TASVideos

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

Submission #6858: CasualPokePlayer's GBC The Adventures of Pinocchio in 06:51.5

Console: Game Boy Color
Game name: The Adventures of Pinocchio
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: Adventures of Pinocchio, The (U).gb
Branch:
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.4.2
Movie length: 06:51.5
FrameCount: 24923
Re-record count: 16667
Author's real name: Wesley B.
Author's nickname: CasualPokePlayer
Submitter: CasualPokePlayer
Submitted at: 2020-08-26 03:01:56
Text last edited at: 2020-09-28 15:28:34
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (10416 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

About the Game

The Adventures of Pinocchio (not to be confused with Disney’s Pinocchio) is an unreleased isometric puzzle game for the Gameboy, created by Bit Managers. At some point, a ROM of a prototype was leaked and made available to the public. Being a prototype, it has things you wouldn’t see on normal game releases, such as a level select (which was mistaken for a game end glitch), and effectively infinite lives (the lives counter doesn’t tick down if you die). This game actually was released in the form of another game: Otto's Ottifanten - Baby Bruno's Nightmare. Although only your ears would know, as the only thing held over was the music, nearly everything else was changed. Interesting tidbit about the “finished” game, it also has a level select, but it’s locked behind a password. More reason that the game end glitch movie was invalid.

Game objectives

Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.4.2

  • CGB in GBA mode is enabled for console verification.
  • Console verification of this TAS can be seen here:

Categories

  • Aims for fastest completion of the game
  • Some glitch abuse
  • Some luck manipulation

Comments

Goal

The goal is to get to the arrow. You have to do this for 100 rooms, then you beat the game. It’s a fairly simple goal; how you exactly get to the arrow is where the fun happens.

Movement

Movement is fairly simple, pressing a directional goes one unit one direction, while 2 adjacent directionals pressed (eg, Up/Left) will go both those directions for one unit for each direction. Which yes, this means that 1 Up press then 1 Left press is equal to 1 Up/Left press. For this reason, diagonal movement is heavily used throughout the run.

Jumping

Jumping is fairly simple, yet very broken. You’ll always jump the same height no matter what, and the game doesn’t have any concept of acceleration, so there isn’t any way to jump further. Yet, many puzzles can be solved in unintended ways with precise jumps. As a note, jumping will always cause 1 extra frame of lag, so it is best to minimize them. As another note, it is best to jump as soon as possible, as you’ll often want to land as quickly as possible.

Moving/Picking Up Blocks

Some rooms have blocks that can be pushed around, sometimes this is needed to get past obstacles. Some blocks can be picked up and placed on the ground, these blocks have a black dot above them. Sometimes blocks are used in unintended ways, like in room 44, where a block is placed in a way so I can just jump over spikes.

Corner Exiting

While making this movie, I’ve discovered a nice time-saving glitch. If you push against the corner of an exit, you will actually clear the room. This glitch is first apparent in room 13, where I effectively skip most of the room with this glitch. Unfortunately, you still need to be actually on the ground in order to clear a room, you can’t corner exit in the air, which does limit this glitch a bit.

Lag Reduction

The game runs at a pseudo-15 FPS most of the time, but sometimes it can drop to 12 or even 10 FPS. This is usually apparent on stages with a lot of moving sprites. Some of this lag can be reduced with some different movement, usually in the form of L/R or U/D alteration where it doesn’t matter to getting to the arrow.

Ghost RNG

Some rooms have ghost-like enemies, some have set patterns, but some have random movement. Delaying a stage start or jumping at certain spots (remember, jumping always has an extra frame of lag) can be used to manipulate these patterns, which is occasionally needed.

Other Comments

There isn’t really much else to explain, the movie pretty much explains the rest. As a minor note, the game doesn’t automatically switch music when going to the castle levels, I could pause/unpause the game to force it to use the new music, but I get an extra life after clearing the first castle room, which restarts the music, which gives the new music. This game is probably Vault anyways, so this is probably the better choice. As another note, the credits don’t exactly display correctly; this is an emulator bug, and is fixed in 2.5 (which the movie syncs fine on).


Samsara: File replaced with a fixed version that trims one frame of blank input. The rest of the run remains completely unchanged.

feos: Movie Rules on unofficial games currently say:

Prototype game versions are only accepted if there is no stable release version available.

Otto's Ottifanten: Baby Bruno's Nightmare was the officially released version of this game, with some things that can make the game easier patched away. Level layouts are the same, and there are more levels in Ottifanten.

There is a published movie of this version, but we also say in Movie Rules that past mistakes don't justify repeating them.

So by the current rules this movie would have to be rejected, but we've been discussing whether we need to tweak how we handle unofficial games, which includes prototypes, and we come to some conclusion.

The only way to allow prototypes is if they are so different from the release that most of it plays like a different game. We rely on the same cutoff we determine if a given in-game option introduces so much difference that it works like a different mode. In which case both modes can be published even in Vault, as two fastest completion branches. Otherwise we only allow one fastest completion branch. And to tell for sure that majority of the game has changed from that option, we use the 50% cutoff, where 50% or more of gameplay becomes inherently different.

Independent game modes are treated as separate games, and are allowed for Vault as separate movies. Independent mode is defined as a one that inherently offers more than 50% of unique game-play (for example, more than a half of unique bosses or unique levels). This includes character choice and other in-game options.

Here's some background behind that limit. The word "offers" is possibly confusing, but 50% or more unique gameplay really has to be an unavoidable difference. Because if it remains optional, then it's not 2 different modes or games, but rather routing details within the same game, therefore only one can be fastest completion.

Defining the borderline in any different way would lead to lots of ambiguity, and under-developed game versions not meant for regular use would be competing with official releases that everyone played. This compromises legitimacy of our superplay, because the game can't be arbitrarily tweaked to be made easier or quicker to speedrun, and prototypes could have all sorts of arbitrary deviations from official versions.

Verifying legitimacy of prototypes themselves is also problematic, because you normally don't casually own a developer-intended version of a game, you own a release that you can then compare the TASed image to.

If less than 50% of gameplay is different, then it's not a majority, and then we can't obviously and clearly call it a different game or mode. That seems to be the most fair borderline with no subjectivity. Even if this game is considered to be "better" by people, that's still a subjective category, and we can't rely on subjectivity in Vault. Which game is better, and which game allows for a better TAS, is really a Moon concern, not Vault. In Moons we endorse subjectivity and rely on it, we in Moons we pick better games and movies. This game is too boring for Moons.

As explained in the thread, we don't have a pleasant solution for this submission that would also match any future-proof ruling. Either the rules are future-proof and they set equal and predictable competition conditions for everyone, or they are weak and we have to make exceptions, which means the rules aren't clear and predictable. We need clarity and predictability in Vault.

I don't know honestly if anyone will ever want to TAS Otto's Ottifanten, but if it happens, such a movie would obsolete the current publication of The Adventures of Pinocchio. But this movie has to be rejected, sorry.


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