TASVideos

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

Submission #6865: CloudyShoe's SNES Ultima: The False Prophet in 05:10.84

Console: Super NES
Game name: Ultima: The False Prophet
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Ultima VI - Itsuwari no Yogensha (Japan).sfc
Branch:
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.4.2
Movie length: 05:10.84
FrameCount: 18681
Re-record count: 5294
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: CloudyShoe
Submitter: CloudyShoe
Submitted at: 2020-09-01 07:43:34
Text last edited at: 2020-09-19 16:40:29
Text last edited by: fsvgm777
Download: Download (10968 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Ultima: The False Prophet is the sixth game in the mainline Ultima series and the first to be ported to SFC/SNES. The Avatar returns to a Britannia with humans and gargoyles in conflict. The Avatar can spend 40 hours or more in this open world game talking to humans and gargoyles, completing quests, and exploring dungeons. However, they can also transform items found in the starting castle into most of the items needed to beat the game, take a few balloon rides, and have the whole thing done with in a little over 5 minutes.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.4.2
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Manipulates luck
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Kills no enemies

Comments

This TAS saves approximately 5718 frames over the previous TAS. An additional 4165 frames not included in that total are saved by using the SFC version which has significantly faster load times and very slightly faster text.

The improvements largely come from refinements in the route made by the RTA speedrunning community. Notably Squibbons who took ketomei's TAS and optimized the overworld route and later the made several revisions to make the item glitch more efficient. My contributions were in adding the broken lens and the dispel field spell to the item glitch. I got the idea to add dispel field from an old forum post by ketomei.

About the TAS

Item Glitch

With three items or less in a characters main inventory and 17 items or more inside a bag, you are able to enter a glitched area in the inventory. The items in this glitched area have an item number corresponding to the quantity of an item in the main inventory and a quantity corresponding to the item number of an item in the bag. For example, items 94-102 are required to beat the game. The way I acquire these items is to have 101 bolts in the first slot in the main inventory and 12 torches in the first slot of the main inventory. To start I enter the glitched inventory and the first item has an item number of 101 (from the quantity of bolts in the main inventory) and a quantity of 106 (from the item number of the torches in the first slot in the bag). I give 4 of these to another character which changes the item number of the item in the first slot in the bag to 102. I then give 2 bolts from the main inventory to another character turning the item number of the item in the glitched inventory to 99, give 1 moonstone (item 102) in the bag to another character, return to the glitched inventory and give 2 stones (item 99) to another character which changes the item number of the item in the bag to 100. Using similar methods I create the other items we need.

The idea for using the main inventory and bag inventory together (which previously was not a consideration in routing this glitch) was from a forum post by ketomei describing how they could create the spell item, but there were side effects. I believe these may have been from moving items within the glitched inventory which has a wide variety of effects that always seem to make the game unplayable. The cause of these effects is not understood at this time. However, I was able to move the items needed, 184 helmets, from the glitched inventory to the main inventory without those side effects.

Movement

Memory address 0x42 is used for an animation counter. When in the overhead walking mode it counts from 0 to 15 and resets back to 0. Certain events, like opening a door or taking environmental damage will temporarily use this address for their own counter and then restore the value it was at previously and continue. The only buttons read in this mode are the d-pad and A (which brings up the menu). An A press will be buffered and processed the next time the counter resets to 0. The d-pad is only read when the counter is at 15. All other d-pad inputs are ignored. When in the balloon the timer goes from 0 to 8 and d-pad inputs are read only on 8. Movement is tile based. Walking takes 16 frames per tile and the balloon takes 8 frames per tile.

Once the menu is brought up or if the player is in the inventory screen inputs are read every frame. The path you take changes the RNG. Any movement that deviates from the expected path is to manipulate enemies to move out of our way or to keep invisibility rings from breaking.

Routing

The overworld routing is largely Squibbons' optimizations of ketomei's TAS route which removed some unnecessary NPCs. By adding the broken lens and the dispel field spell to the item glitch, I removed the necessity to steal the broken lens from the gargoyle museum and eliminated a balloon ride to the spell vendor. While doing RTA attempts, I also found that using a different portal near the gargoyles saved about 2 seconds.
arkiandruski: Claimed

arkiandruski: Nice improvement. Good job.

As for the tier, I'm not sure if I can justify putting it in Moons. The inventory glitch takes a while, and memory corruption is pretty hard for a casual viewer to follow anyways. I understand that the movie got positive feedback and has a good ratio in the polls, but there also wasn't a lot of feedback. The previous movie is very comfortably in the Vault and I don't think I see enough change that would justify raising the entertainment rating that much. For those reasons, I'm accepting the run into Vault.

fsvgm777: Processing.


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