area.

Fat Bear Mountain

You must kill the dog and the bear, open the cave door, and fill the swimming pool. The dog is killed using the mouse (normally the ram is necessary), a cutscene skip is used during the door opening cutscene, during which time the bear is killed and another cutscene skip is used for the pool-filling cutscene. Playing as the bear can be skipped by walking onto the switch while the bear is also on the switch. A ramp is used to get the dog onto the cave roof. The dog can reach the teleporter from there (skipping playing as a sheep)

Rocky Hard Place

You must play as a spring sheep/ram and raise some asteroids. The ram is obtained early by using the fox teleport to get over the electric fence. The gravity is turned of by clipping over the fence as the ram, allowing the level to be completed in a straightforward manner. A cutscene skip is used for the asteroid raising cutscene.

Route change: skip to the arctic

Snow Joke

You must play as a husky, turn on a computer, and turn on some fans. The husky runs faster using his bite attack. An invisible platform is used to reach the teleporter, which is faster than using the intended platforming section.

Ice 'n' Easy Does It

You must collect the 3 heads...The heli-rabbit is used to clip onto a cliff, skipping the walrus. The TAS can fly through the front entrance of the igloo to reach the teleporter faster.

Penguin Playpen

You must kill the seagull and melt the statue. The seagull is killed immediately without letting it fly away. The seagull moves faster (superslides) when trying to fly while landing. The buttons to melt the statue aren't supposed to be activated by live penguins or by the corpse of an animal you just exited. The game actively tries to prevent these button from being pushed, so the button section is completed faster than intended.

Route change: skip to the jungle

Jungle Japes

You must turn on the air pump and kill the piranhas. The elephant is skipped by clipping through the boulders as the turtle. The button is pushed early by using the height Evo gains from leaving the turtle to get onto the platform. The hyenas and piranhas are killed in groups to minimize the number of shots required.

Jungle Doldrums

You must activate the log ride and kill the parrot. The entire level is skipped by pushing the hippo into a wall and switching between the hyena and the hippo to gain a lot of height ("hippo jump"). Hyenas kill animals faster when the animals are off screen.

Swamp Of Eternal Stench

You must play as a hyena, play as a gorilla, and free the magic rope. By boosting through the swamp, the gorillas can be reached early. A gorilla is killed using the turtle (the intended route is to use a hyena for this). The rope is accessed early by walking Evo into a box held by a gorilla corpse to gain a lot of height ("gorilla jumping"). The magic rope is skipped by using another gorilla jump to reach the teleporter.

Weight For It!

You must play as an elephant, play as a piranha, and activate the stepping stones. The elephant is obtained by using a gorilla jump. Another gorilla jump is used to bring the lion to the area with the piranha and the stepping stones switch. The piranha is used to reach the teleporter.

Jungle Jumps

You must kill the biker hyenas, kill the gorillas, and collect the keys. One key is obtained early by boosting across a lava pit as the racing turtle. Another key is obtained early by using using a hyena jump (swapping between biker hyenas while one is on the other's back). Collecting the key as the biker hyena allows you to skip playing as a gorilla. It also allows you to reach the gorilla section faster. The gorillas are killed faster by grouping them up so your missiles hit both at the same time. The third key is obtained using a biker hyena by performing a precise jump off of a ramp, again allowing you to skip playing as the gorilla. The teleporter is reached during a cutscene.

Evo's Escape

You must get 12100 points, then kill Evo's chameleon at the end of the level. This level is an autoscroller, so instead of doing lag-reduction strats by staring at the roof for a whole minute, I went for max score while also being sure to get all the weapon power ups (except the ones in the shooting gallery setion) and to blow up all the speakers.

Fun In The Sun

You must turn on the oil pump and open the fuel line valves. You can jump on the pump before the pump cutscene starts. A cutcene skip is used for the "oil flowing" cutscene to reach the teleporter faster.

Hot Cross Buns

You must kill the foxes, blow up the speakers, and turn the O's into X's. A cutscene skip is used during the first and the second "platform raising" cutscenes. The vulture and fox are moved from the first switch to the second switch using highly precise movement and the fox's spin attack to push the vulture. This technique ("corpse surfing") is very fast compared to using the vulture to carry the fox. A hitbox extension is used to hit the switch for the second platform (which is underground) by using the vulture's grab attack. The third platform doesn't need to be raised to be turned into an X.

Sting In The Tail

You must play as a kangaroo and as a vulture. Spin attacking is faster than walking as the desert fox. It also lets you jump higher, allowing you to skip part of a platforming section. The kangaroo is faster than the vulture and is used to reach the teleporter, which is entered using Evo when normally a desert fox is required.

Borassic Park

You must find all 4 archaeological discoveries and kill a kangaroo. Three cutscene skips are used during the archaeological discovery cutscenes. The first cutscene skip is extended to encompass both of the first two archaeological discovery cutscenes. A precise jump is performed during the cutscene skip for the third archaeological discovery cutscene to clear a gap, skipping part of the level. Another part of the level is skipped by jumping on top of a fire dinosaur and, from there, onto a walkway. The teleporter is reached using the kangaroo instead of doing the intended platforming section to reach a vulture.

Whirlwind Tour

You must play as an armed desert fox, a kangaroo, and a vulture. The camel is brought straight to the desert foxes by launching it against the opposite shore. The fox is used to kill the kangaroo, and the kangaroo is used to kill the vulture. By grabbing and releasing the desert fox rapidly, the vulture can gain more height than intended, allowing it to reach the teleporter without using the intended platforming section.

Shifting Sands

You must play as a kangaroo and as a vulture. Almost the entire level is skipped by jumping on a TV to get to the kangaroos early. The teleporter is reached using Evo when a desert fox is intended.

Punch up Pyramid

You must knock out each animal 3 times without dying. Time is saved by not missing punches. The punches performed by the kangaroo during its idle animation do damage and don't cost energy. These "passive punches" are used to kill animals faster. The cannon camel can be pushed out of bounds, screwing up its AI and allowing it to be killed very quickly.

Route change: go back to complete Europe

Stinky Sewers

You must bring gain access to the king rat's room (the teleporter area), get a keycard, and fill a pond. However, the teleporter is activated simply by bringing the king rat to the teleporter. No objectives need to be completed. The racing dog is brought to the king rat using a barrel to ramp up into a small pathway intended as an exit, then by backing through a pipe meant to keep the dog out.

Rat-o-matic

You must kill the foxes and blow up the rat-o-matic, but you actually don't have to do any of these. The teleporter is active from the level start, so the only goal is to get there as fast as possible. A mouse is killed and entered through a doorway. The mouse can only exit the room via the mouse sucker. This brings you to the rat-o-matic, but a glitch is used to send the mouse up and out of the machine instead of down and into it. The mouse clips into the mouse hole to reach the exit. You skip lowering a barrier by using a precise bounce off of a wall to get over the barrier.

Give A Dog A Bonus

You must fly through the rings, then kill 7 or 8 animals. The dogs are killed quickly by grouping them up behind a barrier, allowing multiple dogs to be hit at the same time. By flying close to a wall, a fox is killed by friendly fire.

Route change: go back to complete the arctic

Pinball Blizzard

You must collect the notes and play the piano. It is possible to skip the king penguin New Animal Cutscene, but that didn't happen in this TAS, likely due to previously-performed TAS-only strats. How to get this NAC skip is not currently known. The piano can be played messily on purpose and for fun. It demonstrates how weird the piano is.

Hoppa Choppa

You must kill the huskies and blow up the gun turrets. The king penguin is clipped through the wall to immediately reach the heli-rabbit, which is then used to kill everything. The heli-rabbit falls faster toward the teleporter by sliding off the edge of a cliff instead of hovering down.

Something Fishy

You must free the fish and open the door. Most of the level is skipped by hitting a switch as Evo by putting the fish just on the shoreline to exit the animal. Being in the water or on land doesn't work. A couple of precise jumps are used to free the fish in a different order than RTA runs, allowing the level to be completed faster.

Walrace 64

You must win the race. Starting in front of the orange walrus lets you pick up the first boost. After the race, the trophy is collected during the cutscene and the walrus is moved all the way to the teleporter.

Big Celebration Parade

In part 1 of the level you must kill the brain. Cutscenes showing the earth shrinking are skipped by pushing buttons. The final cutscene showing the space station crashing into Earth is skipped by replaying the level, which must be done after a certain point or else part 1 must be completed again. In part 2 you have to kill all the animals. The text in this level is swapped with the text of Punch-up Pyramid by performing the "level-select glitch", which is performed by changing levels and selecting a level on the same frame. The previous TAS included an input to skip a cutscene of Dan "congratulating" you for beating the level. This input is not necessary to reach the credits and was omitted in this TAS so that the final input occurs much earlier. The credits could begin earlier if this input was included, so I guess the merits of this input can be debated. I decided to simply have a shorter movie file.

Other comments

In my opinion, the best levels to watch are (in order of appearance): Battery Farm, The Engine Room, Fat Bear Mountain, and Jungle Jumps. If you are familiar with the run, these levels also display some inhuman levels of play that casual viewers might not appreciate as much: Honeymoon Lagoon, Evo's Escape, Hot Cross Buns, Borassic Park, and Something Fishy. At this point, the strats used in SSSV any% aren't changing very much, but new strats may become available as we learn more about the game. A different route through the levels might result in more NAC skips, but there are too many possible level orders to brute force and we don't know what causes NAC skips, so we can't yet predict the best route. Two time saves are known, but nobody knows how to perform them. In Stinky Sewers, the racing dog can clip through the wall by the barrels and into the king rat's area. In Ice 'n' Easy Does It, the rabbit's ground-pound can be extended, allowing the heli-rabbit to be broken free faster.


ThunderAxe31: Judging.


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