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

Submission #907: JXQ's Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog in 18:28.25

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Sonic the Hedgehog
Game version: any
ROM filename: Sonic the Hedgehog (JUE) [!].bin
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 18:28.25
FrameCount: 66495
Re-record count: 34959
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: JXQ
Submitter: JXQ
Submitted at: 2005-12-06 19:32:13
Text last edited at: 2006-08-08 02:14:20
Text last edited by: JXQ
Download: Download (4630 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Sonic The Hedgehog TAS by JXQ

Emulator used: Gens 9f & Gens 9f-modified (plays back correctly with either)

  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Manipulates luck

My goal priority was as follows:

  1. Fastest level times possible
  2. Fastest overall time possible
  3. Interesting to watch during waiting sequences

With these goals, I strive for the fastest in-game clock time for each act. This means I will not be slowing down near the end in order to collect a smaller bonus (which could be shorter in overall time). By the same token, I will not optimize only to the game clock, but to the frame counter as well. Frames saved are just as important whether or not it makes a difference on the game clock of a particular level. I occasionally bent this rule (for certain bonus tags, or at the end of the run) on a case-by-case basis.

Level Time Frames Improved TSC Record
Green Hill 1 0:24 1 vs. Xebra-v3 0:25
Green Hill 2 0:17 35 vs. Xebra-v3 0:17
Green Hill 3 0:31 11 vs. Xebra-v3 0:34
Marble 1 0:46 113 vs. Xebra-v2 0:54
Marble 2 0:53 21 vs. Xebra-v2 1:02
Marble 3 1:13 73 vs. Xebra-v2 1:19
Spring Yard 1 0:22 43 vs. Xebra-v2 0:23
Spring Yard 2 0:28 37 vs. Xebra-v2 0:31
Spring Yard 3 0:59 156 vs. Xebra-v2 1:05
Labyrinth 1 0:40 58 vs. Xebra-v2 0:47
Labyrinth 2 0:52 N/A 0:58
Labyrinth 3 1:08 N/A 1:28
Star Light 1 0:22 160 vs. HCc-SL1 0:26
Star Light 2 0:17 18 vs. Ouzo-SL2 0:22
Star Light 3 0:44 132 vs. Ouzo-SL3 0:59
Scrap Brain 1 0:32 N/A 0:39
Scrap Brain 2 0:43 N/A 0:46
Scrap Brain 3 0:18 31 vs. HCc-SB3 0:20
Final Zone 1:13 N/A 1:13

TSC Records are accurate as of date of submission.

Points of Interest:

  • Green Hill 3 - Robotnik cannot be hit 8 consecutive times. This is because during the first hits, he is moving downward, making it appear as though Sonic is bouncing high enough on his own to land another hit. Once Robotnik moves left instead of down, Sonic doesn't have the necessary height, and must land once to deliver the final blow.

  • Marble 1 - There are two spots where Sonic jumps late, although it's difficult to spot at 100% speed. These pauses are done to manipulate the frame that the moving platform will emerge from the wall later - if it comes out too late, Sonic can't jump directly onto the spiked chandelier above, and must wait two seconds to proceed. Additionally, the number of rings Sonic has when jumping onto the lava can affect which way he bounces, which is why rings are avoided near the pistons earlier.

  • Marble 3 - A block is pushed with extra speed. This happens when Sonic is a certain height above the block and pushing towards it. In normal circumstances, this technique is slower, because Sonic can't jump this low, but here, the block is both at a perfect height and a short enough distance to push that it saves time. At the boss fight, falling into the lava allows the Boss to appear two frames sooner than if the lava was jumped.

  • Spring Yard 3 - Robotnik cannot be hit when at the height of his flying pattern, so there is a slight delay between the 6th and 7th hit.

  • Labyrinth 2 - The extra bonus tags are located about a screen's length before the final sign. Jumping to get them costs 5 frames, and they are only worth 300 points together (as opposed to the 11000 points I do get), so they were skipped. The jumping at the end of the level is just to show that they aren't there.

  • Labyrinth 3 - This was the most frustrating of all the levels for me, but it turned out great. I first did a slightly-tool-assisted preliminary run (to have something to run against; this seems to help me at this game), where I found out I didn't need to stop for air bubbles. When I actually did the fully optimized run, I was running out of air. Turns out that in my preliminary run, I jumped an extra time at the beginning of the water, extending my air, but this wasted about 20 frames. Thus began the quest to optimize this level to death. The names of my backups tell the story best:

    • L3 drown.gmv
    • L3 even closer but still drowning.gmv
    • L3 disgusting how close I am.gmv
    • L3 stupid (bleep)ing water.gmv

Sonic jumps out of the water at the absolute last available frame before he would drown. This makes for an exciting watch!

  • Scrap Brain 1 - The basics of this glitch involve ducking on the platform to enter the wall. Once inside, pressing left will blast sonic to the right at a ridiculous velocity the screen can't hope to match. Because Sonic is going so fast, he can pass through certain walls / obstacles. By the time the screen finds Sonic, he has already ran through an area that normally would require a lot of pausing, due to fire and crushers.

  • Scrap Brain 2 - I was unable to get to the section with the sawblades fast enough to make it under all of them, so taking the hit on the second one was the fastest choice (as I can still take advantage of the third conveyor belt moving to the right).

  • Final Zone - There are two different ways to "finish" the game, each of them getting a different input time, but both fading out the screen at the same time:

    • 18.26.05 - Sonic will run far enough to fade the screen at the earliest time

    • 18.28.15 - Input continues long enough for Sonic to hit Robotnik one last time (not necessary, but sort of anti-climatic if it's left out).

Thus, the input could be terminated two seconds earlier and still make it to the ending.

Suggested description: Somewhat fast bouncing around. The lack of a spin-dash makes the strategy a bit different than the other Sonic runs. Completed without collecting any emeralds.

Suggested screenshot: Frame 11.49.33 or 12.06.04

The curse has been broken, enjoy the run!

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