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

Submission #6516: Soig's SNES Contra III: The Alien Wars "pacifist" in 12:57.39

Console: Super NES
Game name: Contra III: The Alien Wars
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Contra III - The Alien Wars (U) [!].smc
Branch: pacifist
Emulator: BizHawk 2.3.2
Movie length: 12:57.39
FrameCount: 46720
Re-record count: 14188
Author's real name: 陈立杰
Author's nickname: Soig
Submitter: Soig
Submitted at: 2019-09-17 16:15:48
Text last edited at: 2019-10-27 14:16:50
Text last edited by: Soig
Download: Download (33884 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

Necessary info:

  • About bullet:
ID Name Max bullets Damage CD Others
00 2/bullet 3
01 S 10(2*5) 2/bullet 4
02 C 3 4/2 frames 5 Sometimes miss(takes no dmg)
03 H 5 2/bullet 4
04 F 2/2 frames
05 L 7 3/bullet Can't shoot until all of the previous bullets disappears

Also, there are some other difference between 2D and 3D mode:

  • In 2D mode
    • For S gun, shoot 5 bullets in each time. And only could shoot again while a set of bullets are disappearing. (Especially, if 3 bullets of the first set disappears, and 2 of the second disappears, you can't shoot next new set of bullets.)
    • For L gun, you'll shoot a long laser if you press Y button at one frame.

  • In 3D mode
    • weapon system is similar to nes contra.
      There is no CD RAM. Or I didn't find out it... Normally, pressing Y button discontinuously is faster than continuously.
    • Movements is same as Jackal. X or Y speed always equals 2. Not only on horizontal or vertical, but also on diagonal.
    • movement is not friendly. I searched the speed and position RAM though, speed is not so intuitive. Instead, calculating the position's change is important. And after comparing the different rotation angle, walking on the 45° angle is the fastest. (The actual speed = 2*√2=2.8284)
    • For S gun, you can shoot S bullet just when any bullet disappears.
    • For L gun, you can only shoot ONE bullet in every 2 frames. If you want to shoot a long laser, you need to press Y button continuously.

It's hard to manipulate RNG, different from nes contra games, but similar to ds contra 4. You can change RNG by shooting C. Because C explodes randomly every time.

6 more lag at the beginning... Though I saved 1 frame by pressing START earlier. I don't know how to compare between snes9x 1.51 with bizhawk 2.3.2. So hope someone could help me make a comparision list to show that difference.

And I'll show you a comparision without the emulators' difference.

Stage Frames saved Total saved
1 -17 -17
2 503 486
3 454 940
4 470 1410
5 563 1973
6 2109 4082

Level-by-level notes

  • Stage 1
Due to more players on screen, I got more lag. But it saved some time at boss fighting.
  • Stage 2
Two players saved a half of the route.
Better weapon choice and better weapon used.
  • Stage 3
    • Pay attention: After that plane boss, there are 8 tracking bullet, and they are attackable. And they will bomb while moving out of the screen. It looks like hit by the player. To make sure if they are been hit by me, you can find their HP RAM and do a test. RAM changes by getting damage, otherwise it unchanges. My RAM list includes them.
Faster boss fight with better gun choice, better gun used, and double damage.
  • Stage 4
Just faster boss fight.
  • Stage 5
Specially, that red spider out from the nest has 32 HP. And it decreases 1 HP in each 8 frames if it is in the whirlpool. You can watch the spider's HP by $0D46 or $0D86. And if the nest is ruined, the spider will die. Also, if the spider killed by the player, the player's score will increase 200 or 500.
  • Stage 6
Better weapon choice, better bullets shooted, and better luck manipulation (Especially for the heart boss).

Specially, the final boss r2, you need at least 3 rounds to beat it. And after a round, boss's HP will decrease 1/2. And each attack form has its own timer. Here a picture shows every timer.(It's not absolute, it's around that value.) So player's damage in the first round is 1/4, in the second round is 1/2. So you need to choose a shorter timer form in first two rounds.
It's different from the fastest goal, I choose the same type for the round 2 as round 1 this time. Because those enemies can't be killed.


RAM watch

Because running ram watch window is much slower with bizhawk, I used lua to watch them, instead. And I'll give you the lua file in the forum.
  • Other RAM I used
Some ram I didn't show in the lua, So I will give you here.
Address Size Type Notes
1E44 4 bytes Hex hi score
1FA0 4 bytes Hex 1p socre
1FB6 4 bytes Hex 1p bonus life rest
1FE0 4 bytes Hex 2p socre
1FF6 4 bytes Hex 2p bonus life rest
1C02 4 bytes Hex clear bonus socre
BD80 1 byte signed if it's 2D stage
1F84 1 byte signed 1p 1st gun
1F86 1 byte signed 1p 2nd gun
1FC4 1 byte signed 2p 1st gun
1FC6 1 byte signed 2p 2nd gun
0D46 1 byte signed red spider HP
0D86 1 byte signed red spider HP

Memory: Judging

Memory: So this TAS appears on the surface to be well optimized. It can probably be optimized further but it is good enough for an improvement and unlike the other submission, this one does beat all known records.

There wasn't too much feedback since the author has deleted their temporary encode, but what there was was positive for the most part. There was questions over using 2 players to obsolete the published pacifist TAS that uses 1 player. Ultimately, 2 players makes pacifist more entertaining since there are now 2 players that have to dodge enemies instead of just one and still maintains a distinct feel from fastest completion. A TAS that doesn't use the game end glitch that uses 1 player could potentially be published alongside the existing branches if it is considered uniquely entertaining, but I do not feel pacifist is the place to fill that niche.

Accepting to Moons to obsolete [2440] SNES Contra III: The Alien Wars (USA) "pacifist" by McBobX in 14:05.31.

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