Bag of Magic Food's Rockman World 3 in 23:02 (for Game Boy) (for RSS readers...? What's RSS?)
Emulator: VisualBoyAdvance Version 1.7.2 Re-Recording V19.2 Mode: Game Boy Sound sampling rate: 44 KHz Aims for fastest time Uses no passwords Takes damage to save time Manipulates enemy behavior a little and also what items they drop when they die
The Gray Bomber is back! Again! And he's deadly with a shuriken... because all the other weapons are pretty bad in comparison.
This is just a standard Game Boy MegaRockMan game. It uses the Rock Man 3 bosses that were left out from the previous game, plus half the bosses from Rockman 4, and a new guy. What's interesting is that the game engine is really just the Rockman World 1 engine with the appropriate additions of sliding and charging and everything else that comes with the newer games. So some of the old movement quirks are still there, at least until Rockman World 4 or 5. I guess nobody really liked the Rockman World 2 engine. But this also means I'm back to shooting once every 9 frames.
Nach and I had a lot of discussions about the game, as he encouraged me to finish and came up with ideas, so that's why his name is in the author field.
Some fun facts to keep in mind when watching:
- Starting with this game, you can end a slide early by hitting Up on the D-pad. This way you don't have to turn around or jump or anything! You can still jump out of a slide, but only after a minimum of 5 frames of sliding.
- The new Rush Jet's movement can't be altered at all. It only goes forward in the direction you placed him at, at the height you placed him at, and you can't change speed or move up or down or anything. So now it's more like a slow Item-2 that's activated by you jumping on it rather than a timer.
- In this game, the semi-charged Rock Mega Buster shot is even wider than the fully-charged shot, and it also travels faster than the uncharged shot. So I use it to get the first hit on an enemy in a little quicker sometimes, especially when there's not enough time for a full charge-up.
- Sliding almost always reduces lag in a laggy situation, so I rarely just stand around; instead I have MegaRockMan slide back and forth like a maniac. I guess it's easier for the game to calculate...?
- In boss battles where I use the Mega Rock Buster, I alternate charged and non-charged shots. You may recall that the latest NES game runs also put an uncharged shot in between two big shots, but on Game Boy, the boss invulnerability time is so short and the charge-up time is so long that it actually saves time to fire a small shot after every large shot. It's hard to explain, but it works. And with 19 energy units, that works out nicely to 5 big shots with 4 small shots in between.
- Like the NES games it's based on, this game waits until all the Robot Master explosion bubbles are off the screen before MegaRockMan collects his weapon. So I try to end each fight with the robot as close to the center of the screen as possible without wasting time. In addition, the game also takes away your ability to control MegaMan the instant the boss takes its last hit, so I have to get him into the center at the same time! Luckily, this game engine lets you keep drifting forward through the air after losing control, so I can abuse that by ending fights in the middle of a jump.
Now as for the order: Well, obviously, it's based on weapon effectiveness. As I mentioned, Shadow Blade is nice in that it does decent damage to most things, even the other two bosses in the first ring. It also uses only half a unit of energy per shot, which gives me 38 shots without refilling. And I can aim it upward, and it travels fast with boomerang action, so it's pretty versatile. The main weakness is that I can't aim downward, but Search Snake is too slow and weak, and I won't get Screw Crusher until the last level. And Spark Shock just freezes things. So beyond that, Gemini Laser is basically the most useless weapon. It uses 2 units per shot, giving me only 10 shots, and it moves extremely slowly on Game Boy.
I actually tried seeing if I could attack two parachuters with one Gemini Laser, but that didn't work so well. Oh, one other thing: It really does save time to kill all those grenade guys. I tested it. Explosions are laggy, but dodging them and leaving them behind is slightly slower in most cases.
I try to only charge just as long as I need to without wasting a shot, which is pretty easy with all the opportunities I get to hold B without shooting in this game, but occasionally it's less laggy to start the charge a little early. Whatever. The really uncool part of this level is the rising platforms, which not only rise extremely slowly and thus provide no challenge, but also lag the game with only 2 or 3 onscreen. Random lag is probably the toughest thing to optimize in this game, so even if you can't improve on the weapon uses, I'd recommend fiddling with how you approach the laggy areas to try to squeeze a few seconds out of a future run.
It's important to judge how much time taking damage actually saves. I recall that I have to wait 48 frames before I regain control of RockMegaMan. In addition, if I spend more than 18 life units in one level, I'll have to refill somewhere, and that costs an extra 4 frames per unit. So most of the time, if I can kill something in about 6 shots or less or sneak past it, I will.
And just so you know, SparkMan has a period of invulnerability that he doesn't have in the NES version which occurs when he charges up his biggest shot. It doesn't seem possible to manipulate it to happen much later than that, so that's why I wait.
Deciding exactly where to use the Shadow Blade in this level was very tricky, because in some cases it's just to prevent a tiny bit of lag, and I generally only need to save 2 frames with 1 Shadow Blade for it to be worthwhile. (Refilling 1 energy unit pauses the game 4 frames, though opportunities to fill an odd number of units are obviously limited, and filling just a fraction of a unit still takes the full 4 frames.)
I'd like to take this paragraph to note that subpixel positioning is another pain to deal with, like random lag, and sometimes it's even a factor in random lag. Sometimes a jump I make with the same length of time pressing the A-button will propel RockMegaMan to slightly different heights, depending on what fraction of a pixel he's standing off the floor. There's a flying enemy in this level that I just barely hit with a Shadow Blade, but sometimes it won't reach, depending on previous jumps and shots. Anyway, if you're really interested in the position and velocity numbers, look in the D700 area of the memory.
At the end, I delay the last shot on purpose so SnakeMan will be closer to the center and thus save on explosion time. I also had to manipulate him not to stop, jump, and fire snakes so he'd get back to the right faster. I just realized I'm switching between past and present tense.
It's a real shame that this is the level where you earn Rush Coil, since it seems as though Rush Coil might have helped beat it faster. Nach was actually thinking of putting this level before SparkMan in order to use Rush Coil on the ladders, but it didn't save enough time to justify not having Spark Shock on SnakeMan. (Each use of the menu takes 40 to 50 frames, depending on how laggy the current area is and how far away the weapon to switch to is.)
Hey, did you notice that the length of time you spend waiting for the password screen depends on the number of characters the weapon acquisition screen prints? SnakeMan and DustMan take the longest with their extra Rush messages.
Too many dragonflies!!!! And where are those fire-dropping things? Oh well. It's just cool to get to destroy a huge line of tadpole eggs with the charged shot that MegaRockMan didn't have in the NES game.
And... Cool trick! Hitting a penguin maker in its weak spot (which definitely appears to be its propeller and not its eyes in this game) deactivates its ability to hurt you with its body for a moment, saving me time and energy!
Some token appearing blocks... It's strange how they have the same quirk as the SparkMan platforms of sometimes putting a sliding Rockman into a falling position all of a sudden, even though they don't even move. This could be something to investigate more.
And look, a miniboss that's just a giant version of a common dumb enemy from the very first game! Luckily it's not a Met, since they get too much attention anyway. It takes 2 units from Spark Shock, but it's good to start with a charged shot because it's a little faster and effectively saves 'two' Spark Shock hits since the final hit would have been overkill.
Okay. So now I start this second boss weakness ring with DustMan, mainly because Drill Bomb's explosions are always laggy and it only does 2 points to DustMan. SkullMan first was a fairly close second, though, so if you're trying to obsolete the movie with a different boss order, you could start by trying that.
Oh boy, I get to use Rush Coil a bunch! I also use Spark Shock on something other than a boss, although it only saves a smidgen of time.
Oh, and that "fire through the shield at close range" trick? I only discovered it once I started DrillMan, so I had to redo three levels. Ah well.
I did some cool things in the crusher area. The reason you didn't see me charge up the buster on the first shot was because I was holding B while using Rush Coil, and the game keeps track of how long you've held B, even if you're not flashing. Also, there's one part where a shot hits a Metool and a block at the the same time, though it's hard to notice at full speed.
Wait, NOW I get to use Rush Coil a bunch. So many ladders. Um... Did you know that in this game, only charged-up shots can actually beat Skeleton Joe? Most other weapons stun him but don't actually do any damage.
Running out of Rush Coil is actually a good thing, because I can shoot regular shots without summoning Rush. So I can start the SkullMan fight with one of those shots because it's just as good as a final overkill, and get this--if I hit B and Start at the same time, Megaman will fire the Dust Crusher immediately after leaving the menu, but SkullMan won't react to the press of B, so he doesn't jump, shield himself, and run. That's a nice feature.
The water physics are a little weird. Or maybe they just bring out the general weirdness of the game engine more vividly. It seems as though the jump heights oscillate every frame. And sometimes jumping at a platform later makes you land on it sooner. Well, anyway...
Yeah, you can't scroll the screen until you beat the whale, but I make sure to beat it the instant I hit the edge so that it doesn't lag with its explosions.
I know the ending looks a little awkward, but that's the best I could come up with. If there's a way to pass over everything with Rush Jet, I'd try it, but I can't get the right height, and it makes the manta rays pile up.
Oh yeah, and I turned on the final Skull Barrier early to demonstrate how the final hit on a boss passes through it while it's flashing rather than getting absorbed.
Probably the quickest level. I went backwards a bit to delay the shield so I could shoot it right at the edge... Um... The random lag places were chasing Hammer Joe's hammer and boarding the bomb platforms (which I think this game actually introduced--Mega Rock Man 6 just added the sideways ones). It would have saved time to use Rush Coil on the ladders at first, but then I wouldn't be able to switch back until after using Rush at the mandatory Rush spot in order to not lose the savings on 2 extra menu uses, and my test showed I would lose all the time anyway in summoning Rush and not being able to charge up.
Dive Missile is a cool weapon, so it's a shame I couldn't use it in the final level just because the gumball machine guys don't take extra damage from it. DrillMan is much more manipulatable in this game, it seems. He doesn't have to start the battle by digging, and when he does dig, he doesn't repel your shots--so it's like the opposite of SparkMan. He also has such a variety of moves that I managed to get him almost exactly centered. Yay!
The reason I jump into the door is so that Mega will drift into the room while the cutscene's already started and he's just doing nothing, saving a few frames. It only works up to a certain point, though, because eventually he loses his extra velocity even in the air and a higher jump isn't worth it.
The new Robot Master is called Punk. He's invincible when he climbs into his spiky shoulderpads, and he only passes the middle of the screen in that form, so it's impossible to beat him at the center and get his power fast like the others. Plus it's tricky to shoot early with the small shots because he's always jumping and throwing blades. But notice I manipulated him to start his trip across the screen sooner and jump FOUR times before traveling again! I beat him just before he went invulnerable to start his second trip.
Wow, this level's music is pretty emotional. Sorry about the missed shot, but in this situation it lagged to charge any longer than necessary.
Just so you know, I didn't have to use Rush Jet to cross the spike pit; it was just faster than taking damage. Plus it's a little faster to use Jet than to use Coil to ascend the long ladder, mainly because I don't have to switch again. Skull Barrier and Drill Bomb both beat the shields in one hit, but Skull wins because it doesn't have explosions, despite not destroying the falling block.
The Screw Crusher works like a reverse Silver Tomahawk. You throw it up, and it falls down off the screen. It's strong against a lot of enemies, but it's slow sometimes because you have to wait for it to fall. That's why Shadow Blade and Dust Crusher just barely beat it out in effectiveness here. It's too bad, though... I love how Screw Crusher only uses an eighth of a unit of energy per shot.
I couldn't start Giant Suzy with Mega Buster this time because it's bad against the Hammer Joe just before it, but the battle still looks cool. It's hard to say what set of moves is empirically the fastest for this battle, but be aware that it's best to grab the health refill right away--it actually SAVES time rather than wasting it after a boss fight, just like in Megarockmanworld1.
That "PickleMan Dada" actually receives two hits from Dust Crusher; the second hit is the first shot's broken piece hitting another part of its head. I prefer to fire the Dust Crusher right in enemies' faces so that the pieces will hit their insides like that and I won't have to wait to shoot again.
And I was thinking of getting 7 extra lives in this level just to show off, but that turned out to be really hard. For all I know, there's some extra special condition you have to fulfill besides just pushing certain buttons. So I settled for the 2 I got by accident.
Now for Dr. Wily's first form, it turns out that only a charged shot will affect him, so I can't switch to small shots to save time. When I tested this with just the Buster like that, the last shot was a bit too late--Wily had already lifted off, and he would take another 200 frames to reach the other side of the screen, and over there I don't get my safety zone. Since I was delaying shots until he started to fall, though, I used Rush to land my next-to-last shot on him earlier, wasting almost 90 frames on switches but getting back those 200.
And like the first Game Boy game, only the special ninth weapon affects the second form, so it's 19 Screw Crushers to win. Nach realized that on the left, Wily isn't as close to the edge of the screen, and there's a tiny gap where you're not damaged and the bouncing balls can hardly reach you. So it turns out to be a little faster to attack from there, despite making the battle look too easy.
All right, all done! Dr. Wily kisses MegaRockMega's feet! If you're making an .avi out of this, I recommend ending it at frame 104512. Have fun!