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

A Kheon


Before progressing further, put this mysterious background music on!.

I'm 25 years old, from Finland. TASing in itself is an on/off hobby for me, but I'm always having an eye on the TAS scene and enjoy new runs as they appear on the workbench. Predominantly I'm a glitcher who breaks various games (my biggest accolades so far are from the God of War-series). Outside the world of games, I make music and go to school.

Due to a hardware upgrade, I can now TAS games from new consoles too!

30. 3. 2012

Under work:

  • Pre-emptive glitching of the 3D Mortal Kombats on PS2 and GC/Wii.
   ...yes, as of september 2014 I'm still pre-emptively glitching them! There's simply so much to glitch in these games.
On sort of hiatus:
  • Van Helsing for GBA (five first levels done)
  • Baldur's Gate for GBA (first act done!)
  • an undisclosed game for GBA (two first worlds done)

Under thought:

  • Mortal Kombat 3 on GB (the game could use a good playaround)
  • Mortal Kombat 4 on GBC (same, except with less potential)
  • Madagascar - Operation Penguin (well, I already did a WIP on it...)

...plus here's a page listing all my submissions that made it in.

9. 1. 2012

A word about my entertainment ratings:

  • Around 9 means being overwhelmed by joy at the sight of the run. Quite rare, and it never lasts, unfortunately.
  • Around 8 means an enthusiastic response, and a willingness to watch the run again once it ends.
  • Around 7 means that it's a run I enjoyed enough to recommend to others without much reservation.
  • Around 6 means that I found the run generally enjoyable. A slight tinge of disappointment or dullness hovers above the experience.
  • Around 5 means that the run started to become excruciating while watching it, and I'm not looking forward to watching it again.
  • Around 4 means... well, I'll tell you more once I find a run that deserves a rating this low.

I don't give technical ratings because with most games it feels like I can't estimate it fairly.

See the TAS Guides subsections for thoughts on TASes of various game series. Some of it is also just personal commentary, like a list of what was good in this or that particular TAS.

Wish they'd get the review system in place here already!

1. 9. 2012

[1333] SNES Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (USA) "playaround" by SDR in 16:46.58

More than anything else, the focus here seems to be the humiliation of the opponent and the entire game, all the while having fun of course. There are large combos as expected, but even more than that just spur-of-the-moment trickery, including collision detection abuse, playing with the opponent's moves and lots and lots of glitches. Some of the two-player matches crown the run. How is it possible to end a first round with a finisher, like in Smoke/Nightwolf matches? So much chaos, and some of the worst (in a good way) fatalities I've ever seen.

The run is well-balanced and very versatile, succeeding in its goal of enjoying, or rather, celebrating this game serie and its rotten programming. An epic run.


[1955] SNES Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (USA) "playaround" by SDR, TheVLACKDEMONN2294, Dark Noob in 30:28.38

The new, infamous SNES UMK3 run. Twice as long as its predecessor and has the most destructive glitches seen so far in the series. And three people were involved making it. But...!

I watched from the shadows as this thing was constructed and viewed the WIPs the TASers posted in the MKTAS community forum. The three players took turns in doing the matches here, and I think it shows in the final result. While there was a plan in their mutual effort, the composition of the run remains somehow messier and more imbalanced (for example regarding use of characters and keeping the entertainment level high throughout) than in the first, "classic" UMK3 run made solely by SDR. That's what bothered me then, and that's what still bothers me a little. How some rounds are glitched so badly you can't really tell what's going on any more, and how some other rounds are quite tame. In this sense, the run could be improved some day... and who knows, there may be more glitches to be found as well?

But other than that, this run does things no other MK run did before and is overall the glitchiest run of a fighting game I know of. So, it deserves attention.


[1864] N64 Mortal Kombat Trilogy (USA v1.0) "Endurance Mode" by SDR & TheVLACKDEMONN2294 in 23:55.92

This run is nice in how it shows, intentionally or inadvertently, don't know, many N64-specific MKT things. The three-story arena is one thing like that, as is Khameleon and the 3-on-3 kombat mode. Probably many combos and glitches too, but those I'm not an expert on.

While Khameleon is an interesting character, I feel she is a bit overused in this run. I mean, she is difficult to see properly. But at least her continuing presence makes it feel like she and Shang Tsung are somehow the culprits behind all this glitchiness, ones that have an ongoing rivalry going on between them too. It's like a wrestling soap opera setting. "Oh no, there goes Shang into the pit! Wait, look! He came back and is ready for revenge!" And so on.

The run starts out pretty normally, mainly showing big combos, acrobatics and A.I. oddities at a fast pace. It's not until 12-13 minutes in when the authors start using stuck frame glitch, which is close to being the glitchiest glitch in all of the 2D Mortal Kombats ever. It effects most facets of the gameplay and allows some very strange effects, such as getting stuck in air, totally mangled sprites and (most prominently) these strange glitch characters that start loitering in the fighting arena.

The game is glitchy and the runners know what they're doing. There's a lot to watch too - it's actually the longest Mortal Kombat run so far on TASvideos.


[2087] Genesis Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (USA) by Dark Noob & KSYLATRON in 26:35.58

It was a pleasant surprise that we got a run of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 on Genesis to this site as well. It fares quite similarly to the SNES version, other than it has worse graphics and sound. There are still plenty of glitches and the action becomes quite surreal to watch on more than one occasion - although it never gets as insane as in the new SNES UMK3 run.

One thing I'd criticize the runners for is that some characters are used very frequently while others are used infrequently. It's not a coincidence: some characters are simply that much more useful for creating glitchy mayhem with. Other than that, the composition of the run is alright. There are surprises well into the end of the run, and as usual, some especially deranged 2p-matches break up the determined climb of the arcade ladder.

Dark Noob's and Ksylatron's other work has involved TASing for example Ultimate Mortal Kombat Trilogy on Genesis (a hack with extra characters), so Genesis UMK3 was pretty familiar to them at this point. A pretty good run, worthy of watching if you're a fan of Mortal Kombat at least. It's likely this is not the last we'll see of these two...


[1654] SNES Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (USA) "Tournament Mode" by SDR in 03:55.5

It's a short two-player run designed to showcase the odd Tournament Mode-only glitch, in which a removed fighter character enters the fights and messes things up.

At the beginning the run is just intense fighting with a little bit of strange going on. However, the further it goes, the crazier it gets. *small spoilers ahead* The gratuitous ice clone fight with two Sub-Zeroes should be your first warning. When I watched this run for the first time, I was really impressed with the glitch that makes the background graphics disappear. Made it seem like the world was ending. It's not that epic to me any more, but the following, even more glitched sections of the run wouldn't be the same without it.

At the end, after a botched brutality move and an unceremonious close of the curtains, you are simply left wondering what on earth just happened. Maybe the run could be even more chaotic and glitched, but the cinematic build-up and short length makes it a very solid, fun run to watch in my opinion.


[934] SNES Mortal Kombat II (USA v1.0) "playaround" by Samhain-Grim in 22:43.68

Mortal Kombat II is one game in the serie I'm not very familiar with. But if this movie truly showcases the utmost potential of this game, I have to say that this game isn't big on big combos (like the GB port). The player kicks ass with a wide variety of moves and no mercy, but the run often remains less impressive than the TASes of, say, UMK3 due to the slower pace and a more casual feel to the fighting. However, the two player-fights here still rank highly in my book and show that this game has great TAS potential in any case.

One big factor which compensates for the slightly boring vs. CPU matches is the glitch which allows the player to leave invisible projectiles floating in air, disrupting the finishing moves with truly unexpected results. The glitched fatalities are among the best things in this otherwise slightly overlong run.


[759] N64 Mortal Kombat 4 (USA) by Xyphys in 09:13.72

It's a fast-paced run with the biggest priority on showing large combos and dealing large amounts of mayhem with every character (made possible by this game's equivalent of Shang Tsung, Shinnok, who can imitate any other fighter's fighting style and special moves). The author knows what he is doing, reaching the Maximum Damage-limit for combos with ease over and over again. He also visits practice mode in order to do two stage fatalities later, one of which is glitched... not a bad choice.

A short rant: I think showing regular fatalities in a tool-assisted run is usually not very meaningful. It is catering to the casual audience in a banal way, I mean, you can go watch fatalities from dozens of videos on Youtube if you want. There's nothing superhuman or TAS-only in them. Glitched fatalities can be a different matter, though.

In any case, the author of the run handles things with style and an attention to general pacing. It's not a bad watch at all, but I personally prefer the newer, rejected run by TheVLACKDEMONN2294 which is more insanely technical, and has a few never-seen-before glitches in it too (to that I'd give 7.2/10).


Bonus TASes:

#2898: Thevlackdemonn2294's GB Mortal Kombat 3 "glitched" in 07:16.5

A rejected TAS which was something of an inspiration to me due to the new glitch it used, allowing you to win a two-round match in only one round. Unfortunately the run doesn't utilize the full potential of the game. Much time is wasted on doing simple infinites... Maybe some day this game gets a fuller playaround?

N64 Mortal Kombat 4 In 7:43 by TheVlackDemonn2294 in 10:08

The rejected MK4 TAS I briefly mentioned earlier. Watch it if you're interested. It's less accessible but more respectable as a glitchy playaround - in my opinion - than the current TAS. Might as well mention that a new TAS of MK4 should be coming up in some months maybe. It will include OOB and new sort of glitched fatalities... I should know because I lent some assistance to Vlack in glitching it! So until then.

Mortal Kombat Trilogy by Dark Fulgore in 10:08

An old run by that ended up published at speedruns.net, this movie concentrates on creating cool combos and very little else. Well, a few glitches too. A Youtube-comment sums it up quite well: "this is what happens when chuck norris plays mk". The run takes no prisoners.

It has aged decently thanks to MKT being a pretty broken game at its core. I especially like Reptile's invisible combo in which the player spams the (assumedly) invisibility effect on and off in a flashy, very much TAS-only way.


5. 10. 2011

[1759] GBA Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (USA) "all souls" by Kriole in 24:56.1

A massive, extremely intricate run that very satisfyingly follows the Metroidvania-pattern of roaming about a huge environment, getting stronger and stronger powers and crazier movement techniques before finally facing the Big Bad of the game. The planning and calculation behind this run is inconceivable with all the HP, MP, EXP and luck manipulation happening. Not to mention finding a good route must've been behind some work as well.

The last quarter of the run feels like tying up loose strings and collecting remaining souls... with a revenge. Just feels very good to watch the author fly all over the place and completely crush the game with a practically invincible superpowered character.


[1733] GBA Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (USA) "Maxim mode" by gstick in 00:22.75

The shortest Castlevania run that exists, for a good reason. Starting the game with a powered up character plus abusing a very sick physics glitch... There isn't much to be said about this surreal journey, except that it is a very impressive demonstration on what a game can look like when pushed to its extremes.


[1162] GBA Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (USA) "Maxim, in bounds" by Comicalflop & zggzdydp in 12:45.68

Again starting the game with a fully powered character, you can expect a seriously fast pace and lots of hurt bosses, albeit at the expense of toned down glitching. It's nice to have a Maxim run that shows more of the game, and that's all I have to say about that one.


[901] NES Castlevania (USA PRG1) by Phil. Côté & Morrison in 11:20.5

Setting aside the historical and nostalgic value for just a moment, we come to the realization that... the original Castlevania is not a bad game for TASing at all. Has item/score management, luck manipulation and a few nifty tricks to use throughout, and the main character doesn't even move as slowly as I remembered.

Should re-watch this at some point.


[1829] PSX Castlevania Chronicles (USA) by zggzdydp in 26:28.38

A re-re-make of the original Castlevania, on PSX? The game has cool graphics and sound (what groovy arrangements!), it is a sheer pleasure to watch and hear it.

As far as TASing goes, the game has its technical moments, although sporadically. Dammit, why does the main character have to move so slowly? Does he have severe lower back pain? He certainly looks to have. Due to the lack of damage boosts which would allow shortcuts, the protagonist's speed seems even lower than in the original game...

The sound effect for the cross is completely silly. Thwob-thwob-thwob-thwob. What is this, steampunk? Since it's a Castlevania-game, though, maybe I should keep all these questions to myself... including the one I had about the unnaturally big moon at the end of the game.


[1247] GBA Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (USA) "Julius mode" by Cpadolf in 04:38.9

Oh no... it's Julius and his insufferable movement style. What a goddamned racket. But the ridiculousness of it also adds to the humor value of the run.

Quick navigation and just whacking away at bosses to gain the minimum amount of power-ups for defeating the final boss, who still takes quite a long time to beat. For this category, it probably can't be helped... A relatively humble Castlevania run, but at least very efficient.


[1119] NES Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (USA) by zggzdydp in 29:45.02

What grinding is this? Ah, never mind. I like how in this game you get a glimpse of ordinary life within the Castlevania-universe, not necessarily stuck in a dingy castle or another creepy place all the time.

Other than that, and the cool general atmosphere, it's one of the most slow-paced Castlevania runs on the site, aided only by meticulous planning, damage boosting and a mysterious glitch which helps the main character slip through solid rock a few times. Wish this game was crazier... more fast-paced... and less laggy... can't have it all, I guess. Still, gotta commend the player for putting up with this game.


5. 10. 2011

Could use some more content. Oh well, it's a future category to consider.

[1116] SNES Gradius III (USA) by Cpadolf in 25:31.4

This game has a lot of "classic" levels that I remember from childhood... not that I ever played this game, but all of this imaginative scenery caught my attention whenever it was featured in the 90's finnish gaming magazines.

Unlike in R-Type games, a lack of speed is never a problem here. The ship's movement is full of intricate patterns, and I'm repeatedly amazed by the player's ability to "draw" shapes and kill enemies in intricate ways using the options at his disposal.

The game is very versatile in its level design, allowing the player to show off in a wide variety of ways... each level holds something special to it. Of course, the example that follows is completely subjective: gotta love the to and fro movement that barely scrapes those strangely inviting looking sand dunes in the first level. But few can deny that the level with the Moa statues is just grand. Especially the part with the pillars towards the end.

What is this from 18:20 onward? Five mini-bosses in a row? I especially like the second one with those nicely animated tentacles and the ominous music. Fourth is also nice with the missiles, but the ensuing lag hurts my eyes.

The way the game is won by cutting the input early is funny... but also a bit sad. It's like the brain guy is depressed and knows that his defeat is near. Not managing to hit the player's ship with his simplistic projectiles is the last humiliating straw, and he self-destructs.

Overall score: 7.7

5. 7. 2011

So far uncategorized, but hopefully not for long.

[1396] NES Bionic Commando (USA) by Phil in 13:45.26

This was Bionic Commando? Wow, it's been a while... A factor in my amazement might also be the completely irrational looking grappling hook usage, which caught me off guard. It's a nice run, other than that there's a bit of untrimmable fat around the edges (menus for example).

The finale is surprisingly violent for a NES-game.


[742] NES Super Dodge Ball (USA) by Dasrik in 05:47.73

Sure, it's all fun and games at first, albeit with a bad flickering problem. Then it hits you: the people and teams you defeat... ARE KILLED. Although, to paraphrase something Stephen King said, there is a certain hopeful supernatural aspect to a work of fiction if it implies that life continues after death, as happens here.


[1565] NES Lunar Pool (JPN) by Bisqwit in 23:49.87

Billiard and TASing seem to go along very well. A physics game like this was destined to get picked apart by TAS-tools in a pretty mind-titillating way. The shots made are surprising and I found the movie interesting on many levels. The glitch in two of the tables is also great.


[1500] NES Lunar Pool (JPN) "no friction" by Bisqwit in 36:52.0

Definitely the work of an insane genious. Unfortunately it's not nearly as palatable to watch as the normal Lunar Ball-run. This here is like watching nebulas collapse again and again, sometimes at a very slow pace too.

Hint: brutal death metal is recommended as background music for this run.


[1586] GBA Silent Scope (USA) by jlun2 in 03:41.98

This sniper has some serious issues. But no one minds because he does his job so damn well. Such efficiency and brutality!

The entire run, which has a novel idea by the way, is sniping baddies with supernatural accuracy. The sniper has ADD as well, surprisingly enough not complicating things at all.


[1830] NES Hammerin' Harry (JPN) by nitrogenesis in 07:11.39

A vaguely creepy japanise game with a major thematic point of proving one's manhood by fighting through a series of gaudily colored indoors and outdoors environments. A standard platformer with mini-games, mostly, but the original touch it has gives it some extra intrigue.


[1827] NES Shadowgate (USA) by Randil & ZenicReverie in 08:23.84

In my mind, the idea of TASing a storybook game may forever remain novel. Gotta love the visuals and music of these "classic" storybook games of the NES-era. Aside from the noticeably accuracy and planning, the glasses glitch is also something pretty interesting in this one.


[1126] SNES Super Mario Kart (USA) by cstrakm in 21:27.02

Super Mario Kart is a game I remember from childhood, but only through the gaming magazines of the NES/SNES-age. Never played it personally. Regardless, I was curious in seeing what a run of this game might look like. Not a bad game choice at all!

While 21 minutes long, the run is hardly ever dull. The pace remains invariably quick, and the game appears to be full of crazy exploits which destroy all fairness in the simple premise of competetive driving. You can't help but feel sorry for the other drivers who are never destined to win because they play by the rules. The worst thing in the run is that level themes and winning strategies start to repeat towards the end, lowering the entertainment somewhat.

The mini-map at the bottom screen was very useful for illustrating the shortcuts the player uses.


1. 9. 2012

Games I've more or less successfully ripped a new one over the years:

  • Forbidden Siren I
The first game I seriously glitched. Found lots of speedrun strategies and a game breaking physics glitch from it. I think this game is in a severe need of a TAS... I later tried out the second part of the game, which is better in many ways, but as of today remains quite intact (no game breaking glitches).
  • God of War I, II, III & CoO
I've pioneered various high jump techniques and extensively tested for skips in all of the games of the serie (other than GoS, which I haven't played yet). I've also written Glitch FAQs of the games, now published at GameFAQs.
  • Dante's Inferno
It should follow that once you've glitched God of War, you proceed to glitch a God of War-clone. Found a few high jumping techniques in this game which allow skipping scenes pivotal to the interests of the game's plot, which is always fun.
  • DmC: Devil May Cry

Other games I've glitched with generally good results:

  • Assassin's Creed
Had lots of fun with the physics glitch allowing Altair to jump through walls. Found other random stuff too. Unfortunately the nature of the game is such that sequence breaking is not useful.
  • Prince of Persia (2008)
I tried this game out because it was Ubisoft's, like AC. Found a few stray skips, and later I helped a speedrunner (L0rdy) shed even more time from it. Found a teleportation/warping glitch from the game with a friend, and ways to skip the black gates.
  • Silent Hill: Origins
Using bonus costumes, you can glitch up cutscenes and even teleport on a few occasions. Generally, this game is very rough around the edges and has a lot of minor and not so minor glitches in it.
  • Silent Hill: Homecoming
Found a way to get through walls almost wherever. You only need a gun to do it. Unfortunately the biggest skip in the game (skips about half of the game) is a dead end so far, and I don't own the game any longer...
  • Darksiders
Found two jumping techniques and a faster movement style from the game, along with a decent skip or two. However, it was mostly other people who put these techniques to use and found the best skips in the game.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
  • Various handheld and license-based games
Like Xena: the Warrior Princess.


Youtube-account with evidence of the aforementioned things!

1. 9. 2012

I've been playing synths and singing since high school. I'm more of a studio musician than a performing musician, much like I tend to be more of a TASer than a speedrunner. Most of my music is programmed with a tracker, guided by esoteric concepts and themes that are relevant to me at a given time. The style varies a lot, but at the very least you can often hear influences of jazz and video game music in it. Everything so far has been released for free in a Creative Commons-license.

Here's my most recent work, some extreme/prog metal I made in the summer.

This is also something pretty interesting.

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AKheon last edited by AKheon on 2014-03-30 12:59:05
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