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

Submission #917: nitsuja's Genesis Ecco the Dolphin in 24:14.13

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Ecco the Dolphin
Game version: USA
ROM filename: ECCO (U) [!].smd
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 24:14.13
FrameCount: 87248
Re-record count: 45155
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: nitsuja
Submitter: nitsuja
Submitted at: 2005-12-17 06:55:47
Text last edited at: 2006-07-22 17:52:10
Text last edited by: nitsuja
Download: Download (12183 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

For some (insane) reason I thought this would be too easy, so I added the restriction that I would take no damage. I didn't realize it until much later into the run, but it is not supposed to be possible to avoid damage in this game. Well, I did it anyway, and that includes avoiding damage from lack of oxygen, damage that doesn't visibly change your health or doesn't make a sound, damage from enemies that still attack you while you can't move from dialog/waiting, and damage from getting sort-of close to bosses or looking at them the wrong way. I think it ended up making it more interesting, since it's borderline impossible to never get hit, and taking damage in this game wouldn't require additional planning or allow anything very amazing.

So, besides that, this is also about 3 minutes and 20 seconds faster than FODA's run of the game. FODA knew his run wasn't perfect, and I did gain considerable time from moving more precisely, but he definitely didn't have that much imperfection in the movement. A lot of the time saved comes from abusing bugs/oversights - I won't explain too much more about that since that should be pretty obvious in the first few minutes. FODA's run was, of course, incredibly helpful for making this.

There are a lot of things that look like mistakes but aren't, and some things that are actually mistakes. (I know the movement could still be faster, and it's not consistently done (gets faster partway through), but it'll take someone with way more patience or much better tools to get the movement really perfect.) As incredibly difficult as this game is to play, I think it's even harder to make it perfect in a TAS. Just getting quickly from point A to point B without slamming into all sorts of walls is a challenge, not to mention doing it while dodging enemies and pushing starfish or blocks. And the boss fights were even more difficult to optimize - I'm certain they can be done faster, but it was a nightmare just to find something reasonably fast that didn't involve getting hit.

The most sadistic thing about this game is that, after putting you through a very long autoscroller called "Welcome to the Machine" (which is full of death traps and unpredictably-moving aliens that kill you instantly on contact), you go to a final battle where any mistake is almost certain to kill you, and dying in that final battle sends you all the way back to the start of The Machine!

Enjoy - and I assume there will be questions, so ask away...

Emulator: Gens movie test 9f
(Actually I made this using a custom Gens with 2 different types of autofire for the C button and a way to hide the rock graphics layer so I could see to avoid damage on the Asterite battle.)

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