Submission #1036: josh l.'s GBA Astro Boy: The Omega Factor in 31:01.17

Console Game Boy Advance Emulator VBA
Game Version USA Frame Count 111670
ROM Filename 1569 - Astro Boy - Omega Factor (U).gba Frame Rate 60
Branch Rerecord Count 4751
Unknown Authors josh l.
Game Astro Boy: Omega Factor
Submitted by josh l. on 3/31/2006 7:40:55 PM

Submission Comments
Astro Boy is the one ray of light in a sea of terrible GBA license games. Developed by Treasure, it is the definitive game for Tezuka fans, with fast action, nice animation, a decent story, and lots of cameos of various Tezuka characters.
The game follows Astro Boy, recently activated by Dr. Tenma, as he helps fight for peace and all that, meeting various Tezuka characters along the way, and fighting various Tezuka villains. He builds strength using the "Omega Factor"... which simply means the more people he meets, the stronger he gets.
The game actually has 9 total stages (each divided into various sections) and a "Second Quest", and this video features seven of them. I'll get to that later.
Astro Boy has five basic moves, and three special moves in this game. Two of the special moves are pretty useless in a time attack, so you'll only be seeing the "EX Cannon" (the move where he fires a giant laser). Most of the enemies are done away with using punching combos. Kicks send enemies flying across the screen, damaging the enemies they collide into, and is handy for bunching up enemies together to knock out all at once. The Finger Laser is good in theory for attacking spread-out groups of enemies, but it's a slow move, and one laser (usually) has the attack power of one punch. Then there's the dash, which makes creating a video for this game REALLY Complicated. In short, it lets Astro get around fast, and makes him "invincible" for a short time. How often it can be used in sequence depends on how much it's upgraded. I spend most of the game with Boosters at level 2, allowing two dashes in a row.
As always, speed is an important factor. For the most part, I try to do the game as fast as possible. But making the game look good was equally as important, and the range of moves Astro has gives plenty of opportunities for that. If there was a way to get rid of a group of enemies with a really cool punch/kick/dash combo that was 10 frames slower than just hammering the EX Cannon and killing them all, that's what I'd do. If the EX Cannon was 100 frames faster, I'd go with that instead.
Omega Factor upgrades consume about 450 frames. At first, I agonized over whether going after certain optional upgrades would be worth it... if the powerups would really save 450 frames in the long run... then ultimately I decided this was irrelevent. A stronger Astro Boy makes the parts of the game with actual gameplay faster and more fun to watch. All in all, I acquired 7 optional upgrades, resulting in a fully-powered punch and laser by the final stage. Being powered-up like that helps take out all the bosses in that stage faster than one might think!
This game was played on Normal mode. Hard mode has a few differences, the most significant being that the enemies take more hits to kill, and Astro's use of super moves is more limited. Basically, it just slows the game down more. It would have made the game more boring to watch, especially in the final set of boss fights.
tl;dr: I tried to make the game a nice balance of "fast as possible" and "entertaining as possible".

Notes about the stages:
  • Red and Purple enemies can't be "stunned" when they're attacked. They also can't be kicked across the screen.
  • I use the Finger Laser in stage 1 more often than in any other stage, because a lot of the enemies are weak and can be killed with one hit, which makes its slowness a little more forgiveable. I start using kicks more once the enemies get stronger.
  • Magnamite, the boss of stage 1, was a tough one. With 1/4th of his life left, he starts jumping out of view, attempting to squash Astro. Astro had to be positioned EXACTLY perfect for his EX Cannon to finish him off before he can get off one jump.
  • The final form of "Artificial Sun" boss of stage 2 gets larger if you use special moves on it. Typically, you don't want him to end up consuming the entire screen like I did. =)
  • I hated having to use two EX cannons against the 4 robots in the factory. It's impossible to defeat them quickly otherwise. You can't bunch them together, and they have moves that make them untouchable.
  • Pook has 4 forms. Leo (Lion) always starts out with the annoying shield move, making you wait. Bahamute (Shark) is typically the slowest one to deal with since it moves around real fast underground, but I got lucky and he jumped out of the ground almost immediately after transforming!
  • The Pook fight marks where I'm less trigger-happy with the EX Cannon. I don't use it once against him, and in fact, it actually makes the fight slower due to its "charging" animation.
  • In most of stage 3, there's no gravity.
  • Yes, I take a hit against Carabs, the boss of stage 4. Aside from the hit I take in the very first stage, this is the only time this happens. Yes, both done to save time. Look how much damage Carabs does!
  • Foreground layers were turned off to play the train carriage sections of Stage 5.
  • Sharaku, the boss of Stage 6 (also the main villain of the entire game), sucks. He has four attacks. You get to see two, one of which makes him invincible for quite a few seconds. I've tried everything to affect his movement so he won't use it. It just couldn't be done. Apparently, he automatically does that move after having a certain amount of life points.
  • Stage 7 is five boss fights! Each boss gives you an Omega upgrade, and with the Punch and Laser already maxed out, I went for the boosters. The booster upgrades actually help; these bosses like to spend a lot of time in the air.
  • North's first stage blocks all of your normal attacks, but once he performs a block, he's vulnerable to the EX Laser for a short time. His second stage has six different attacks. Most make him difficult/impossible to attack. I nailed him with the laser again, so you only get to see one of them. Sorry!
  • When Denkou disappears, you have to punch out 1 to 3 of those machines to get him to reappear, depending on how many hit points he has left. Or you can use the EX Machinegun to keep him from disappearing at all, apparently. Yeaaaaah, did not know this at the time. Whatever. Would have made the fight more boring anyway.
  • Brontus has three attacks, two of which leave him vulnerable to Astro's attacks. I managed to affect his movement to prevent him from doing the third one.
  • Epsilon has four moves, and again, you only get to see one. Typically, I planned to prevent her from using her Photon Beam, but it ended up being her very first move; so much for that! The Photon Beam makes her invincible for a short period, then REALLY hard to attack as the beams are coming down. But I think it made the fight really interesting, so I'm actually glad it happened!
  • Pluto, the "last boss", is kind of a drag. He's just a big tank, and he can do the one move in the game that can hurst Astro even in mid-Dash. I affected his movement to prevent that move, and aside from that, he seemed to like jumping around a lot, which was fine with me; I had five Boosters at this point. He has two Laser attacks and a missile attack, but I think he only fires those off if Astro's at a distance. You get to see one of those.

After defeating Pluto, the movie stops. The game is actually only about 1/2 done, so why does the movie stop? Well, the final half of the game is the "Rebirth" game, and here's what it involves:
  • Astro must play every stage again, with the same enemies, only this time his attacks are weaker, so they take a bit longer to kill. =/
  • Stage 4 has different enemies, but only stage 4-3 as a slightly altered layout. All the other stages are exactly the same.
  • The most interesting change in Rebirth is actually the alterations in the cinema events, which would all be skipped anyway.
  • After playing all the stages again, Astro has to do some leaping around the stages (including a new "Stage 0"), setting off various events in order to unlock stage 8. This involves two new boss fights, but other than that, it's mostly cinemas.
  • Stage 8 isn't even that interesting. It starts with a shooter stage, then there's 4 repeat boss fights, and only one new boss fight. The final stage can't be sped up in any way.
  • It's all rather interesting during normal play... you get to see a lot of new events unfold and it was real clever how the game's designers actually incoporated the Stage Select mode into the plot. For a time attack video, however, there just isn't much there.
  • and there you have it.
Astro Boy is kind of a weird game to time attack, but I hope you enjoy it.
  • Takes damage only twice to save time
  • VBA 1.7.2 rerecording 17.1
  • Aims for a balance of fastest time and most entertaining movie
  • Manipulates luck
  • Genre: Action/Fighting/Shooter

adelikat: good votes, good comments, good run, good game. Accepting for publication.

Nach: Encoding!

Nach: And rejected, see discussion.

SuperHappy: I will guess that I'll have a fixed version of the movie done sometime in February. 'Till then!

Last Edited by adelikat on 1/2/2022 12:58 AM
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