TASVideos

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

Submission #6580: Ninja-kun's NES Minelvaton Saga in 48:08.18

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Minelvaton Saga
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Minelvaton Saga - Ragon no Fukkatsu (Japan).zip
Branch:
Emulator: BizHawk 2.3.2
Movie length: 48:08.18
FrameCount: 173576
Re-record count: 53580
Author's real name: 悠志
Author's nickname: Ninja-kun
Submitter: Ninja-kun
Submitted at: 2019-12-28 15:50:20
Text last edited at: 2020-01-22 13:14:19
Text last edited by: ThunderAxe31
Download: Download (71864 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 2.3.2
  • Complete the game as quick as possible
  • Use the known secret trick to enable a player to move 2x faster, without any encounters on the field

Comments

This game is a standard type of RPG with a real-time battle system. During the battle, we can control a player character by arrow keys, shoot bullets by pushing the button, and if the character comes closer to enemies, we can do near-term attacks by weapons. Enemies are also moving in real-time. In a normal play, hit rate for both shootings and near-term attacks is very low, so players need to shoot so many bullets to beat enemies, and to receive damages so much when the near-term attacks don't hit. At the beginning, the ranged attack is very effective as enemies are weak, however, after they become stronger, bullets attack will not be effective as the damage is very low, and we need to leverage near-term attacks, and, at the last stage, even near-term attacks by the player will not be effective as enemies will have very high defense, so it is important to leverage companions' attacks, by adjusting variables to improve hit rate and damages.

Therefore, in order to complete the game faster, we should do

  1. At the initial stage, enable 100% hit rate and high damage for ranged attack, by changing the timing of each shot frame by frame. With this, a player can save bullets so we don't need to go back to a town to buy them in the shop, and can save money.
  2. At the middle (after we get a strong weapon, 'sword of Leon') , maximize hit rate and damages for near-term attacks by doing the same adjustment as above. Combined attacks with bullets is effective for some enemies, case by case.
  3. At the last stage, guide companions in front of enemies and adjust their hit rate and damages by optimizing variables with doing near-term attacks or bullet shot frame by frame
Combined with above, we need to minimize the damage from enemies because using medicines take a time - 26+ frames to use 1 medicine.

I confirmed there are several variables combined and the hit rate calculation is not simple, as of now, I needed to do all adjustments frame by frame for all actions in every battles. That is the reason why re-recording count becomes slightly higher. If I can do a reverse assembly, probably I will be able to make it more effectively.

Stage by stage comments

At first the player needs to earn money to buy enough bullets. The most effective way to do it is, get a drop item 'a rod of Ruby' from an enemy 'Sheep Head' and sell it. By adjusting a variable, this TAS got 3 of them, and earned 45,000 Gold, to buy maximum amount of the 1st/2nd/3rd bullets.

At middle, in order to save the time, skipped some companions. I didn't have Gino / Teruna who should join the party in normal plays. The strongest bullet is very effective at this stage, however, it is very expensive. In the castle of Raban, the player can get 8,000 Golds from a treasure box at B1F repeatedly as when the player leaves that floor and comes back, the treasure box is shown again. By this, the player got 300,000 Golds to buy the strongest bullet, smoke bomb (15000 Golds / 5 shots, 300000 Golds / 100 shots)

At the end, especially for bosses, as I mentioned above the player's attack will not be effective, we can put only very small damages, so we need to guide 2 companions in front of enemies, and maximize their damage. They player's attack can't make any damages but it will be helpful to change variables, so I shot the weakest bullet in the best frames (with frame by frame trial) to find out which case can make maximum damage for enemies with minimum ones for the player and the companions.

Other comments

I couldn't find any TAS video for this game, so there is no reference, however, I could find the fastest RTA, it seems its final input was around 1h06min, so this TAS is faster by 20 min. The reference movie is below. https://www.twitch.tv/videos/56164966

Possible improvement in future

All valuables are related so if we change one action, it will affect the rest, thus I can't say all of the ideas below can improve the speed of course.

  1. Try to use the medicines on the field, not in the battle
    • It takes 16 frames to open the menu and use one medicine, and another 26 frames to use more medicines, while 32 frames are needed to open the window on the field and use the first medicine, and only 14 frames for the second medicine. So if we can combine all of these 'using medicines' actions with others which need to open the window e.g. equip the weapon, it can save more time. Probably around 150-200 frames.
  2. When the player or companions needs to equip weapons, if we have many, it will take a time to show a window. Most of the them are fixed drop but some of them are not, so if we can avoid these drops, we can open it faster. Perhaps it will impact around 100 frames.
  3. Around 44650 frames and 93000 frames, originally I had a flow chart to leverage some medicine / keys from treasure boxes to save the time to go to the shop, however, in order to refill bullets I needed to go to the shop in any cases and can buy bullets. So I don't need to get these treasures. It will impact around 120 frames.

Additional comments

When I played the movie from the beginning, for some reasons a performance of BizHawk became significantly slower after 70000 frames have passed. I'm not sure it is because of my machine or not.


ThunderAxe31: Judging.

ThunderAxe31: I'm afraid that this movie has a major issue: it makes use of an in-game cheat. Using cheats is usually not allowed, unless it's necessary for unlocking secret characters, harder difficulty modes, or additional game modes/level sets. And even in that case, it needs to feature differing contents from a run that makes no use of any cheat available. For what concerns this submission, it was used a cheat that allows for faster player movement and avoiding random enemy encounters, which is unacceptable in any case, as it merely makes the game easier, without introducing any additional content or otherwise making the play more interesting. For this reason alone, this submission is rejected.

I recommend you to carefully read our Movie Rules (Japanese version here), in order to avoid more unexpected rejections in the future. I also encourage you to post any question or doubt in this thread. Better luck next time!


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