TASVideos

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

warmCabin's movies:


#51038834863691531 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.2
mm2_zipless_2.2.fm3 (313kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-11-07 12:44:48 by warmCabin (17 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (10 files)
In 13:41.68 [49382 frames], 64878 rerecords)
695 views, 43 downloads
I've added several new tricks, and played my way through Flash and a good chunk of Crash. Enjoy!


(Link to video)

(Link to video)

Air Man

If you've been following this run, you can skip this. Nothing's changed.

Quick Man

Implements Visan's ride, a sick new Item 2 strat! Thanks to Visan for inventing this, and ellonija for telling me about it.

Metal Man

I did some weird Item 2 stuff to save a couple frames. Even when doing frame perfect jumps, conveyor belts slow you down for a frame; Item 2's do not. Also, conveyor belts apply their speed to you for one frame when you bonk them from below, gaining you a pixel each time it happens.

Bubble Man

Different RNG prevented me from doing the pacifist strat against those shrimps :/ I had no idea how lucky I was when I first did that! The pacifist strat only saves time because it involves a 1-frame jump, whereas the Metal Blade strat requires a 2-framer.

Heat Man

Now home to one of the least impressive frame perfect tricks you'll ever see: the first Item 2 throw.

Flash Man

New content! This is optimal to the best of my knowledge.

Crash Man

I decided not to encode it just yet, but a good chunk of Crash Man's stage is played in this userfile.
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#50737928605177965 - Visan's Ride
visans_ride.fm3 (206kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-10-24 23:30:46 by warmCabin (17 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (10 files)
In 05:59.49 [21605 frames], 46775 rerecords)
941 views, 47 downloads

(Link to video)

Invented by Japanese runner Visan, this strat saves 51 frames over my previous buster strat. A frame rule eats 3 of these frames, but still.

Branch 8 is the buster route, branch 9 is the Item 2 route (or just don't load any branch). I didn't encode it, but in this file you can see that Metal Man's stage doesn't desync at all, even if the boss fight does.

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#50726496611103426 - Quick Man Freezing in Place
quickman_freeze.fm3 (209kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-10-24 11:09:24 by warmCabin (17 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (10 files)
In 04:25.35 [15947 frames], 45313 rerecords)
970 views, 51 downloads

(Link to video)

I stumbled across this weird little glitch when redoing this fight. I thought I'd upload the movie in case anyone wanted to take a look at what causes it.

It actually extends his invincibility by a few frames, which means I sadly can't show it off in my TAS.

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#50491715316358744 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.1
mm2_zipless_2.1.fm3 (237kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-10-13 21:23:38 by warmCabin (17 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (10 files)
In 09:58.68 [35980 frames], 38845 rerecords)
1231 views, 61 downloads

(Link to video)

I managed to get ahold of Shinryuu on Discord. Even though he's retired, so to speak, he's been more than willing to talk shop, answer questions, make suggestions, and all that good stuff. It's been a ton of help. Thank you, Shinryuu!

Persuant to these conversations, I tried some new stuff, much of which ended up saving no time, but much of which did. I'll go stage by stage and tell you what's new.

Air Man

A frame perfect menu on the title screen which I was previously unaware of lets me get into the action one frame sooner. It throws off RNG (and some other stuff) though, so say goodbye to all those extra lives :( Another small optimization in the fan fiend section lets me get to the end even sooner, for a total of 2 frames saved...but I had to throw it all away to RNG. The rest of the run doesn't even desync if you paste in the old inputs. But in case it does later, I've decided to swap out the time/entertainment tradeoff (which doesn't actually lose time) for a perfect segment. You never know!

Quick Man

The stage is the same, but the boss fight plays out a little differently. Shinryuu pointed out that these fights don't end on a timer, but rather, as soon as Mega Man teleports fully offscreen. As such, it saves time to end the fight as high up as possible. By ending the fight on the upper ledge, I manage to make the previous frame rule and save 8 frames. I actually sacrifice a frame to get up there, but the frame rule is indifferent to it. Most NES Mega Man games have some property like this.

Metal Man

The Item-2 section has been updated. By using the Item-2 lower down, I'm able to hit the ground sooner and save some time. A slick mid-air weapon switch allows me to dispatch the scrubbing bubble guy quickly, rather than waste frames jumping over him.

Metal Man himself doesn't put up much of a fight. Actually, I discovered some interesting properties of his AI. Metal Man will jump in two situations:

  1. When you get too close, he jumps to the other side of the room (I call this violating his personal space).
  2. When you press B (a bullet does not necessarily have to spawn), he jumps at a height determined by RNG.

What happens when these two conditions occur on the same frame? Well, it turns out the B press one takes priority! So, with frame perfect shots, you can keep him on one side of the arena no matter how close you get. This is probably already known, but it's nice to put it into writing.

New Stuff

In addition to these improvements, there are two new stages for you to enjoy! Once again, these comparisons are to my Zipless v1.0 TAS.

Bubble Man

   Stage save: 38 frames
   Boss  save: 18 frames
   Total save: 56 frames
Where did all this come from? Well, for starters, there's the terrible double frame rule for Bubble Man's health bar. It's already been discussed on I think finalfighter's website, so I'll briefly summarize it: health bars tick up every 4 frames, but being underwater makes that not happen every 5 frames. It's easy enough to manipulate once you know about it, but I did not get lucky on v1.0.

However, this only accounts for 4 frames. The rest is simply due to sloppy play. For instance, in 1.0, I did a jump with a Metal Blade and let the throwing animation play out after I landed...just holding right. I also killed the hermit crab in the first room instead of taking damage from it (the faster method), improperly dealt with a throwing animation at the end, and let a bit of lag through at various points. Plus, I didn't know that double death saves time, so I didn't look into it; that accounts for 16 of the 18 frames saved in the boss fight!

In this version, I'm particularly proud of the part before the second angler. There I'm able to jump (the timing is frame perfect) and shoot the shrimp, completely avoiding the throwing animation which we resign ourselves to in realtime runs.

As I write this comment, I've discovered a 4-frame save in Bubble. However, I need a 7-frame save to beat the next frame rule. Still seems worth pursuing, though.

Heat Man

   Stage save: 50
I didn't finish this one yet. I kinda didn't feel like doing the boss fight... But I managed to save 50 frames in the stage, which is kind of hard to believe! Here's how I account for that:

  • Poorly timed jumps and weapon switches
  • Wasting time before shooting the Item-2 at the 3rd pillar
  • Wasting an Item-2 energy early on kills 19 frames of super fast movement
  • Sprite flicker during the switch to bubble.

Note that, for whatever arcane, terrible reason, the underwater lag actually persists from Bubble Man's stage, but only during the teleport-in animation. As luck would have it, I got a lag frame on the first jumpable frame for this stage...so I can probably save that. I'm actually right on the cusp of a frame rule for the Bubble fight, to the point where I cannot afford to waste a single frame.

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#49606539655244104 - Silver Surfer 3rd Quest Genocide - Level 1
silver_surfer_S4FHFB.fm3 (104kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-09-04 00:39:15 by warmCabin (17 files)
For NES Silver Surfer (1 file)
In 02:56.73 [10621 frames], 6713 rerecords)
558 views, 92 downloads

(Link to video)

A fun little TAS I whipped up. This whole game is an auto-scroller, so the only goal is to be as entertaining as possible until the boss fights. I don't know if I can maintain this level of energy over a 30-minute run, but we'll see. I feel like the first stage is pretty fun to watch, at least!

This movie plays the first level; the fm3 contains a bit of level 2, which I decided not to encode.

A movie of this game was already published back in 2012. The authors decided to go for a pacifist playthrough (feel free to laugh at my title, Undertale fans), which wasn't very popular among the viewers. It got rejected, only to be resurrected and locked in the Vault. A lot of the comments said, "why not use the third quest (hardest difficulty) and kill all the enemies instead?" So, 6 years later, that's what I've decided to do.

Goals

The goal of this run is to kill the maximum amount of enemies. But, since you can sit at the boss of this stage and kill piranhas forever, this number is technically infinite. Therefore, I've implemented it as a secondary goal, i.e., kill as many enemies as possible without losing time.

Note that most bullets have health and can be destroyed like an enemy. For the purposes of this run, these do not count as enemies. Nobody wants to see the Silver Surfer farm bullets for a half hour!

Potential Misunderstandings

Here I've laid out some questions you might have about this movie:

You used a password! Isn't that against the rules?

Not in this case! The password S4FHFB is only used to unlock the hardest difficulty mode.

Why do you waste so much time on the password screen?

The characters can only be incremented/decremented every 16 frames, but the cursor can be moved every other frame. I took advantage of these properties to input the password in the most confusing way possible.

You let some bad guys get away!

Believe me, I know :/ In the first stage, it's just not possible to kill every enemy; I picked the path that would let me kill the most. I tried using my bomb, but the enemies up top are too strong to die to one bomb. By the time I get more, there are no more branching paths to mess me up. I'm sure they will come in handy in later stages, though.

Techniques

Finally, I want to detail some techniques I used.

  • Pressing left every other frame causes you to sit still relative to the world. But you have to do it on the correct frames, otherwise you'll end up moving left.
  • Most of the time, start only needs to be held, not pressed, for the menus.
  • Bullets can only be shot every 5 frames.
  • The orb moves before shots are fired, so you can press AB on the same frame and still have the bullets change directions. I use this every time I need to press B for maximum excitement!
  • Power-up drops are not RNG. Certain enemies are set to always drop certain power-ups. I suppose this isn't that big a deal if you're already killing everyone anyway.
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#49364838704578513 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.0: Part 2
mm2_zipless_2_part2.fm3 (204kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-08-24 03:24:44 by warmCabin (17 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (10 files)
In 05:59.19 [21587 frames], 16989 rerecords)
2330 views, 105 downloads

(Link to video)

Quick Man

     Stage save: 36  (0  from previous)
     Boss  save: 69  (51 from previous)
     Total save: 105 (51 from previous)
I've saved an additional 51 frames off the boss fight (69 from v1.0), so I've started my notes and my encode here. I utilized a more aggressive manipulation strat to keep him pinned over on the left side, taking damage twice to facilitate this. Due to the damage boosts, it loses 27 frames to a theoretically perfect 19 frame boss fight...which I'm convinced does not exist.

I made an interesting discovery along the way: Quick Man's supposed RNG jumps (where he jumps 1-3 times) are actually the product of him getting stuck in the wall (video to be uploaded soon), which plays out unpredictably--but it's not RNG. This only applies to the outer walls, so if you see him charging up against any other ledge, you know you are about to see 3 jumps.
Also, he always shoots boomerangs on the second jump, so that should help if you're unsure of how many jumps got stuck in the wall.

Metal Man

     Stage save: 40
     Boss  save: 10
     Total save: 50
In v1.0, it slipped my mind that you can save time by shooting the drills. But not this time. The second drill actually saves much more time; rather than jump over two drills, I'm able to stay on the super speedy conveyor belt the whole time.

I also improved the Item-2 usage. In v1.0, there was an awkward landing where I hand to hold still for a second and jump over the springy guy, but here, I managed to land just to the right of him. This move is just barely possible, at least for the frame I used Item-2. Let me explain:

When dismounting an Item-2, it's not necessarily best to just hold right. By letting go of right and even pressing left at certain times, you can influence your position to be a pixel or two further to the right. My current approach is to try randomly until it works...
But even this is not quite enough. The rightmost possible position still results in a collision with the springy guy! That is, unless you're 8-aligned.

Becoming 8-aligned

All the velocities Mega Man can move at (walking, jumping, knockback, conveyor belts...) have subpixel velocities that are multiples of 16, or 0x10. This means your subpixel position will always end with a 0 (in hex), making you 0-aligned. It may seem impossible to change your subpixel alignment, but there is one object that lets you do so: an accelerating Item-2. When an Item-2 is starting to accelerate, and you land on it in just the right way (going to the left), you'll get your subpixel set to X8. If you can keep it that way until the Item-2 fully accelerates, you will now be 8-aligned. This essentially means you can be 8 subpixels further ahead at any given point in time, which is just enough for me to land to the right of that springy guy! I think I'm going to play around with this section a bit more before I move onto Bubble (doing Bubble and Heat before Flash saves 4 frames in menuing, by the way).

Like my other two discoveries, this was something I found totally by accident while doing playaround/TAS fidget stuff.

Fun fact: This Item-2 section saves 9 frames over inputs copy/pasted from the 2010 TAS! The main reason is that they don't take full advantage of their Item-2; that is to say, they let it run out when they are not on the rightmost tip. And I'm not talking about that weird 8-alignment stuff, either: it's a couple pixels. This happens because they use the Item-2 soon enough that it runs out just after the tin can man jump, which doesn't give them enough time to catch up after landing.

The 10 frames in the boss fight are just due to better understanding of the game mechanics. 5 of those frames are from just the first hit, which I jumped too high for in v1.0.

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#49071833918125633 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.0
mm2_zipless_2.fm3 (174kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-08-10 22:43:08 by warmCabin (17 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (10 files)
In 04:14.78 [15312 frames], 14598 rerecords)
2611 views, 102 downloads
Version 2.0 is here! Rather than push onwards through the Boobeams and boss rush in my v1.0 movie, I felt motivated to start over and fix all my little (and big) mistakes. Currently all the timesaves are grouped into stage saves and boss saves, but I may do a more detailed analysis later.


(Link to video)

History of this Movie

To understand all the timesaves in this run, I think it's important to understand this history behind it. While the previous run is called v1.0, it's actually not the first attempt I made at creating this movie. There's a previous version, which we'll call the beta version, that I started on a couple years ago. It was simply a TASed version of the realtime route I was doing at the time, back when I was blissfully unaware that it's faster to do Metal before Flash. That's right: there's a TAS file sitting on my hard drive where I go to Flash before Quick and Metal. This was called "mm2 TAS.fm3", and the file that would become v1.0 was sarcastically named "mm2 TAS ADVANCED route.fm3" for a while.

Because this run was so old, I did it the old fashioned way: savestates, frame advance, and an actual controller in my hand. I also had this weird obsession with keeping the 90-frame screen transitions perfectly clean, so I was always trying really hard to find the first actionable frame of every room. I believe I switched to the TAS editor around Flash Man's stage, but I'm not sure.

When making my ADVANCED route (v1.0), I tried my best to salvage what inputs I could from the beta. I had to redo the bosses (with the exception of Air Man), but most of the other inputs could be salvaged. The beta stopped at Metal Man, so all inputs after that in v1.0 were new. Here we will see just how suboptimal these beta inputs are.

Air Man

  Stage save: 50
  Boss  save: 38
  Total save: 88
The boss fight is perfect, aside from a lag frame which I don't think you can avoid. Watching the 2010 TAS's boss fight taught me a lot on how to achieve this.

Compared to the previous movie, you may be surprised there are 50 frames to save in the stage, considering I don't go for any different strats.

Well, for starters, I do go for one different strat: rather than turn around and spawn the bird to the left @3250, I can keep going and shoot the next two eggs without jumping. The second one requires me to shoot a bullet out ahead of time to alter the collision behavior, something I learned from the 2010 TAS. No idea why this works, but it's cool! However, this only saves 2 frames. My new turnaround subpixel tech also ends up saving a frame...which is lost due to boss fight RNG manipulation. What a shame.

The rest of the timesave comes from two main sources: better horn jumps, and better falling.
You can do the horn jumps without stopping if you jump a little earlier, something I did not know in the beta.
The falling tech is even more embarrassing. Somehow, I had it in my head that a 1-frame jump is always optimal for falling off ledges, when in fact a much higher jump often saves more time; this is a misconception I carried with me through most of v1.0 as well.
But an even more embarrassing timesave comes from that one screen transition hidden behind clouds...I simply was not holding left during it, because I didn't realize I could move. This alone wasted about 20 frames.

Quick Man

  Stage save: 36
  Boss  save: 18
  Total save: 54
It turns out my calculations were wrong! Doing this stage with Air actually saves 6 frames over doing it with buster. I failed to account for the fact that you can switch weapons 10 frames earlier at the start of each stage. However, the buster route still ends up saving time, because of a cool damage boost tech I stumbled upon. By standing still for a couple frames, I'm able to take damage from the final Sniper Joe such that I recover from hitstun while in the air, saving me an extra jump. I was unable to get this trick in the air shooter route, because the mech gets defeated sooner and the sniper takes longer to fall down. This difference actually puts the buster route ahead by 1 frame!

I also saved time by defeating each hothead without any additional jumps (although 2 jumps had to be a frame or two higher), and jumping over the first Sniper Joe. My turnaround subpixel tech saved a frame, but due to a frame rule that apparently exists, I couldn't defeat the first mech any sooner. What a shame.

For the curious, I've left in a branch of the air shooter route: branch 8. Branch 9 is the frame Quick Man gets defeated in the current route. If you know of a way to do this boss fight quickly with air shooter, I'd love to hear about it!

If you dig around in the branches, you might find some inputs for Metal Man, but I'm putting those on hold until I'm confident in the Quick fight.

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#48877130464294925 - New subpixel optimization tech - proof of concept
flashman_3frame.fm3 (130kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-08-02 04:16:27 by warmCabin (17 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (10 files)
In 01:32.75 [5574 frames], 120490 rerecords)
2770 views, 136 downloads
I've discovered a new subpixel optimization technique! It doesn't always save time, but a subpixel's a subpixel. You never know when an extra couple might come in handy.

When you fall off a ledge and need to turn around, it may seem like you should turn around and brush up against the edge of the wall to get the best position. This is not always the case. Sometimes, you can actually be a few subpixels inside the block; that is, the ejection routine (which runs when you push in the opposite direction) puts you just a bit further out than the first position where you can actually fall. By moving past the wall on the last possible frame, you can save around 0x10 subpixels, depending on your subpixel alignment.

Sometimes, this maneuver may not be possible at all, and it will be better to brush up against the wall and get a X8.00. You just have to try it for each jump.

Note that this does not work if you encounter a left-facing wall (you are holding right) that transcends a screen border; you will be ejected to X8.00. Right-facing ones seem to be OK, though.

To demonstrate this concept, I've utilized it to shave 3 frames off the current TAS (although in reality it's 1 frame + a door frame rule). I simply copy/pasted their inputs and executed proper turnaround subpixels on each relevant jump. I think this stage nicely illustrates all the quirks of when this technique is useful and/or possible. Branch 1 is the current TAS. Branch 2 is with my technique. Each branch is marked on the frame Flash Man dies. I highly recommend you watch this with RAM watch on (X pixel: 0x0460, X subpixel: 0x0480) to see exactly what's going on.

Fun fact: Much like ladder fidgeting, I discovered this while doing some playaround/TAS fidget stuff. I thought it might look cool to have Mega Man turn around at the last possible frame, but then I realized I was actually landing at better positions when I tried to do that! If you're working on a TAS, I highly recommend you do some silly stuff in your run. You never know what you might accidentally discover!

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#48553221790148505 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless: Part 2.5
mm2_zipless.fm2 (1.27MB fm2 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-07-18 14:10:42 by warmCabin (17 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (10 files)
In 24:41.09 [89012 frames], 27003 rerecords)
2951 views, 127 downloads

(Link to video)

I found a way to make the Crash Bomb glitch work, but I don't like it. I had to take an extra hit from the final Sniper Joe, which leaves me with an extra Item 1. Although, it'll certainly come in handy for the alien fight, so I guess it worked out (Didn't know about that secret ledge when I set out to make this movie).

It's likely I'll be saving yet another Item 2 in Wily 2, if I'm right that using Wood on the drills will be faster. If I do, being able to get good MadWidth from the unavoidable bullet would be extremely useful. I've had little luck with this myself, but do let me know if you can find a way to make that happen. Bear in mind that this is a rough draft v1.0 type of movie, which will be scrapped for a better version that attempts to fix all the mistakes. Therefore, the frame you might find here will almost certainly not work in v2.0.

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#47641550972708655 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless: Part 2
mm2_zipless_part2.fm3 (185kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-06-07 12:48:04 by warmCabin (17 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (10 files)
In 24:40.58 [88981 frames], 26163 rerecords)
3512 views, 158 downloads
A continuation of my zipless run. I didn't fix any mistakes, just pressed onwards towards the finish; I figure I'll probably make some more mistakes, so we can fix the old and new ones alike in version 2.0.

This movie plays until the Boobeams, which have me stumped! Going by finalfighter's extremely handy lua script, I can't seem to get a large enough MadWidth. I have to damage boost through that one sniper joe bullet at frame 7720, which essentially gives me 2 choices for MidWidth and MadHeight: 22 or 24. I can only seem to make these variables smaller the further to the right I go, although, frustratingly, you'll see them cycle through some super good ones like 56 before they settle on their final values (frame 7757).
These outlier values seem like a good place to start, but I may also try to take damage in the fight.

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#47393292247559483 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless
mm2_zipless.fm3 (150kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-05-27 08:28:17 by warmCabin (17 files)
For NES Mega Man 2 (10 files)
In 19:45.96 [71275 frames], 19378 rerecords)
3729 views, 168 downloads
(Note: this file is for the Japanese version, Rockman 2.)

This is a popular category to run RTA (I myself run it), but I've never seen a TAS of it. I believe there are two reasons why:

  1. The zips in Mega Man 2 are some of the coolest tricks in speedrunning. Who would want to remove them??
  2. The ancient SDA rules make this category a bit ambiguous.

Regarding the first point: Well, I think zipless shows off a few neat things not seen in a regular TAS. For instance, WOODMAN'S ENTIRE STAGE.

Regarding the second point, the rules of this run are as follows:

  • No zips
  • No delay scrolls
  • No screen wraps
  • All other glitches are fair game

This might more acurately be called, "No Major Glitches." But whatever.

Encode

(Thanks, feos!)

Blunders

The Quick Man fight

I'm pretty embarassed about this. I take damage twice... Not for no reason, mind you. I do it to manipulate Quick Man's position and take advantage of i-frames. But I still feel like this fight could be a lot tighter. I could use some advice.

Frame data:

     (1st Hit)
     40 (+20 frames)
     20
     20
     20
     20
     20
     20
     20
     58 (+38 frames)
     20
     24 (+4 frames)
     22 (+2 frames)
     39 (+19 frames)

     Total time loss: 83 frames

Crash Man's Stage

In the opening room, I didn't realize you could jump up the first ladder without getting hit, so I utilized a unique buster strat. But apprently we've known about this for 15 years, so...

Minor Mistakes

These don't seem worth redoing, but I'd surely fix them if I did redo the run:
  • Shitty RNG for Air Man's last shot
  • Didn't think to shoot the drills in Metal
  • I don't think I handle mech damage boosts quite right
  • Why does no one ever change weapons in the boss rooms?
  • Made an unecessary landing in Bubble
  • Didn't test many Item-1/2 routes for Crash

Good Things

Buster-only Quick Man strats

For some reason, I thought Quick Man was immune to the air shooter when I was doing this stage. But ellonija mentioned that the old TASes used to use the air shooter? It sounded pretty dope: use air to kill all the enemies, just like RTA, then defeat Quick Man with some super finicky and cool air shots.

But I've done the math, and I believe my uninformed buster-only route is faster:

Air Shooter and Buster both do the same damage to Quick Man, and a perfect fight with both weapons would take the same amount of time, so that doesn't figure into our calculations. As I defeat the mechs at the end, I spend a total of 28 frames not holding right. The menuing to switch from P to A takes 45 frames, so the question becomes: Is it 17 frames slower to do all those jumps when shooting the fire head guys?

Well, Mega Man spends 246 frames in the air during that section. If we assume the air shooter route spends all those frames on the ground (which it doesn't; there are several jumps in that section), we can do some worst case math.

     air speed = 01.50
     ground speed = 01.60
     difference = 00.10 (that's 1/16).
     00.10 * 246 = 15.375
This means the buster route ends up 15.375 pixels behind the air shooter route. On the ground, we can make those pixels up in 14.47 frames, call it 15.

So, in this situation which is worse than reality, the buster route is still 2 frames faster than the air shooter route. That is CLOSE! But in reality it's even faster-er, so I believe the buster route is optimal.

Ladder Fidgeting

Not sure if this is a known trick, but it's a technique that provides a way to ascend slightly on ladders in some circumstances. When climbing ladders, shooting any weapon locks you in a shooting animation in which you cannot gain height. Unlike Mega Man 1, letting go of the ladder and re-grabbing it does not cancel this animation. However, there is a trick to gain a pixel or two that I call the Ladder Fidget, which can be performed as follows:
  1. Do the following 3 frames of input: A, nothing, Up. This is a frame perfect ladder fidget.
  2. Check if your Y position is higher up.
  3. Repeat the process until the animation ends, or you see you've stopped gaining height.

I can't figure out a pattern for when you'll rise and when you'll fall--It's all trial and error at this point. But I believe vertical velocity is being stored from before. It looks pretty silly when executed, and in fact, it started off as a "siliness tech" to pass the time in Crash Man's stage, until I realized Mega Man was actually ascending!

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#46508413529735318 - Pictionary - "Any%" (v2.0)
pictionary TAS 2-compact.fm3 (21.1kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-04-17 12:03:09 by warmCabin (17 files)
In 02:33.75 [9240 frames], 2880 rerecords)
1188 views, 121 downloads
Whoops! I accidentally uploaded the wrong file before.

See my previous movie for some basic info.

This file beats the previous one by over 6 seconds, by improving upon it in the following ways:

The "NO," "PIN," "THINK..." sequence is much slower, even if it's the most popular one among RTA runners. According to my research, the sequence "TWINS," "SWAN," "COMEDY..." is faster by far than any other. It's over 100 frames faster than the next slowest, and about 1000 frames faster than average. My estimation techniques weren't 100% accurate, but I'm confident this is the fastest sequence, especially considering the absurdly long frame rules at play.

I had a breakthrough that allows us to get a roll of 6 on the first frame every time. All you have to do is delay typing the final letter for a couple frames; due to the 128-frame rule, the board loads on the same frame, but the RNG is different. I believe this happens because RNG is not advanced on lag frames, making the algorithm take in a totally different previous value as input.

I optimized the box stacking and fireman games a bit more. The fireman game is trivial to optimize, since all you have to do is sit still and let everyone die; just wait to press start until you get a faster sequence.

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#46029021186161583 - Pictionary RNG DP
pictionary rng.lua (6.95kB Lua script)
Uploaded 2018-03-26 21:54:09 by warmCabin (17 files)
1301 views, 125 downloads
Most of this is explained in much more detail within the comments of the lua file, but here's a rundown:

It presses start on a certain frame to examine a word sequence. It reads the phrase from memory (0x0448) and determines how long it takes to type using a simple DP. It can then tell you which sequence of 6 phrases takes the shortest amount of time to type.

Note that it uses your shift+F1 savestate as a starting point...instructions on how to properly set this up are in the comments.

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#45942285593125145 - Pictionary Sequence Finder v1.0
pictionary rng.lua (2.71kB Lua script)
Uploaded 2018-03-23 00:09:17 by warmCabin (17 files)
1301 views, 130 downloads
Not very user-friendly at the moment, so consider this a readme.

First, you're going to need an initial savestate in slot 1 (Shift+F1) (can these scripts load savestates from a file?). It should be on frame 479, the first frame you can press start to enter a blank name.

test_frame is the sequence to start searching at. That is, the script will press start test_frame frames after the initial savestate (whether you created it correctly or not). You can alter this if you want to continue from where you left off. You'll also need to alter best and worst to reflect the values you found earlier. If this is your first time running the script, just leave them be.

The script automatically increments test_frame and starts over after it's read 6 words. If you want to read more words, alter the magic number on line 111.

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#45878339804197968 - Pictionary - "Any%"
pictionary TAS-compact.fm3 (21.8kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-03-20 03:02:20 by warmCabin (17 files)
In 02:39.74 [9600 frames], 2212 rerecords)
1347 views, 126 downloads
This movie completes the "regular" mode, single player, as fast as possible. Well...not quite.

In Pictionary, you can press start to skip a minigame if you think you know the answer. For real-time runs, this is really interesting: continuously demonstrate perfect play until enough of the picture is revealed that you can regognize it. But in a TAS, we can always recognize it! Just look at RAM offset 0x0448, using this table file. Therefore, we could skip the minigame on the first frame and type in the correct answer. This would eliminate all gameplay in the run, which would look something like this.

Since that would be really boring and lame, I propose the following stipulation for this category:

You may not press start at any time a minigame is on-screen.

That way there's still plenty of gameplay and strategy in the run. But even so, all the gameplay in this run consists of optimal suicides (which is faster in each game than successfully completing it); I'd like to make a no-damage run or something similar, but the firefighter game is proving extremely difficult to no-damage, or even fully reveal the picture. Virtually impossible, you might even say.


Let's talk about RNG. I manipulated the first word to be "NO", which is the fastest to type. I thought I would be able to manipulate that word for each game, but it turns out the words are generated in a pre-determined sequence, so I just stuck with what I got.

There's also other weirdness at play. Previously, I would have told you this, regarding the spaces and their corresponding minigames:

      Yellow =  Attack of the Paint Zombies
      Pink   =  Leapin' Energy Capsules!
      Brown  =  The Warehouse Shuffle
      Green  =  Four Alarm Rescue
      Red    =  Drawing game, or random from above in singleplayer
But in my run, it somehow ended up more like this:

     Red    = The Warehouse Shuffle
     Yellow = Attack of the Paint Zombies
     Pink   = Leapin' Energy Capsules!
     Brown  = Four Alarm Rescue
     Green  = Random
     Red    = Random
That's right. These colors aren't only inconsistent, but inconsistent within this run. One of the following must be true:
   - RNG determines which color means what
   - colors corresponding to games you've already played transform into random ones.
I decided not to think about it too hard, because it let me play the paint bucket game (which is about 200 frames faster than the next slowest one) three times.

The word sequence combined with the additional weirdness makes this RNG manipulation of the worst kind: wait a frame to press start, then spend an entire weekend making a TAS to see what happened.

Also worth noting: there is a 128 frame rule between correctly guessing a word and the board appearing. I'm not sure how close I am on those frame rules, but keep them in mind if you ever want to improve this time. A shorter final word would offer the most improvement, since ending the movie isn't subject to any frame rules.

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#45790926035309033 - Pictionary Fun Run
pictionary fun-compact.fm3 (66.8kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-03-16 04:33:29 by warmCabin (17 files)
In 09:04.07 [32698 frames], 8657 rerecords)
1407 views, 132 downloads
(!!!!Pictionary isn't on the games list!!!!)

With it's incredible soundtrack and hilariously lame minigames, I thought Pictionary might have more entertainment potential than the TAS (link). And so, taking inspiration from (this) Family Feud run, I created: The Pictionary Fun Run!

Rather than submitting wrong-looking answers that are actually correct, I've done the exact opposite: submitting correct-looking answers that are actually wrong. The game checks for one specific word, so this isn't hard at all. I also throw in plenty of other fun guesses that you'll just have to watch the run to see :)

Other things this TAS features:

  • a suicidal paint bucket
  • a dancing space man
  • maximal but suboptimal box stacks
  • loss of innocent life
  • more shades of blue than any other TAS!
  • the number 6

I also think the drawing mode has a lot of potential for someone much more artistic than me. But the game doesn't process your images in any way, so unlike the Brain Age TAS, that would just sort of be art_lesson.fm3.

This is more of a freerun than anything else. Ostensibly it's an "uncover all the pictures%" run...but I don't uncover all the pictures. You could say it's a "no suicide" run...but I commit suicide at least 3 times. The best category I can think of for this is, "you're not allowed to press start to skip the minigames%". If you really tried, I'm sure you could invent a category contrived enough to make all these silly antics and weird guesses optimal...but isn't that against the rules, here? This run is just for fun, so sit back, relax, and jam out to some awesome tunes by Tim Follin.

In case you're curious, I've created an actual TAS of this game--it completes "Alternative" mode. I promise you, you're going to have a lot less fun over there than you will over here.


Here's an information dump. I don't think this game is complex enough to merit a wiki (also I don't know how to create one), but I can create one if this is inappropriate for submission text.

The board consists of five different colors, each corresponding to a different type of minigame:

     Yellow =  Attack of the Paint Zombies
     Pink   =  Leapin' Energy Capsules!
     Brown  =  The Warehouse Shuffle
     Green  =  Four Alarm Rescue
     Red    =  Random
The random minigame can easily be manipulated by pressing start on certain frames. So can the dice roll, except with A. The word to be guessed is determined as soon as the board appears on screen (I think), so you have to go quite a way back to manipulate that.

Timers and stuff:

  • The paint can can shoot paint every 10 frames.
  • You can add boxes to your stack every 8 frames.
  • You can select letters when entering your team name every 8 frames, but it seems to check for left and right on different modulo values (WHY??)
  • The game does not poll input for nearly 300 frames.

6 boxes high in the warehouse game is suboptimal. Any stack higher than 4 slows you down, and requires a lot more waiting to get across safely.

The astronaut in Leapin' Energy Capsules! has only one jump height, no matter how long you hold A.

It is impossible to get a perfect score on Four Alarm rescue. I dare you to find a frame with RNG good enough that you can save all the innocent lives.

The High-Top text entry system is somehow even more obnoxious as a TASer. You can only land on even letters (B, D, F...), so you're constantly overshooting and backtracking. Acceleration takes forever, too. And the game is weirdly inconsistent with how much you'll accelerate or deccelerate; sometimes you overshoot by SEVERAL letters and need to either backtrack MORE, or try to stop early and inch along to the right letter. SO stupid.

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#45772070955058652 - Pictionary - "Alternative Game"
pictionary alternative TAS-compact.fm3 (10.7kB fm3 movie [NES])
Uploaded 2018-03-15 08:10:43 by warmCabin (17 files)
In 01:03.49 [3816 frames], 155 rerecords)
1366 views, 130 downloads
This TAS completes the "alternative" mode, in which you're supposed to draw cards from your actual Pictionary deck and tell the game who won. So I just keep telling it I won until it tells me I'm the best.

Aside from the sound glitch, this TAS won't be terribly interesting to watch--there's no gameplay at all. but it's only 63 seconds long, so some people might still enjoy it.

"Why not do Regular mode?", you might be thinking. "There's gameplay in that!" (Or maybe you're not thinking that at all (except as you read it just now) because this game is terrible and no one would care or know about it if not for Tim Follin's amazing soundtrack).
Well, no. There's not. The minigames can be skipped entirely by pressing start, so a regular mode run would look just like this, except you get to watch the shoes type "NO" (the fastest word to type) 6 times rather than listen to a sustained D natural. Oh, and "NO" is one of 511 different words, so there'd likely be multiple SECONDS of RNG manip before each minigame. Which means it may be optimal to wait less time and settle for a slightly longer word, which sounds like a headache and a half to deal with. If you have the patience and the talent for something like that, I'd love to see it.

I mostly made this run to make a point. Without the stipulation I imposed on my other run, this game is trivial to TAS and boring to watch.

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