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

Submission #6737: Eratyx's Genesis Crusader of Centy in 29:10.77

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Crusader of Centy
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Crusader of Centy (U) [!].bin
Branch:
Emulator: BizHawk 2.4.1
Movie length: 29:10.77
FrameCount: 104911
Re-record count: 83437
Author's real name: Kevin Griffin
Author's nickname: Eratyx
Submitter: Eratyx
Submitted at: 2020-05-04 03:54:53
Text last edited at: 2020-05-19 13:47:29
Text last edited by: Spikestuff
Download: Download (59363 bytes)
Status: published
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(Link to video)

Crusader of Centy is a Zelda knock-off, in which you solve puzzles by throwing your sword as a boomerang, and recruit animal companions with special abilities. Despite being an action-RPG, very little killing of monsters is actually required other than bosses.

The 2009 TAS for Crusader of Centy, 157210 frames (43:40.17), was smashed in 2015 by the RTA community using a variety of new major skips and glitches. After 11 years of inactivity, the new TAS record sits at 29:10.77.

99% of this run was composed in BizHawk 1.13.2, due to a bug in the newer emulators that added 40 seconds of lag to the intro screen. This bug was patched in 2.4.1, which released only a day prior, on May 2nd. Only a few frames had to be tweaked due to changes in how loading transitions are handled.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 2.4.1
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Major skip glitch
  • Heavy glitch abuse
  • Heavy luck manipulation

Techniques

Slight OOB (out of bounds)
In many cases, you can be 1-3 pixels inside an object or terrain, horizontally or vertically, as long as you bypass their outer hitboxes. At full walking speed, you move 2.125 pixels per frame. In Soleil Park, the signpost by the Fortuneteller's tent has a side hitbox 2 pixels wide. With correct subpixel positioning, you can bypass this while being 3 pixels inside it vertically, allowing you to touch the Fortuneteller tent loading trigger without fighting the Wolf in Dahlia.

Hazard OOB
Use slight OOB to put yourself in an object/terrain, then jump onto an invalid tile such as pits, lava lakes, or deep water. If you move toward the hazard while your height is 0, you will be ejected away and placed inside the object/terrain. Unless the tile is diagonal, you will be fully out of bounds and able to walk freely through terrain and objects. This means that nearly any pit/lake that touches a wall can be used for an OOB, as well as regrowing hazards in Dahlia.

Rio Hazard OOB
Rio as a platform prevents you from taking pitfall/hazard related damage, while preserving all the "invalid" properties of the tile. This means regrowing hazards in Mother Monster and Black Night can be stood on while invalid, allowing you to walk directly OOB. This is useful if there is no gap in the horizontal/vertical wall that allows for a slight OOB. It is also useful if there is a valid tile directly across the wall, such that a hazard OOB would zip you there instead of placing you OOB.

Diagonal OOB
If there is a square object adjacent to a diagonal wall, you can squeeze between them and then press toward the object, ejecting you into the wall.

Respawn Abuse
Your respawn coordinates update whenever you are on a safe tile that cannot change state. It does not update when you are OOB or on a hazard, or on grass, beach, slippery slides/cliffs, breakable platforms, etc, and also does not update while on Rio or Dippy. It also does not update on zone changes unless you are on a safe tile when you load.

Slide Boost
Every frame you are on a slippery slope builds up sliding speed, which is independent from normal movement. Maximizing the time spent on a slope prior to jumping allows for very quick traversal of stages.

Early Zoning
You can change zones a few frames early by touching the loading trigger and then stepping sideways or back.

Backwards Walking
If you alternate between backwards and backwards-diagonal every frame, you can walk at fairly high speeds without changing direction. Manipulating your direction is useful in boss fights and for talking to NPCs.

Text Skip
Entering the menu 2 frames before a text box appears will skip it. This is done many times during the run, but in some cases the text is quick enough that it's not worth it unless you need to switch animals. Text skip can't be done if control is taken away too early, or if you trigger the text by speaking.

Menu Sword
Entering the menu while your sword is thrown makes it sharp again. This allows you to hit switches after your sword hits a wall, or to hit bosses multiple times if they are not still invulnerable.

Element Switch
Hitting a boss with Chilly equipped will deal 2 damage, grant ice invulnerability for a time, and remove fire invulnerability. The converse happens with Inferno, for 3 damage. By switching between the two in the menu, you can damage a boss many times per sword throw. Menuing takes about 105 frames while a complete sword charge and throw cycle is about 67, so this is generally not useful, but is used during the Chameleon fight to avoid its lengthy camouflage phase. It cannot be used in conjunction with Moa or Dodo.

RNG Manipulation
The RNG rolls every time a "random" sound effect needs to be chosen, such as when Flash kicks up a dust cloud, or every 3 frames a Chilly sword throw is out. Thus, you can voluntarily roll RNG by running more, or prevent it by jumping. It also rolls if you take damage while not jumping, or if you slam into a wall.

Stage comments

Soleil Park

By using slight OOB to enter the Fortuneteller's tent early, I skip the Wolf fight and recruit Mac prior to leaving Soleil.

Dahlia

I use the regrowing hazard to go OOB, and collect the money bag on the lower-left end before learning to jump. Going up the right side would be moderately quicker, but this is the only money bag we have access to at the moment, and is faster than farming coins in Rafflesia.

Anemone Beach

I use hazard OOB rapidly on the collapsing sand to zip to the north fence, and then clip through it. DarkToonLink discovered a quick route through the windy screen, which I improved on.

Hot Daisy

A hazard OOB on the lower bridge allows me to reach the door, warping to the right section.

Burn Daisy

No major improvements in this area besides skipping the money bag. We tested OOB routes to circumvent Shuffler, but the trigger for its fight extends into the cliffs on both the right and bottom. The jittery movement after hit 2 was generated by randomizing a list of paired opposite inputs in Excel.

Iris

Instead of walking through the trees, I build up speed on the lower slopes and use hazard OOB to briefly run inside the cliffs and jump again. It is used again to skip the entire third screen, and the entire Slime Forest sequence.

Kart Race

Near the finish line, the game checks four X coordinates, one 1 tile left of the line, two on it, and one 1 tile right of the line. To prevent a lap from rolling back, you need to be between points 1 and 2, reverse to point 3, then continue past point 1. This is about 45 seconds faster than completing the race normally.

Camellia Desert

Slide boosting was thoroughly tested and optimized this time around. A well-placed Cecil throw was used in the second screen instead of block pushing, and it was discovered in the third screen that a Cecil throw can slip between two sandy blocks.

Tower of Babel

RNG was controlled in this section to force Roxie to use the discharge move twice in a row.

Castle Freesia

Several routes through Freesia were discovered, but the quickest required using menu sword to hit an ice block on the far end, then slight/hazard OOB on the lower side of the freezing pond. Standing on Georama's loading trigger while it is defeated warps you back to Freesia instead of Root Temple, skipping it entirely and preventing the Babel elevator from being sealed. Theoretically, if you reached the loading trigger 1 frame after picking up the seeds, Georama would be skipped as well. Although its death speech is short enough to not warrant a text skip, I do so to equip Mac for the next chapter.

Place of Peace

Hazard OOBs transform every wall in Heaven into platforms. It is unfortunately impossible to OOB into the "Jump!" wall from the top (because you are zipped onto a legal tile right away) or from the right (can't slight OOB far enough in). Respawn abuse was used to warp to the top of the fourth screen, and menu sword was used with Cecil to hit the release switch in Babel without the Monarch cutscene.

Past Iris

Going back to the left side of screen 3 required either a slide boost along the bottom, hitting the lava switches from the top, or finding another hazard OOB. The latter was the quickest option.

Camellia Temple

Another hazard OOB on screen 4 to clip into the vertical wall. Interestingly, if the Y position is not pixel-perfect, you will be zipped either below the wall or directly through the wall. Chameleon's camouflage phase is 371 frames of intangibility; to avoid this, I element switch five times to rack up damage quickly.

Past Burn Daisy

Experiments with Dodo+Inferno confirm that it is slower than Moa+Inferno in all fights except for Spirit Energy. The fireballs tend to generate a good deal of lag.

Past Anemone Beach

The animal shop ram does not need to be spoken to. I managed to manipulate Baron's position and the Moa+Inferno fireballs such that the second fireball hits twice, and the third fireball takes out one of the purple blobs by itself.

Past Dahlia Valley

Slightly faster skip using a Rio Hazard OOB instead of clipping through the bottom of the tall section.

Black Night

Three hazard OOBs and one diagonal OOB used on this screen.

Smell Sense

Smell Sense takes damage when it is on spikes, and becomes vulnerable again when it leaves them. When a spike tile is created, 129 frames later it will check its neighbors for spike tiles and vanish them. This means that several 1x1 spike tiles can be set up ahead of time, then later connected to spikes intended to damage the boss, causing them to disappear quicker.

Taste Sense

RNG was manipulated as much as possible to keep the lips out of my path.

Touch Sense

RNG cannot be manipulated during the fight as neither Flash nor Chilly are equipped. I focused damage on one of the hands, since the 3-second death animation applies to both as long as they are both killed before it finishes.

Sound Sense

Slide tiles can be used to interrupt your sword swing, allowing for faster charging.

Spirit Energy

Due to how far away the boss is, Dodo+Inferno is faster in this fight, compared to Moa+Inferno or element switching.

Potential improvements

  • Having too many sprites on screen and calculating diagonal trajectories tend to generate lag. Lag reduction generally entailed standing still and not turning right before a difficult calculation, lining myself up to be directly in line with the returning sword, being in the air, and minute changes in position so I am not overlapping the boss. These adjustments only go so far however, and are not perfect.
  • Currently, Rio is required for Camellia Temple screen 2, as there are no hazards with which to OOB. If this screen can be bypassed, then Past Iris could be completed immediately, saving 30 seconds.
    • Chameleon does not spawn if you enter the boss room prior to picking up the awakening powder, so even with a slight OOB in the first screen, this cannot be skipped.
  • The minimal condition for beating the game is recruiting Dodo (for Spirit Energy fight) and putting the tornado over Black Night.
    • The loading triggers for past-only maps such as Camellia Temple and Mother Monster exist in the present-day maps as well, but are blocked by objects. Killing Chameleon advances the story, automatically placing the tornado over Camellia if it isn't already. If an OOB were discovered in the present-day Camellia Temple exterior, and you didn't need Rio for screen 2, then you could go there right after recruiting Inferno (for Mother Monster) and thereby move the tornado to Burn Daisy, saving 5 minutes.
    • Killing Mother Monster spawns the horn in Past Dahlia Valley, and picking up the horn immediately moves the tornado to Soleil, which would allow you to skip Puppetmaster and Past Anemone Beach, saving 3 minutes. Unfortunately, killing Mother Monster does not advance the story, so you will zone back into present-day Dahlia Valley unless you've finished Past Anemone Beach.

Credits

Credit for discovering/developing new tricks and skips:
  • Dinopony: Wolf skip, Camellia Temple OOB, element switch, RNG manipulation
  • Nudelsalat: Respawn abuse
  • Ratfunk: Slight OOB, hazard OOB, menu sword
  • Zeestix: Text skip, Rio hazard OOB, kart lap no rollback, RNG manipulation

Special thanks to Dinopony for constantly pointing out my mistakes and giving new ideas, and Geurge for continuing to raise awareness of the game.


Memory: Claiming and setting to delayed.

Memory: Replacing file with 1681 frame faster file and resuming judgment.

Memory: This TAS was really really good. There are no signs of any sloppiness. The high speeds obtained are quite impressive and the out of bounds mixes things up as well.

Accepting to Moons to obsolete [1378] Genesis Crusader of Centy (USA) by Eratyx in 43:40.17.

Spikestuff: Publishing.


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