TASVideos

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

Submission #6312: WMJ's N64 Shadow Man in 30:15.82

Console: Nintendo 64
Game name: Shadow Man
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Shadow Man (U) [!].v64
Branch:
Emulator: Bizhawk-2.3.1
Movie length: 30:15.82
FrameCount: 108949
Re-record count: 6018
Author's real name: Wouter
Author's nickname: WMJ
Submitter: WMJ
Submitted at: 2019-03-24 19:11:33
Text last edited at: 2019-03-29 18:08:39
Text last edited by: slamo
Download: Download (98696 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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Description

Shadow Man is a horror action adventure game on the N64. You take the role of Michael Leroi, a man who has lost much in his life, including your younger brother Luke who died in a car crash. Michael has come in contact with Voodoo priestess Nettie who has planted the mask of shadows into his ribcage. This mask allows for travel between the normal world (Liveside) and (Deadside), the place where everyone goes without exception when they die. Mike can travel to Deadside with the help of the teddy bear that belonged to Luke. In Deadside, you are the Shadow Man, a lineage of voodoo warriors who protect the world of the living (known as Liveside) from threats crossing over from Deadside. Nettie has had a vision of apocalypse where a dark army powered by evil Dark Souls comes from Deadside to destroy Liveside. It is the goal of the game to collect all these Dark Souls before the bad guys do and take out the evil behind the plan for apocalypse.

This game is a very non-linear action adventure. Similar to Super Mario 64 you collect Dark Souls (instead of Stars) that open doors to new areas. Dark Souls upgrade your Shadow Meter which makes the Shadow Gun stronger. Doors indicate a certain level on the Shadow Meter before they can open. To reach the area with the final boss you need a minimum of 15 dark souls to reach Shadow Level 4. This area contains a large machine to you have to shut down to pass by and go to the final boss. Normally, this requires 95 dark souls (Shadow Level 9) to go to every area to shut it down. In this run, a glitch is abused to get on top of the machine via an enemy boost which saves roughly 2 hours of playing time and allows for completion of the game with just 15 dark souls. The route in this TAS run is planned so the quickest first 15 dark souls are collected.

Comments

Start of the game

In this game, jumping with forwards momentum is faster than running full speed. On any significant straight it is worth it to keep jumping to go slightly faster. In this part the goal is to reach the church on top of the hill to collect the teddy bear that belongs to Luke that allows for warping to Deadside.

Deadside Marrow Gates

Upon entering Marrow Gates I collect 3 dark souls. 2 of these dark souls you normally cannot get to yet. The first is on top of the bloodfall (a waterfall with blood). You can grab onto the ledge and get it where you would normally need an ability upgrade to climb bloodfalls. This is bypassed by jumping from the pillar next to it. This is the only time in the run where I take damage. It doesn’t cost time to take this damage but it would have cost some time to avoid the shot from the zombie.

The second dark soul is also on top of a bloodfall further in the level in a cave. This is reached via an out of bounds trick and some careful jumping. Continuing to the Prophecy Chamber, a teddy bear icon appears on the screen. This is an indicator for a warp point that I will return to 2 more times. The third dark soul is here. 3 dark souls provide the upgrade to shadow level 2 which allows entry of the Asylum Gateway level early.

Asylum Gateway

There are 2 routes in Asylum, the right route and the left route. I doesn’t really matter which route you take first since it is necessary to activate the warp point which is relatively on the center of the bridge separating the routes. I take the right route first which leads to 3 dark souls and the Engineer’s Key. This Key is essential to activate a train later on to reach the area with the final boss. There are no particular glitches in this part. I do some pipe jumping to speed up the slow cycles of the 2 platforms you have to wait for. Warping back to the same area you are in reduces the loading screen time a lot so I warp back to the bridge to take the left route.

The left route you normally cannot take yet. There are 2 fire pillars blocking your way with lava on the sides. Normally, you need an upgrade that lets you hold onto fire pillars. With some very careful jumps it is possible to just jump past it and collect 4 really quick dark souls in this area. After the last dark soul I warp back to the prophecy chamber to go to Wasteland

Wasteland

Normally you go here before Asylum. It doesn’t matter either way for the final time so I decided to go to Asylum first just because I can. In Wasteland, there are many dark souls spread out over a large area. I only need 5 more dark souls for Shadow Level 4 in this area. I take the left tunnel at the start because it is slightly faster and activate a rope in the next area. I do not open the tent because the switch that activates this passage makes many enemies spawn that make traveling by rope next to impossible. The first dark soul is on top of a bloodfall you normally cannot get to yet but with a careful jump you can. I use the rope I had activated to go to a platform with a normally useless vase on it. This vase can be used to go out of bounds and get to the area on top of a second bloodfall in this area. This leads to a tent with a dark soul in it. Below the dark soul is a weapon which can shoot fire at enemies, the Asson. I can use this to speed up the final boss fight so I collect it. Further in the cave is a dark soul. There are 2 more dark souls behind some lava you can reach with a careful jump and up in a tent for Shadow Level 4.

The out of bounds tricks have allowed for a much faster route through the stage to collect the dark souls and Asson. With 15 dark souls collected all that is left is to go to the final boss. I warp back to the Prophecy Chamber once again and go to the door requiring Shadow Level 4. 2 enemies gang up on me when the cutscene for the door plays but with some rerecords I found the right timing to avoid getting hit or losing time to this (you don’t take damage while the cutscene plays).

Asylum Cageways

This area I am just passing through. In the beginning there is an area with a wall and some zombies. With a very precise trick it is possible to jump in such a way that you half hang onto it and wall jump to get on top of some boxes (thanks Winning117 for finding this trick!). Normally you need to hang onto the wall and slowly shift across. This saves a good 5 seconds. By backwards jumping on the wall I skip the next area where you normally need to use a rope to go over the wall. This saves a good deal of time. After the train I take the cable car to Engine Block

Engine Block

This is the area with the final boss but first I need to get past the big machine called the dark engine that powers the Asylum in Deadside. To do this I lure an enemy called a Surgeon. When he knows of your presence but you are not in his direct line of sight he will move towards you to get a clean shot. For some reason in the N64 version it is possible to lure him under the right angle through closed doors. Past the first door the game is very laggy so I go into first person view and look at the wall to reduce some lag. Once the Surgeon is in the machine room I move out of his line of sight to lure him towards the right spot where I can make the jump. By moving backwards close to the enemy and with very precise timing I make it on top of the machine with a backwards long jump. This trick is extremely precise and took many rerecords to get this to work.

Before the boss I collect some voodoo power to use with the Asson. The cutscene before the boss is almost 5 minutes and not skippable.

Legion Boss Fight

The boss fight has 2 stages. The first stage is very easy. I equip the Asson and Shadow Gun and circle strafe round him while continuously firing. By charging the Shadow Gun to Shadow Level 4 and immediately firing you do the most damage quickly.

The second boss form is much harder and longer. In this TAS route we have reached this boss severely underpowered. The same strategy applies as the first boss firing with the Asson and Shadow Gun. This boss shoots many homing projectiles and constantly moves around. After nearly 2 minutes of dodging projectiles and shooting the game is finished :).


slamo: The route here looks fundamentally sound and the skips are great. However, there were some optimization issues brought up in the thread.

At TASVideos we expect superhuman gameplay, and this is done through precisely programmed inputs. It's apparent to the naked eye, and backed up by inspecting the inputs, that much of this run is recorded segments of unassisted human gameplay. The run resembles a very good segmented speedrun, but does not meet our optimization standards for a tool-assisted speedrun. Turning is done imprecisely, resulting in the constant loss of frames throughout the run.

It's always a good idea to review our guidelines for optimization. Also, tools such as TAStudio will be an enormous asset for a run like this, as it will make it much easier to program perfect analog inputs. I see that you've already made a forum thread about this game, but since this your first submitted TAS, it might be a good idea to upload WIPs to userfiles and post them to make sure you're understanding the fundamentals of TASing.

Rejected for being sub-optimal.


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