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Submission #987: JXQ's SNES Super Smash TV in 28:48.68

Console: Super NES
Game name: Super Smash TV
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Smash TV (U).smc
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 28:48.68
FrameCount: 103721
Re-record count: 32202
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: JXQ
Submitter: JXQ
Submitted at: 2006-02-26 07:02:13
Text last edited at: 2007-03-19 11:40:00
Text last edited by: JXQ
Download: Download (28527 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Smash TV Superplay by JXQ

Introduction to the game

The year is 1999. Television has adapted to the more violent nature of man.

The most popular form of television remains the game show.

One show in particular has dominated the ratings. That show is Smash TV. The most violent game show of all time.

Two lucky contestants compete for cash and prizes. Each contestant is armed with an assortment of powerful weapons and sent into a closed arena.

The action takes place in front of a studio audience and is broadcast live via satellite around the world.

Be prepared.

The future is now.

You are the next lucky contestant!

I wish I was making this up, but this is what the game really says. Wait on the title screen if you want to see it yourself.

My experience with this run

I never thought I would have the patience or ability to run this game, but I always wanted to. In fact, before even signing up on the forums, I tried to do a run of this game - it was 1-player and didn't use turbo mode (imagine how not fun THAT was to watch...), not to mention it suffered from a lot of desyncing. Now, almost a year later, the run I wished to see someday has finally come together. I just happened to be the one to do it.

I always wondered how others did their 2-player runs, so I'll include how I did mine here. I used a Playstation 2 DualShock controller (the one with 2 analog joysticks) connected to my computer through a PlayStation2->USB converter. My controller setup was as follows:

  • Digital pad - Player 1's movement
  • Circle gets a Square, etc. - Player 1's shooting
  • Left analog joystick - Player 2's movement
  • Right analog joystick - Player 2's shooting

Since the players can only shoot once every 6 frames, my right hand was much more free than my left, which was convenient for hitting frame advance, which I had set to backslash. Usually, my left thumb was controlling Player 2's movement while my left index finger was trying to hold the digital pad for Player 1's movement. At first this was a huge pain, but luckily I got used to it rather quickly. Shooting was the same story for the other hand, and my right pinky was available for frame advance (which is how I usually frame advance anyway).

Essentials

  • Emulator Used: SNES9x 1.43 +v7 (switched to +v9 midway through, plays back fine with either)
    • Use WIP1 Timing - on
    • Allow Left+Right/Up+Down - off
    • Volume Envelope Height Reading - off (this one is important)
    • Fake Mute desync Workaround - off
    • Sync samples with sound CPU - off

  • One player controls two characters
  • Inputs a code to play at hardest difficulty
  • Manipulates luck (heavily)
  • Genre: Game show

General information about the game

This game is unlike almost any game I've played. The simple concept of independently controlling your walking and shooting directions brings a new element of strategy to gaming of this type. The game puts you into closed-off arenas where you single-handedly (or two-player-handedly) fight off wave after wave of enemies who aren't very smart individually, but will swarm you in numbers. Special weapons appear at random, as do fabulous prizes that can add to your score. There are three levels, each with several paths of rooms that can be chosen. Each room requires you to dispatch all enemies waiting to attack, and every room completed moves you closer to the big bad boss of that level.

As you fight through the rooms, cash and fabulous prizes will appear at random for players to try and collect while attempting survival. Special weapons also appear periodically with limited ammunition, each type having their own strengths and weaknesses.

  • Shotgun: It looks more like a grenade thrower, but my favorite name for it is "Useless". The range on this gun is short, the trajectory is random, and the ammunition runs out quickly because it wastes its ammo so fast.

  • Three-Way-Shot: I hope for your sake that you can guess what this gun does.

  • Rocket Launcher: This packs a powerful punch and can travel through multiple enemies, making it quite useful.

  • Mortars: Available in boss rooms only - these are tough to aim because they are lobbed into the air slowly and connect about halfway across the screen, but they're very powerful and they come with a lot of ammo. They can also be bounced off the walls of the arena.

  • Barrier: The green shield renders you invulnerable for what seems like about a second. It's really more like five.

  • Cutter Blades: A rotating five-piece yellow shield that wears off as it destroys enemies. Once a particular blade has taken enough hits, it flies off in a straight line, destroying any enemies in its path. These also disengage if you complete a room.

  • Rotating Orb: An extra gun that rotates your player, shooting the same ammuition you do, until it is hit by an enemy, or until you die. Both players cannot have one of these at the same time.

  • Sneakers: They increase your running speed, just like the athletic shoe commercials tell you.

  • Crushes: These destroy all enemies on screen, and make you exclaim "Bingo!", because it's such a cool word to say.

  • 1-ups: Dude!

  • Keys: Getting 10 or more keys allows access to the Pleasure Dome (haha...dome) where you can collect lots of women (seriously) near the end of the game. This helps the score out and gives a more complete feeling to the run. Keys can only appear in certain rooms.

The longer you survive, the more cash and fabulous prizes you can get! Good luck - you'll...well, not really, since it's manipulated. Also because you're watching and not playing.

Goals of this run

  • Be entertaining: try to reduce the repetition this game is capable of, even at the cost of small amounts of time
    • Use a variety of weapons
    • Use several different general strategies in different rooms
    • Keep the players moving often as well as shooting often

  • Top the high score list for both players
    • Keep the competition between Player 1 and Player 2 reasonably close throughout the game
    • Have winner uncertain until the very end

  • No missed shots
    • Exceptions were made occasionally for certain special weapons or for entertainment purposes

  • Collect lots of cash, fabulous prizes, and enough keys to visit the Pleasure Dome

  • Complete each room very quickly

This run does not technically aim for fastest completion time, because of the following:

  • I chose a route that had a variety of enemies and room motifs rather than testing them all for the fastest overall path
  • I collected fabulous prizes (sick of that phrase yet?) without worrying about the time it takes to tally them up at the end of each level
  • I sometimes killed enemies in different ways with different weapons that may have been slower in order to give the run more variety
  • I went to the Pleasure Dome near the end even though it is not required to complete the game
  • I extended the length of the movie until entering initials for high score instead of stopping it when the final boss dies or when exiting the last room

Some interesting mechanics of the game

First of all, each room has a predefined number of enemies of different types. Rooms can have only one type of enemy, or multiple types. Each type of enemy has a time to wait after the room starts before they start attacking (this time can be zero if the enemy type attacks immediately). Each type of enemy also has a minimum number that can be on screen before more enemies of that same type will enter. Once that number is hit, a random number (between 1 and 12 or so) of that type of enemy will enter the room through one of the doors. This process repeats until that type of enemy has completely exhausted its amount for that room.

Enemy types can have a waiting time before beginning their attack. This is noticeable in the run when waiting occurs in some of the rooms. Some enemy types will NOT attack if the room is completed before their time is called - the room will open its exits. You can test this in the very first room by playing it without completing it very fast. Given enough time, a tank will appear in the arena. If this room is completed fast enough, the tank will never have the opportunity to enter the room. On the other hand, some enemy types will attack regardless if there are other enemies remaining before them or not - in this case, the room will not unlock its exits, and you simply have to wait for that time to pass.

The way enemies enter the room has a random effect on the actual enemy count you fight. For example: say you are in a room with 15 soldiers remaining, 8 of which are on the screen currently, with a minimum number onscreen of 7. You shoot one of the soldiers, so the game brings in some reinforcements (since there are now the minimum number left). The game chooses a number between 1 and 12, in this case it chooses 9. Even though there are only supposed to be (15 - 8 = ) 7 soldiers left in reserves, the game does not check this until the end of the room. It's sometimes possible to manipulate this into fighting a few less enemies at the end of a room.

It's also important to note that enemies can only enter the room at a set speed, no matter how fast they are killed. So, even if enemies aren't always killed on the first frame they are visible, they can still be killed frequently enough to keep the new enemies entering the room as fast as the game allows.

Notes

In some of the bonus rooms, I don't grab all the prizes. This is to affect randomness of the first weapon dropped in the next room.

Scarface's first form cannot be destroyed until all but one of his outer plates are completely destroyed (and the last one needs to have some damage as well), in addition to about five rounds of mortars to his face. His second form cannot be destroyed until all seven outer sections of his skull are cracked, and a couple more rounds of mortars to his face are delivered. Note that occasionally, mortars were used on Scarface's outer shielding when it was out of reach to a normal gun (in a corner, for example).

The Twin Cobras are really just one boss with one shared life meter, so it doesn't matter which one I'm shooting at, as long as the shots connect with one of them. The "Useless" gun also ends up coming in handy here, who would have thought?

Getting all five ?s is how you normally access turbo mode - the higher difficulty I accessed by entering a code at the first menu. After finishing the game, it will play a short cinema in which turbo mode is "activated", and then immediately start the game at the beginning, without resetting your score or showing you any kind of ending - even if you are already in turbo mode. Since I wanted some kind of ending, and also to enter my initials, I avoided this last tile.

Suggested Description & Screenshot

I believe this revision of the game's introduction would make an excellent description for the run:

Seven years ago, in the distant future (which is now), Smash TV is the most popular of all shows (since it's a game show, and they remained the most popular). It is also the most violent, because that's important to note.

One day, the two guys from Contra - two of the manliest men known to man - bought a couple of helmets to match their pants and teamed up to completely dominate the show, which was broadcast live (via satellite) to 2600-inch televisions around the world. The two walked away unscathed. With an assortment of money and prizes!

(Note: The sentence fragment at the end is intentional, poking fun at "The most violent game show of all time." Please don't correct that if this description is used.)

Frame 12701 is a good shot of Mutoid Man, probably the most recognized boss from the game. Frame 64002 is a busy scene from a temple room with several kinds of enemies on the screen and the prize "Our Exciting Home Game" in Player 1's box. However, most of the sprites in the game are so small, so the other suggestion may work better.

In Closing...

I had a lot more fun running this game than I expected to. I was ready for a very frustrating experience, but finding a controller configuration that worked well for me made things a lot easier from the start. I think this run was well worth the time I put into it and I'm very proud of it. Hopefully you like it too.

Thanks to BoltR for his WIP of the first room as a bit of inspiration.

I am the evil M.C., you can't see me / A mill-i-on on one, I won, Smash TV - JXQ


Truncated: 30 people have voted yes so far, so I think it's a safe bet to say that this should be published. Putting it on accepted status. Good work JXQ.


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