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Tool-assisted game movies
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Submission #6673: jlun2's GBA Dr. Muto "all items" in 58:01.43

Console: Game Boy Advance
Game name: Dr. Muto
Game version: USA/Europe
ROM filename: Dr. Muto (Europe) (En,Fr,De,Es,It).gba
Branch: all items
Emulator: BizHawk 2.4
Movie length: 58:01.43
FrameCount: 207937
Re-record count: 70383
Author's real name: Jesse Lun
Author's nickname: jlun2
Submitter: jlun2
Submitted at: 2020-04-01 00:00:11
Text last edited at: 2020-05-15 14:11:14
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (30511 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

Dr. Muto is about a scientist who blows up his own planet, and must gather items to restore it.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 2.4
  • All items (620)
  • Fastest completion

Comments

I started this run since I saw it had a percentage counter, so I thought it would be "easy" to keep track of 100%. Unfortunately, it appears the percentage is for stage completion, not for items obtained, so therefore this run is technically more of a "All items" run than a 100% completion.

To show what I mean, here's the amount of items in the game:

Stage Minimum Maximum
Laboratory 10 20
Totltec 1 25 50
Totltec 2 25 50
Totltec 2 30 50
Aqeum 1 35 50
Aqeum 2 35 50
Aqeum 3 40 50
Flotos 1 40 50
Flotos 2 40 50
Flotos 3 45 50
Mazon 1 50 50
Mazon 2 50 50
Mazon 3 50 50
Total 475 620

The minimum is the lowest amount of items needed to unlock the stage exit. Both cases makes the game display 100% completion, so it's probably more correct to call a run of the former "any%".

Anyways, the all items route is actually much easier to do than the least items. Your health starts at 40, and increases by 10 every time you obtain all items in a stage, up to a maximum of 70. This means that an all items route can tank much more damage than an any%, and not need to care much about health management.

Stage by stage comments

Frame count is done by taking the difference between the first non-lag frame with the last non-lag frame. The timer is 0x040800 in Combined WRAM, used by periodic objects such as moving platforms and crushing pillars.

Laboratory

This counts as the tutorial stage for the game. It has 20 objects, and is one of the few stages with an icy floor. In the 2nd room, I transform back into the doctor during a jump to immediately stop going up, and to break the crate that appears shortly afterwards quickly. The doors in this stage can only be entered with the mouse, so I transformed before, and after entering them.

I took damage before jumping to the spring to land on it earlier.

It turns out it's 1 frame faster to jump and grab the last item, then transform right before the end of the jump rather than transform immediately. Transforming to a mouse to grab the last item is almost always faster than as a human due to their fast celebration animation.

Totltec 1

Immediately transforming into a mouse is faster due to starting from a speed of 0, so you don't need to accelerate twice. Here it showcases how fast the doctor can kill NPCs; all of them are seemingly killed instantly by spamming "A".

I transform into the mouse in the first screen after grabbing the last object there to instantly stop before turning. I need to be a mouse to enter the door, so it saves time.

Totltec 2

I took damage before jumping to the spring to land on it earlier. This stage showcases how having more health saves time. The pillars deal 10 damage per hit, and due to having 60 health, I can withstand 2 more hits rather than wait for the next cycle to walk. I paused a bit at this section due to only having 10 health left; in a any% run that doesn't obtain all the items, there's potentially more waiting.

The fact they move in a cycle determined by the timer address also makes it rather hard to improve upon, unless you manage to make it pass a point without getting blocked and also not immediately blocked again by the next cylinder.

I'm not exactly confident the last area's routing is the fastest, but other paths make me die due to lack of health. Since the part appeared after the pistons, it's potentially possible to save time here by better routing.

Due to how high some of the springs make me go, it was faster to transform into a mouse to interupt the jump, then back to human to prevent overjumping.

Turning around before jumping to grab the large green item then transform into a mouse turned out to be slower than immediately transform into a mouse, celebrate, then turn around.

Totltec 3

This stage's electrodes are positioned such that only the mouse can make it past. I feel like there's probably a better way to jump through the convoyer belt, but I can't find it.

It was faster to stay as the mouse and break the crate than to transform into a human, break the crate, then transform back.

The first boss has 120 HP. When it first spawns, it's actually vulnerable to the mouse's attack, but I couldn't make it in time, so I wandered a bit instead. By holding the A button for 2 frames, then releasing for 1, the doctor can do damage once every 3 frames. This allowed the boss to rapidly lose 100 HP after their first attack.

Aqeum 1

I missed the floating platform, so I had to wait. I feel like there's a potential improvement that allows one to reach the platform, but I couldn't find it.

The routing for the blue boxes was determined by the floating platform's timing. In the run, going to the left platform first ended up faster, but if another improvement allowed me to reach that point earlier, it may be different. If no one knows what platform I'm talking about: https://i.imgur.com/fHne0vf.png

Both final items were located underwater, so I had to go through the long fish celebration animation twice.

Aqeum 2

I don't know how to describe it right, so I'll post this image: https://i.imgur.com/SrHhjZF.png

The beginning route looks a bit off, so I think it may be improveable, but I wasn't able to do so.

I'm not good with turing in the swimming sections, so it could probably be improved, but the cylinders make it difficult to do so unless enough time was saved a cycle.

The last gap before the crate was just long enough I was forced into water. This was still faster than being a fish however.

You cannot transform into anything else but human as a fish, so I had to become the doctor again, move ashore, then become a mouse to enter the final area.

It was for once faster to grab the final object and stop as soon as possible rather than jumping.

Aqeum 3

It appeared to be faster to destroy the brown boxes with the brown thing rather than go all the to them physically, then back track.

I'm not sure if the route for the springs around frame 97000 is the fastest, but it seemed so far when checking. I couldn't reach the top area early, but it could probably save some time if it was possible.

The boss has 80 HP. Each hit does 3 damage, an I can only do 5 hits before their vulnerability ends. This battle basically shows why all other forms are horrible in attacking, and the doctor is the best attacker in game. I grab the items and exit the stage at the same time since it's faster to have the doctor do his celebration animation rather than the fish's.

Flotos 1

The gorilla is unlocked now, and is used to climb ropes and bars, press certain buttons, and jump onto higher platforms. It's also the slowest character in game, so I tried to minimize using that form.

There's steam vents that damage you, and could only be avoided by jumping over them as a Gorilla. Due to my health, I completely ignored them, and just tanked the damage done.

Most enemies by this stage have 10 HP, so I'm unable to kill all of them without losing time.

Falling back down from the roof, I landed on a platform, but it turned out faster than avoiding it. For the bottom area, there's multiple ways to grab all the objects and break open the boxes, but from what I tried, the route used in the run (grabbing objects as I descend the first time with the brown thing) is faster by 100 frames than grabbing the same objects on the way up.

Transforming as a Gorilla to reach platforms, then immediately transform back into Human appeared to be faster than then intended route of using the lift. Due to bad timing, the lifts on the way up were far away, so I had to wait for them. For the lift before the monkey bars, using that turned out to be faster than jumping to the top as a Gorilla.

I wasn't able to make it to the floating platform at frame 122000, so I transformed into a Gorilla to reach it. I also remained as a Gorilla when grabbing the last object to kill time while waiting for the lift. This is the only time it happens in this run.

Flotos 2

I delayed 1 frame from entering this stage to manipulate an enemy at Mazon 1.

You're intended to transform into a Gorilla to grab onto the monkey bars on top to avoid the lava. Since lava isn't lethal in this game, the run avoids doing so and just tanks damage. The walk from the starting point to the first healing vial dealt 41 damage; I have no idea how I'm supposed to survive in any%.

Also while you cannot transform while grabbing the yellow ropes, you are allowed to transform as soon as you're off it, so when climbing down, it's better to leave the ropes as soon as possible from the sides.

The route taken in the spring section looks rather bad; I think it's improveable, but not sure how.

The last blue box contains the last 10 objects needed. The minimum amount required is 40, so an any% run would be almost the same, except avoid more damage, and the blue crate at the end.

I feel like there's a better method than transforming into a Gorilla just to grab 1 item before transforming back immediately, but I couldn't find a faster way.

It's worth waiting for the lift at frame 147600 than it is to transform to the Gorilla and climb from the bottom simply due to how slow that form is in comparison.

Since you can't grab onto the rope as a non-Gorilla, it's faster to move to the right, transform into a Gorilla, climb down, fall off from the side, transform into a Human, then fall down to the bottom at frame 149700 than to be a Gorilla as early as possible.

The boss has 60 HP. Only the doctor can attack it. I had lots of health, so I tanked the hits from them rather than dodging anything.

Flotos 3

The convoyer belt sections with the mouse was awful, and feels definitely improveable (somehow). If anyone wonders, the switch at the end of the belts turn off the electrodes so they don't damage you, but not the belt itself, so it's not worth the effort.

Mazon 1

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/280808167993245707/686608759614734337/unknown.png

There's 2 possible methods to break the first blue crate. 1. Hit the bottom button to activate the lift, break open the brown crates, then backtrack to grab the lower brown thing. 2. Same as above, but also use the bottom brown thing to hit the electric switch. 3. Ignore the lift completely, backtrack 3 times at the top.

From my notes: Reached the brown thing, and pos X = 1.760919 at: 1. 164225 frames 2. 164353 frames 3. 164209 frames

Which means the 3rd method was faster, if only slightly.

The next section: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/280808167993245707/686769593829687357/unknown.png

Has flying enemies that I cannot kill due to holding a brown thing. I had to waste some frames to preserve health from the 1st section due to this.

As horrible looking as it seems to enter the water as a Horsefly by transforming into the doctor first, there's no way to enter the water as a fly. Similarly, to leave the water, I needed to transform into the doctor before transforming into a Horsefly.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/280808167993245707/694382150186696754/unknown.png This enemy messes me up; I actually managed to make a 11 frame improvement of this movie, but then this NPC appeared in a slightly different spot, and I can't pass it without wasting too much time. Even a handful of wasted frames is enough to not let me reach the pillars in the top area in time without waiting.

Mazon 2

This stage is quite straight forward compared to the previous stage. The main things I had to check was if grabbing the green object in the left of the bottom left cave first was faster or grabbing it later. Turns out grabbing it first is faster.

I had to go underwater to activate the final lift; if there were someway to bring the brown thing to the top, it won't be needed.

Mazon 3

Not sure if the route in the area at frame 197000 is optimal, but it seems to be the fastest so far.

I haven't exhaustively tested every combination of the final blue box and switches at the end, so there may potentially be a faster route than the one used.

The final boss has 100 HP, and is close enough to be knocked down at the start of the battle. Unfortunately, I was only able to deal 69 damage, so I wandered around before knocking the boss down again.

Other comments


ThunderAxe31: Judging.

ThunderAxe31: Setting to Delayed, per author request.

ThunderAxe31: File replaced with a resynced movie 5 frames longer due to lag difference, and resuming judging.

ThunderAxe31: Un-claiming.

Memory: Judging

Memory: Optimization appears good.

As far as I can tell all "items" are collected. The health upgrade is an indicator that these are proper one time achievements and seems reasonable for a full completion definition.

There are some decent moments here and there throughout the movie like launching enemies from off-screen at switches and stuff but the game is largely fairly dull and grows boring quickly. The audience also seemed to agree with this sentiment, with no positive posts and largely mediocre votes.

Accepting to Vault.

feos: Pub.


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