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

Submission #6696: qqwref's GBA It's Mr. Pants in 44:57.27

Console: Game Boy Advance
Game name: It's Mr. Pants
Game version: USA/Europe
ROM filename: It's Mr. Pants (USA, Europe).gba
Emulator: BizHawk 2.4
Movie length: 44:57.27
FrameCount: 161101
Re-record count: 19524
Author's real name: Michael Gottlieb
Author's nickname: qqwref
Submitter: qqwref
Submitted at: 2020-04-01 04:15:15
Text last edited at: 2020-07-30 08:00:02
Text last edited by: Spikestuff
Download: Download (94162 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
It's Mr. Pants is a puzzle game by Rare for the Game Boy Advance. The game stars Mr. Pants, a crudely drawn man wearing only a pair of red underwear, which was the company's online mascot at the time. This run beats all 250 built-in puzzles, getting a Platinum Puzzle Trophy and the credits. This is rather a lot of puzzles, so even though each one is briefs, we apologize if this bores the pants off you.

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Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 2.4
  • Beats all of Puzzle Mode
  • Colors pants
  • Aims for maximum pants
  • Multiple pants in one movie
  • Uses pants to save time
  • Heavy pants abuse
  • Genre: Pants

qq's Comments

It's Mr. Pants is based around a 13x13 grid filled with cells of one of 4 colors. Each puzzle level gives you a predetermined grid setup and queue of pieces. The pieces appear one by one, and can be rotated and placed anywhere in the grid. They may not cover any cells of the same color, but they may cover cells of another color, in which case those cells will be replaced. Whenever a rectangle of a single color of size at least 2x3 is created, that rectangle will be completely removed. The goal of each puzzle is to remove all colored cells from the grid before the piece queue runs out.

Movement is pretty standard: D-pad to move, L/R or B to rotate, and A to place. An A press must be at least one frame after a movement or two frames after a rotation. Any movements or rotations on the same frame as an A press are applied to the next piece. B and R can be used on the same frame to rotate a piece by 180 degrees. After movement, the only time consideration is the 84-ish frame cutscene that plays once for every rectangle that is created.

Every 5 levels beaten unlocks a background illustration, which can be viewed through the menu. They are a pile of pants, although the drawers did this deliberately. Beating all the puzzles in each difficulty unlocks a trophy, and getting the final trophy plays the credits. Amusingly, if you forget to start by beating Easy mode, you are caught with your pants down and get no trophies and no credits. The options menu does add an icon that displays the credits cutscene when selected, as a consolation prize.

The game seems to delay updating the screen properly after a block is placed or while one is moving, which is too bad since it makes it hard to see what exactly is going on in the solutions.

Most of the solutions here are from the GameFAQs by Lisanne / ASchultz and elvt112. I checked for simple improvements as I went through their solutions, although many puzzles don't give you enough leeway for any significant changes.

Blaze's comments

Overalls, I was basically a proofreader. I focused on the Medium puzzles, the first set qq completed, to make sure he had a good plan of attack.

I did figure out one useful frame-saving trick. Every piece in the game rotates as if they were in a square. For 2-long and 4-long straight lines, this actually means that rotating them 180 degrees will shift their position. So, if you were placing one horizontally, and rotate it 180, it could end up underwhere it was before, saving 2 frames (a blank and a Down).

I also found one small improvement on one puzzle (making a tall block instead of a long block, for less distance traveled).

I didn't slacks on the rest of the puzzles, but couldn't find any other improvements, and qq applied the 180 trick well. I did want to make sure every puzzle entry was frame-perfect, but didn't want to check them manually. I made a Lua script that would alert me of potential frame losses between levels and when gaining control in levels (at the start, or after a block clear animation). I saved 4 frames with the script.

Suggested Screenshots

Future Work

Any smarty pants in the audience may enjoy looking for ways to solve puzzles more efficiently. This probably has to be done manually as there are a lot of possibilities at each point in a puzzle. Improved solutions should consider, in decreasing order of importance: fewer rectangle cutscenes; using fewer pieces; placing the pieces in a different order to save frames on movement.

I was going to add another underwear joke but I ran out of clean ones.

Memory: Judging

Memory: This movie appears to be optimized but is extremely dull to watch. I quickly had to resort to fast forward for this. There wasn't many votes or any posts, but the lack of any "Yes" votes is telling here.

Accepting to Vault.

Dacicus: Processing...

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