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

Submission #6830: BeastlyN64's GC Mario Party 7 "Solo Cruise" in 21:45.22

Console: Nintendo GameCube
Game name: Mario Party 7
Game version: USA v1.0
ROM filename: Mario Party 7 (USA).iso
Branch: Solo Cruise
Emulator: Dolphin 5.0 (Stable)
Movie length: 21:45.22
FrameCount: 234707
Re-record count: 4305
Author's real name: Thomas M
Author's nickname: BeastlyN64
Submitter: BeastlyN64
Submitted at: 2020-07-31 15:40:05
Text last edited at: 2020-08-23 07:25:42
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (7934 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

Game explanation: Mario Party 7 is a party game released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2005. Four players race across a board trying to get stars. During each turn, every player will take their turn to roll a dice from 1 to 10. This will determine how many spaces each player will move, if a player lands on a blue space, they will gain some coins, but if a player lands on a red space, they will lose coins. There are other spaces on the board which will cause different events to happen if a player lands on them, some events may be good and helpful for the player, others not so much. At the end of each turn, all four players will compete in a minigame to win coins, coins are used to buy stars. The player with the most amount of stars at the end wins!

In this TAS, I played on the Solo Cruise gamemode! This is the main story mode for Mario Party 7 in which the player must play through all 6 boards against one CPU opponent. Each board has a different objective the player must beat before progressing on to the next board. Unlike party mode, you don't play minigames at the end of each turn. You can still play DK/Bowser and duel minigames to get coins, but I completely avoid doing so in this TAS since it's slower to play them. The goal for this TAS is to beat each board as fast as possible. I can do this by manipulating RNG which allows me to control the luck of the game.


Tricks Used:

Orbs: Orbs are the items in this game. The orbs I use during the TAS are, Mushroom Orb, Super 'Shroom Orb and the Flower Orb! The Mushroom Orb allows you to roll two dice blocks instead of one and the Super 'Shroom Orb allows you to roll three dice blocks. These are used a couple of times during the TAS to help me travel long distances faster. You can also get coins from the Shroom Orbs by rolling the same number on each dice. I only need to do this a couple of times since the animation takes up too much time.

Taking my turn first: At the start of each board, both players will hit a dice block, the player with the higher number goes first. These dice blocks are predetermined meaning I sometimes have to waste a few frames before advancing the text box. Taking my turn first means the CPU player will have one less turn in each board which saves time.

Pausing the game: You can manipulate RNG by pausing the game for a certain number for frames. This allows you to control things like, what number the CPU player rolls on their dice or what orb you get.

Wasting frames before closing a text box: This is another way to manipulate RNG. There are few times during this TAS where I waste frames on a text box to manipulate RNG. I'll explain these more in the stage-by-stage notes.

Toggling game options: This is done right as the first board begins, I have to toggle two settings! One is to skip minigame explanations which saves time towards the end of the game and the other is switching text box speed to fast! By default, text box speed is on normal, this means it takes one frame for each letter to appaer during text boxes. Fast speed means all letters will show up instantly which allows me to close text boxes as soon as the text appears.

Character name: Before starting a new game for Solo Cruise, you are asked to pick a character name. You can save frames by simply picking a one letter name! This is because Toadsworth will say your name at the end of each board. If you have a long name, it will waste more frames whenever Toadsworth says your name, this is why picking a one letter name is the faster option! Note: The fast text box option is only active while playing on the boards.

Character choice: The reason I picked Daisy is because of her flower orb! The flower orb gives you 3 coins for each space you move and is faster to use than the shroom orbs. This is because you only have to hit one dice and the animation for getting the same number on a double/triple shroom takes too much time! Peach and Daisy are the only characters who can get the flower orb.

Stage-by-stage notes:

This section will explain everything I did in each board to save time. I will also give a brief explaination on each boards objective!

Grand Canal: Objective for this board is to be the first to buy two stars. Just like normal Mario Party, you have to race your opponent to the star space and pay 20 coins for the star.

Pagoda Peak: Objective is to be the first one to climb the peak with 100 or more coins. If you reach the top without 100 coins you'll be sent back to the bottom!

Pyramid Park: Objective for this board is to get the stolen star back from the bandit and return it to the Bowser Sphinx.

Neon Heights: Objective for this board is to be the first to obtain 3 stars from the flying chests. There are a total of 8 chests, 5 of them contain stars, the other chests contain a Bob-omb who will explode in your arms and send you back to the start. It costs 5 coins to buy the first chest, but every other chest after will cost 5 more coins, I need a total of 30 coins for this board.

Windmillville: Objective for this board is to be the first to repair three broken windmills, there are a total of seven windmills on this board, four of them cost 20 coins to repair, two of them cost 30 coins to repair and one costs 50 coins to repair.

Bowser's Enchanted Inferno: Objective for this board is to buy 1 star and then head for the center island. You need to have at least 1 star before facing Bowser in the final minigame, Bowser's Lovely Lift!

Bowser's Lovely Lift: Objective is to make it to the 100th floor while avoiding the fire balls and rockets Bowser is firing at you. You start on floor 0 and need to hit 4 dice blocks to move the lift up. Just like normal Mario Party dice blocks, you can roll numbers from 1 to 10, if you rolled a 7, 5, 4 and 10, you would then travel to the 26th floor. During one time, the most floors you can travel is 40 by getting a 10 on each of the dice block, it takes a minimum three turns of hitting each dice block to beat this minigame. Koopa Kid will join during the 50th floor making the game harder.

Once you have beat the minigame, you're then sent back to the board and the final message saying "character won" will show up and that's when the timing ends.

Final notes: This is the second TAS I have created for this game, I originally TASed it back in 2016. It was my first ever full TAS project but I never submitted it. This new TAS is 1 minute and 4 seconds faster. The biggest mistakes I had made in my previous TAS was using the Mushroom Orb and matching the same number to get coins more times than I actually needed to. During this TAS, I discovered the flower orb and quickly found out I could use this item to gain coins way quicker on 4 of the boards.

I'm certain now that I've done each board as fast as possible, I tested different ideas on each board and found which ones were the quickest, the only timesaves I know about is if you had better luck with the RNG manipulation, it would be great to get lucky enough if you could get a TAS without ever pausing the game. I was able to manipulate RNG a few times during the boards without pausing, but didn't always get lucky enough do to it all the time. I am glad I was able to achieve a time of 19:03.46, this ended up being way faster than I had expected.

Making this movie was a lot of fun, it just involves a lot of RNG manipulation to get the luck needed to beat each board as fast as possible. I had a lot of fun pausing the game and making the CPU players roll low numbers on their dice. I also had fun testing different ideas for each board to see what was the fastest possible way of beating each board. The longest amount of time I had to waste manipulating RNG was over 120 frames trying to get both stars to appear in the correct locations on the first board (Grand Canal). There would many times the first star location was correct and I would have to quickly play the game in normal speed, get some coins to buy the star only to find out the second star location is way too far away! It took about an hour of playing the same board over and over again in normal speed to finally get the RNG I needed for both stars to appear in the correct locations.

The only other board I had to play a couple of times in normal speed was Neon Heights, the first time playing it, the second chest I bought had a Bob-omb in it. Thankfully it only took wasting a couple of frames before entering the board to get the correct RNG needed. Pyramid Park and Bowser's Enchanted Inferno took a little bit of RNG manipulation before I could start TASing them, but they didn't require me to play them in normal speed.

The final minigame took a little bit of time since the dice block RNG was being awful and kept giving me low numbers, it just took a lot of RNG manipulation before I could finally get high numbers, I did die a lot while TASing this minigame since some of Bowser's rockets were pretty difficult to avoid, I was worried they would slow down my movement in the TAS but thankfully I found some frames where I could still jump and avoid them.

I hope everyone enjoys watching the TAS and you can feel free to ask questions if you need to know anything about it.

slamo: The routing looks solid enough and the optimization, which is mostly RNG manipulation, is clearly very good. The goal is well-defined and completes a game mode, so the branch is valid.

The feedback was very positive; the audience loved the complete evisceration of the CPU opponent via rigged dice rolls. Accepting to Moons.

feos: Pub.

feos: Removing "all boards" from the branch, because all boards seem to be implied in this mode.

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