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Submission #7145: PracticalTAS's GC Super Smash Bros. Melee "All-Star Mode, pacifist" in 07:12.22

Console: Nintendo GameCube
Game name: Super Smash Bros. Melee
Game version: Europe
ROM filename: Super Smash Bros. Melee (Europe) (En,Fr,De,Es,It).iso
Branch: All-Star Mode, pacifist
Emulator: Dolphin Lua Core v3.5
Movie length: 07:12.22
FrameCount: 103488
Re-record count: 4634
Author's real name: Andrew Nestico
Author's nickname: PracticalTAS
Submitter: PracticalTAS
Submitted at: 2021-06-16 04:37:46
Text last edited at: 2021-07-03 14:39:08
Text last edited by: fsvgm777
Download: Download (6128 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
This is a playthrough of All-Star mode on Very Hard difficulty in Super Smash Bros. Melee using Luigi. It is the first ever pacifist run of All-Star mode. The run is completed with an in-game time of 2:38.26.


(Link to video)

Settings

Game objectives

  • Beat All-Star mode
  • Very Hard difficulty
  • Take zero damage
  • Deal zero damage
    • Wait, what?
  • Manipulates luck
  • Abuses AI
  • Playaround

About

All-Star Mode

There are three modes in the "Regular Match" submenu of Super Smash Bros. Melee's 1-P Mode menu: Classic, Adventure, and All-Star (which is unlocked once you unlock every character in Melee).

All-Star mode provides the player with 1 life, a damage percentage that is carried across matches, 3 Hearts that can be used between matches (which each heal up to 100% - not a full heal), and the ability to repeatedly buy "continues" upon losing one's life (limited by the number of coins the player has on their save file). The objective is to complete 13 fights featuring all characters as opponents in a random order:

  • 4 1v1 matches
  • 4 1v2 matches
  • 4 1v3 matches
  • 1 1v5 match against 25 Mr. Game & Watches (when one is KO'd, another spawns until there are fewer than 5 left)

Classic and Adventure mode both already have a submitted TAS, so I felt it would be prudent to round out the trio - with a twist.

The CPUs in All-Star mode oscillate between amusingly self-destructive and impossibly frustrating, so I figured that it could be possible to manipulate RNG and the AI to keep them constantly in the former category. The end result contains a surprising variety of CPUs self-destructs, including:

  • fruitlessly chasing the player offstage,
  • failing to keep up with moving stages,
  • running into stage hazards or explosives,
  • moving to platforms that are about to disappear offscreen, and
  • ignoring the fact that, while there is ground on their left and right, there is no ground directly beneath them.

Character Choice

Luigi was the character chosen for this video. Character choice was mostly immaterial, but Luigi does have a few benefits:

  • RNG in his moveset (his side special, Green Missile, has a 1/8 chance of explosive speed due to a misfire, allowing it to reliably travel long distances in TAS)
  • TAS mashing in his moveset (his down special, Luigi Cyclone, gains more vertical distance the faster the user mashes the B button - up to 30 Hz - for 0.75 seconds)
  • Low traction, which gives him high horizontal ground speed while wavedashing with TAS-perfect angles
  • The ability to riff off the well-known meme of "Luigi wins by doing absolutely nothing" (though in this case, it's unfortunately limited to "nothing to his opponents")

Version choice

  • PAL vs NTSC is largely immaterial for this run, though character-specific version differences would cause a desync
  • I requested that Mothrayas make a character unlock movie in PAL in support of a future video I'd like to submit for Melee's Break The Targets (where PAL is optimal due to those version differences), and I didn't want to ask for a second video for NTSC just for this

Stage by stage comments

Start

RNG was manipulated at the start of the run using Savestate's ssbm_rng_manip tool, to search for an ideal lineup of opponents. Upon entering All-Star mode, the order of the 25 characters is set (with Mr. Game & Watch always being last) and the order of stages is derived from this order (each character has their own "home" stage that they're associated with, so whether you play on a given stage depends on whether its associated character is in one of 12 spots in the lineup).

Prior to the beginning of the run, research was done to figure out which stages were most conducive to a pacifist run. While given enough time, any character can be made to self-destruct on any stage with the assistance of items, this was undesirable and avoided where possible.

Five stages were targeted for the 1v3 matches (all others were prevented from being used in the 1v3 matches) as they were known to cause nearly any character to self-destruct:

  • Rainbow Cruise (Mario)
  • Onett (Ness)
  • Icicle Mountain (Ice Climbers)
  • Jungle Japes (Young Link)
  • Fourside (Pichu)

Four stages were prevented from being used, as their home character was not known to be easily made to self-destruct on that stage:

  • Venom (Falco)
  • Great Bay (Link)
  • Pokémon Stadium (Pikachu)
  • Poké Floats (Jigglypuff)

The remaining stages were permitted for only 1v1 matches, or both 1v1 and 1v2, depending on whether or not there were known cases of non-home CPUs self-destructing.

When booting up Melee, each character is given a default ID; when entering All-Star mode, not only is the list of characters set, but also the list of IDs is randomized for future All-Star rolls. The RNG manipulation tool can check not only the default ID list, but also lists after re-rolling, to minimize the time required to achieve a satisfactory lineup. The RNG manipulation tool provided a route which involved traveling to a specific RNG seed (by random selecting characters on the Classic mode Character Select Screen), re-rolling the list of All-Star characters four times, and traveling to another seed (again with random select). This is feasible for (and indeed, the tool was developed for) RTA runs, as Melee's RNG seed does not iterate over time while in menus and the current seed (a 32-bit integer) can be uniquely determined by random selecting at least 9 characters in a row on any Character Select Screen.

1. Fountain of Dreams (vs. Marth)

  • Marth will rarely chase the player offstage with an attack and be unable to recover
  • This is manipulated here by putting Luigi in range of Marth's up special, Dolphin Slash, out of range of the stage

2. Yoshi's Island (vs. Bowser)

  • Bowser is known to have a low-percentage chance of falling through the center of the stage after the Rotating Blocks are broken

3. Green Greens (vs. Kirby)

  • Kirby is known to use his down special, Stone, in front of the player, and will not stop if he lands on blocks that his Stone breaks

4. Yoshi's Story (vs. Yoshi)

  • Yoshi is known to have a low-percentage chance to chase the user offstage in his side special, Egg Roll, or to chase the cloud (affectionately nicknamed "Randall") that travels under the main ground to his doom

5. Peach's Castle (vs. Peach, Mewtwo)

  • Mewtwo can be made to self-destruct using a platform that appears after pressing a pressure-activated switch, but a faster KO was found during testing by manipulating him to airdodge offstage
  • Peach is known to chase the player offstage with an attack and be unable to recover

6. Brinstar Depths (vs. Ganondorf, Luigi)

  • Luigi is known to chase the player offstage with his side special, Green Missile, and be unable to recover (he only uses his side special to recover)
  • Ganondorf will attempt to attack a user in the air in front of him with his up special, Dark Dive, and the rotating stage is timed to prevent Ganondorf from recovering

7. Mushroom Kingdom II (vs. Dr. Mario, Jigglypuff)

  • Dr. Mario is known to chase the player with his forward aerial and attempt to recover to the higher ledge
  • Jigglypuff is tricked into self-destructing by attacking the player on the falling log and being unable to jump off before the log reaches the bottom blastzone

8. Onett (vs. Ness, Zelda)

  • Onett has 4 cars which act as stage hazards when driving right to left; RNG is manipulated so the Pink sedan (the only one which sends its victims backwards) drives by first
  • The CPUs are manipulated into attacking the user right before the car arrives, so they will be vulnerable

9. Jungle Japes (vs. Young Link, Roy, Falco)

  • Falco and Roy are manipulated into running into Klaptrap, the stage's instant-KO hazard
  • Young Link attempts to attack Luigi and misses the stage

10. Fourside (vs. Pichu, Captain Falcon, Link)

  • All three opponents are manipulated into falling into one of the pits

11. Rainbow Cruise (vs. Mario, Fox, Pikachu)

  • Rainbow Cruise travels in a loop; the end of the stage contains several platforms that are actually accessible right at the start
  • All three opponents are manipulated into chasing one of these platforms as it quickly disappears offscreen

12. Icicle Mountain (vs. Ice Climbers, Samus, Donkey Kong)

  • Icicle Mountain can move up or down at varying rates, and contains several sections that can load in any order
  • RNG is manipulated to maximize upwards speed and load sections that the CPUs do not traverse in time to survive

13. Flat Zone (vs. Mr. Game & Watch x25)

  • RNG is manipulated to spawn a Party Ball, and the Mr. Game & Watches are manipulated to attack the Party Ball, opening it
  • RNG is then manipulated a second time to make the Party Ball spawn 4 bob-ombs (a reasonably common occurrence), and the Mr. Game & Watches are manipulated to attack the bob-ombs, KOing them (17 remain)
  • Flat Zone has two possible hazards, the harmless Oil Slick and the deadly Tools; RNG is manipulated to get Tools at the same time as spawning a Capsule
  • The Mr. Game & Watches are manipulated to be hit by the Tools; if they are high enough on the screen when they are hit this is a one-hit KO, otherwise two Tools are required (1 remains)
  • The final Mr. Game & Watch is manipulated to attack the Capsule, opening it to reveal an RNG-manipulated bob-omb (a relatively rare occurrence)
  • The final Mr. Game & Watch is manipulated to attack the bob-omb for the final KO

Credits

  • The credits game was cleared for entertainment purposes
  • PAL has a maximum of 192 credits names, while NTSC has a maximum of 190 (the additional two are European Localizers)
  • Not all names are unlocked on a fresh file; for example, the voice actors for unlockable characters are not seen if the character is not unlocked
  • The character unlock file has 188 names; the remaining four are unlocked with specific trophies
    • An addition to the character unlock file was made in which the remaining credits names were unlocked via RNG manipulating unlocking trophies in the trophy lottery minigame
    • However, unlocking additional trophies changes which items spawn even on the same RNG seed, causing a desync; fixing this would require resyncing the first 11 fights, then remaking the final two fights (and so was not considered reasonable to do)
  • The Youtube dump shows 192 credits names (achieved using a Gecko code to unlock the remaining trophies that was applied after the final fight); the dtm will hit all 188 that have been unlocked
    • The final 3 trophies would be at the end of the credits; the input file is truncated to the last successful hit

Special Thanks

  • Mothrayas, for the unlock movie
  • Savestate, for the RNG manipulation tool
  • tauKhan91, UnclePunch, and metaconstruct, for help with Gecko codes and other aspects of Melee
  • SwareJong, Malleo, and Tales-Carvalho for Lua Dolphin, without which this submission would have taken much longer
  • Plup and iBDW, for allowing me to use their footage on Youtube


Memory: Judging

Memory: Thanks to Mothrayas and fsvgm for confirming sync!

This is a really cool variation on the sorts of Melee TASes we have currently and manages to stand out among the rest. The pacifist goal allows for some really interesting strategies. Audience feedback was great as well.

As all-star is a mode not previously covered on the site, I am accepting to Moons as a new branch.

fsvgm777: Processing.

Note: This might take a fair amount of time.

Also swapped the branch labels around, so that the mode comes first.


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