TASVideos

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

Submission #6348: link_7777's NES Stack-Up "Direct Max Points" in 01:54.31

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Stack-Up
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: Stack-Up (World).nes
Branch: Direct Max Points
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.2.2
Movie length: 01:54.31
FrameCount: 6870
Re-record count: 1253
Author's real name: Phillip Grimsrud
Author's nickname: link_7777
Submitter: link_7777
Submitted at: 2019-04-01 05:16:33
Text last edited at: 2019-04-15 19:06:02
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (2238 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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Author's comments and explanations:

Stack-Up

Use your Robotic Operating Buddy (R.O.B.) to stack blocks in this exciting high-strategy robot game ... or don't.


(Link to video)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.2.2
  • Direct mode Max Points (9999)

About the Game

Stack-Up for the NES is a game intended for use with R.O.B. and the Stack-Up block accessories. The game begins with the blocks stacked in a starting configuration and by playing the game you can send commands to R.O.B. to manipulate and re-stack these blocks.

In direct mode, the mode used in this TAS, the game presents you with an image showing the current/starting block configuration and a target configuration. Your job is to send the proper commands to R.O.B. so that he moves the blocks to the target configuraiton.

About the Category

As it turns out R.O.B. is in no way plugged in to the NES, and thus there is no direct feedback mechanism. The other game designed for use with R.O.B. (NES Gyromite) solved this problem by having a cradle for you to set controller 2 into, and a mechanical mechanism for R.O.B. to press the buttons on controller 2. Stack-Up on the other hand uses the honor system, it requests that you press the Start button once you have re-stacked the blocks to the target configuration. Normally you would move around and stomp on the correct signals to send to R.O.B., but in this garbage category we just pretend that we've restacked the blocks correctly and just hit Start whenever we want.

About the Route

It sounds stupid that there is a "route" since the general idea of this category is that you mash Start until the score reaches 9999. As it turns out though the target pattern you're given is actually very random and different patterns result in different values for the par for each stage and as a result the number of points. Also the bonus (and corresponding range of possible values for the par) increases as the stages go on. Delays and input changes can result in different amounts of points for each round. This TAS reaches the goal in phase 21 which seems to be the earliest possible phase based on my testing. Other than trying to maximize the point values for each phase, the only other real manipulation is to try to stay a little short on points in phase 20 and get a high number of points in phase 21 where input ends early. This is an improvement of around 9 seconds (547 frames) over what this submission http://tasvideos.org/3069S.html would be for this category.

Improvements

I did a decent amount of trial and error to try to get high point rolls without wasting too many frames, but there are a couple of ways this could possibly be improved:
  • First there are 4 frames wasted in places where I waited a frame to get better RNG for the next phase
  • Second I short the points a bit by the end of phase 20 and go for a higher roll in phase 21 so that ending input early saves more. It is possible that this could be done to a bit more of an extreme to save a few frames.

Thanks to:

  • my Twitch chat for the ideas and encouragement
  • The TASMania team

Screenshots:

10, 18, 7019


feos: This game mode is pointless without some R. O. B. underwear action. It is also pointless with it. Actually hold on, there's one thing this game mode is pretty useful for. It comes in quite handy when you find yourself in the middle of the robot uprising and you unexpectedly feel like stopping it! It's hard to get enough of that, especially when it plays such a huge a role in delaying preventing singularity. Rejecting for the rights of squirrels!


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