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

Submission #6824: ScHlAuChi's Genesis Ultracore in 35:13.36

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Ultracore
Game version: Europe v1.0
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.40 GIT #16f5da9
Movie length: 35:13.36
FrameCount: 105037
Re-record count: 8150
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: ScHlAuChi
Submitter: ScHlAuChi
Submitted at: 2020-07-27 20:03:46
Text last edited at: 2020-08-04 16:42:55
Text last edited by: Memory
Download: Download (21813 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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Author's comments and explanations:

About the game:

Once upon a time, there was a game called Hardcore.

It was developed by Digital Illusions (nowdays DICE) for the Amiga platform. DI wanted to prove that they could compete with a technical marvel like Turrican by creating a similar game. However, halfway through development they decided to cancel the game for the already dying Amiga and port it over to the more thriving Mega Drive.

Unfortunately when the game was 95% finished Psygnosis, the publisher (which was bought by Sony and turned into Sony Europe) decided to get out of the 16bit consoles and cancelled it, as they wanted to concentrate more on the upcoming CD based systems like PlayStation and Saturn.

Fast forward to 2018 when Strictly Limited Games managed to get the rights to the title and released it as Ultracore, (Hardcore was already taken) first for the Mega-SG as a pack-in game and later as a standalone release for Mega Drive, PS4 and Switch. Ultracore is the final bugfixed and upgraded release of Hardcore featuring better controls and various other improvements.

Background info:

I was involved in the process of getting this game released and helped in terms of testing and design, so currently there is no other person in the world that knows this game better.
This is also the reason why I picked the PAL version for this run. While there is an US/JP release that runs at 60fps, those are basically "bad" ports, making the game run too fast and cutting off parts of the screen that are crucial!
Becasue of that, the PAL version is the only one that should be used for speedruns!

Game Objectives:

The game is a typical 90s Jump'n'Shoot where the only goal is to get through the levels by killing anything on sight. However, unlike Turrican, there is a few elements that make this game abit more complicated. For one there is doorcards that the player needs to pick up to unlock specific doors. Those doors can also be unlocked via computer terminals that can be found in almost all levels. In two instances you have to enter terminal codes that you find during a level.

For a full 100% walkthrough showing everything the game has to offer, check out my longplay here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GER6szPPp6A
It should be useful to anyone that is interested in running this game!

Run Info:

The run was done with Bizhawk 2.40 GIT #16f5da9
The objective was to get through the game as fast as possible.
This run doesnt use any glitches, as currently there arent any known!
One thing you want to avoid in this game is dying - as that takes quite abit of time!
Watch the speedrun here: https://youtu.be/gNQWSR_TN10
Here are some explanations about this run:

00:02:43:50 - Getting the weapon from the weapon box here might be worth it due to higher damage output.

00:03:06:20 - Here I do a tiny backtour to get the weapon upgrade for the main weapon as that helps killing enemies faster

00:03:22:80 - I could have landed on the ledges there to fall down without taking damage. However due to the walker enemy at the bottom I thought falling down all the way and taking the stun damage (in return for temp invincibility) is faster than doing it without damage and getting hit by the walker afterwards.

00:03:31:00 - Maybe there is a faster way here to get the security card without taking the long way around?

00:05:20:50 - If you drop down here, there is another weapon upgrade, I did not try and see if its worth the backtour that might help beating the game faster due to higher damage to later bosses and enemies.

00:05:45:60 - To the right here you see a little gap in the floor. This is the earliest instance where one can acquire the rocket launcher, the strongest weapon in the game. I did not test if a backtour here would save more time in the long run. Maybe getting it together with the weapon upgrade mentioned above could be worth it!

00:05:52:50 - Maybe using the platforms is actually faster than using the enemy here?

00:07:05:00 - Once you touch the door, the game takes over and walks you back automatically. You cant control that.

00:09:55:00 - Jumping here I think is faster than taking damage. But I did not measure it!

00:11:25:00 - The laser-cannons can hit each other for lots of damage. Getting the rocket launcher earlier in the game will beat this boss alot faster.

00:15:51:20 - A backtrack here to make the boss jump, as getting them squashed is by far the fastest way to beat them. If you go near them too fast, there is a good chance they jump out again!

00:18:02:00 - Getting the rocket launcher earlier in the game will probably beat this boss alot faster.

00:22:45:00 - The screen stops scrolling until you destroyed this cannon.

00:23:09:40 - Landing on top of an enemy after a long fall prevents fall-stun and damage

00:24:15:60 - If you dont wait here, you will get squashed, but maybe dying and respawning resets the trap and you can run through faster?

00:24:49:00 - If you dont wait here, you will get squashed, but maybe dying and respawning resets the trap and you can run through faster?

00:25:22:00 - I take a little detour here to get the Rocket Launcher, it might have been better to get it earlier in the game.

00:25:50:40 - Waiting here for a few frames to get the ideal bullet pattern to drop down from ledge to ledge. This seems to be faster than just dropping down and being stunned for a while.

00:26:49:40 - jumping backwards here to catch the plattform to use at as a launcher for jumping momentum

00:27:34:00 - For this boss there doesnt seem to be any way to speed it up.

00:30:54:00 - In the NTSC version the trash floating above the boss is not visible and outside of the screen!

00:33:35:00 - Shooting the boss here is pointless, it doesnt do anything!

Last Words:

This run is probably not perfect, but hey someone needs to start somewhere!
I'm pretty sure with some of the optimizations and suggestions I gave above, it can be pushed to under 30 minutes!
While I wont have the time to do this myself, I´m sure someone else will step up to the challenge :)

Memory: Judging

Memory: Hello ScHlAuChi and welcome to TASVideos. Here on TASVideos we aim for perfect movies... or at the very least as close as one can get. Your movie has some decently noticeable flaws in it that lead me to believe you mostly played this in real time with save states rather then using frame advance or some tool like TAStudio. Without looking at the input file I was able to notice missed shots against bosses when really you should be making every shot count. With emulation tools people have been able to find much more mistakes such as sloppy menus etc. While the attempt is appreciated, this isn't an acceptable level of play for a publication for TASVideos. In the future I would recommend taking advantage of our forums and our userfiles hosting for uploading wips.