TASVideos

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

Submission #6894: Mothrayas's SG1000 Magical Tree in 08:21.46

Console: Sega SG-1000
Game name: Magical Tree
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: Magical Tree (T) (SG-1000).sg
Branch:
Emulator: BizHawk 2.4.2
Movie length: 08:21.46
FrameCount: 30049
Re-record count: 35487
Author's real name: Wout van Poppel
Author's nickname: Mothrayas
Submitter: Mothrayas
Submitted at: 2020-09-27 07:07:48
Intended tier: Vault
Text last edited at: 2020-10-26 14:11:56
Text last edited by: arkiandruski
Download: Download (13327 bytes)
Status: decision: accepted
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Author's comments and explanations:

SG1000 Magical Tree in 08:21.46

A little Native American boy was separated from his family and he needs to find his way back home. Home just happens to be situated on top of a 2000-meter tall tree, so a bit of climbing is involved.


(Link to video)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 2.4.2
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Manipulates luck

About the game

Magical Tree is a vertical platforming game, originally developed by Konami for the MSX and released in 1984. It was later ported and released in Taiwan for SG-1000 by Aaronix.

The objective of the game is to scale a 2000-meter tall tree, divided into 9 stages which are further divided into two or four sub-sections, alternating between having the tree in the middle, or having the tree split into the sides. Either way, the stages are filled with tree branches, vines, and ladders to climb upwards - and various enemies such as owls, snakes, bagworms, or angry lightning clouds which knock the player character down.

Controls are pretty straightforward - actions the player can do include:

  • Walk left or right
  • Jump straight up, or to the side, from the ground (all at a fixed height)
  • Climb up or down ladders or vines
  • Jump left or right from vines (not ladders)
  • Hang from a tree branch, and then either let go or climb up onto the branch

About the run

As much as the game is mechanically very simple, TASing it still turned out to be an enormous pain. The reason for this is that the constant variation in stage layout, combined with the various forms of vertical movement, means that there are tons of different possible routing options, and often which route is fastest over a certain section isn't immediately self-evident. This means that there are tons upon tons of routes that needed to be tried out and compared, and underneath that rerecord count lay hundreds if not thousands of small alternate routing options that wound up being just that little bit slower and didn't make it into the final product.

Other little tidbits about navigating all the mazes and branches:

  • Climbing vines or ladders is very slow. Ladders are only climbed between stage sub-segments (where they're mandatory) or, very rarely, if there is no alternative route.
  • On the flipside, if there are two vines adjacent to each other, it's possible to jump between them very fast. This is generally the preferred form of going up whenever it's available.
  • Jumping from a vine onto a branch and then jumping back up to a vine is another fast way to go up, when the situation arises.
  • When two branches are exactly one character height apart, it's possible to walk off the bottom branch and hang on the top one. This is sometimes a faster way to get on top of the branch, as compared to jumping onto it.
  • Bagworms tend to get in the way of convenient vines, but usually can be luck-manipulated. By manipulating RNG (by different/delayed movement), the speed of a bagworm and its tendencies to track the player can be manipulated. This is done in many areas, to make sure bagworms are not hit and the vines they hang from are made accessible.

Other comments

Screenshot:

Thanks for watching!


arkiandruski: Judging.

Optimization looks good.

While the game loops, it does come to a satisfying ending on each loop, similar to Donkey Kong. Since this site accepts single loop runs on Donkey Kong, it should be fine with this movie as well.

Audience reaction has been middling. There are no obvious glitches or surprising techniques being used beyond really clean gameplay. The things that are really impressive about the TAS, like luck manipulating enemies out of the way, are not really apparent to the untrained eye.

Accepting to Vault.


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