Submission #1392: josh l.'s GBA Wario Land 4 in 1:02:35.57

Console Game Boy Advance Emulator VBA
Game Version USA Frame Count 225334
ROM Filename Wario Land 4 (U) [!].gba Frame Rate 60
Branch Rerecord Count 1188
Unknown Authors josh l.
Game Wario Land 4
Submitted by josh l. on 12/18/2006 4:50:08 AM

Submission Comments
This is really totally honestly the final version of this movie. If I cancel and resubmit again, you are all free to kill me with a shovel. What I did was make major improvements in the Wildflower Fields stage. And that's it. I combed over the remaining levels in the video, making absolutely sure I didn't miss anything else. I am so close to beating Juan's time it makes me cry, but the game is now pushed as far as it can go. Only single-frame improvements remain, and they won't add up to fifteen seconds.
Again, I'm so sorry, guys. I know this is annoying. Apologies to Tompa for making him vote 5000 times.
A Google video is coming soon, for those who don't feel like hunting the ROM.
It seems my latest hex borked the re-record count. The actual number of re-records is roughly 17000.
As suggested, I'll just PM a new movie to Bisqwit if I make any changes from now on, but I'm almost entirely sure that's not going to happen. =)

Here is my actual Wario Land 4 Hard Mode submission.
It's 35 seconds (err.. make that 15) longer than JuanValdez's run, but played in Hard Mode, which gives Wario a significant amount of extra work to do. If I had played this in Hard Mode AND beaten Juan's time, that would have been really something, but alas, I'm almost completely sure that's not possible. I came pretty close, though! My goodness...
My original submission ( ) was pretty optimized, and I planned to just hexedit it to add in a few techniques, but I started redoing the run, and it became more and more apparent to me that there was a lot more to fix than just a few things. This, I redid everything. For those who saw the original submission, just about every level has some new technique in it. Nearly three minutes have been cut off, which is more than I imagined possible.

About the Game

Plot: Wario's out looking for treasure, as usual. This time, there's a princess that needs rescuing, but Wario doesn't know about her, nor does he care!
Object: Wario must play through 18 (LONG) stages, each containing a "Keyser" that unlocks the door to the next stage, as well as 4 Jewel Pieces needed to unlock the path to the boss. Along with that, he needs to hit a Frog Switch to exit the stage. The switch will start a timer, and when it runs out, Wario will start to lose all the money he acquired in the stage, and then die! Run Wario run!
Why the game is great: The level design in this game is impeccable. Every stage has its own unique design and its own unique set of strategies. It's a long game, but the variety keep things interesting all the way through. Wario has a lot of moves, and he'll need them all to get through the game.
The game's worst feature: About 20 minutes of non-skippable between-level sequences. Yes, twenty. I'm so sorry. When you watch this video, you'll need to make heavy use of the space bar!
Also, the ROM of the game is a bit hard to come by. You'll need the clean version of the ROM to watch the movie. You'll know if you have the wrong one if you have to click through some lame "hacker" intro screen before the game begins.

Stage Notes

Note: more stage notes can be found in my earlier run of the game.
Hall of Glyphs: The nice thing about this stage is that it gets people unfamiliar with Wario and his moves up to speed. Almost all are demonstrated here, complete with instructions on how they're done displayed on the murals in the background. =D
Palm Tree Paradise: Very little has changed from the previous run, as this stage is very simple. I crush less blocks, because ramming through blocks takes up an extra frame, and a frame is a frame!
Wildflower Fields: Introduces Balloon Wario, one of Wario's slower transformations. Normally it needs to be used three times in this stage, and special techniques allowed me to avoid two of them.
Mystic Lake: In this version of the run I figured out that diagonal swimming move. Foolishly, I thought it wasn't worth figuring out before, but holy crap did it end up saving a lot of time.
Monsoon Jungle: Introduces Fat Wario, the slowest transformation that won't go away until Wario moves around a certain amount. Fortunately, it can be avoided half the time it's needed in this game, but not this time. One oddity is that shortly after I hit the switch, I crush a rock, but then I don't take the path the rock was blocking. Why is this? It turns out the rock needs to be crushed, or else the path to the left won't show up at all. If I jump to the top with the rock still there, Wario just walks off-screen, and the arrow guy won't show up!
Curious Factory: Introduces Flat Wario, another excruciating transformation. He can't ever be avoided, but fortunately, he's only needed twice in the entire game.
Toxic Landfill: The first Fat Wario transformation could have been avoided, but oddly, it's actually slower that way.
40 Below Fridge: Unlike in my original run, I use speedy tricks to eliminate any need to wait for snowdrops to become Snowball Wario. Sadly, the long wait at the moving platform in the large room could not be avoided, despite my spending a long time desperately trying.
Pinball Zone: I think I spent more time on this stage than the rest of the game combined. =P If it ever seems like I'm going for targets in a weird order, it's because I need to hit them when their gates are open, and they often closed at inconvenient times. It was quite frustrating! And it didn't help that when I hexed earlier parts of this movie, something would always desynch in this stage, sometimes while I was in the middle of juggling balls...
Toy Block Tower: This stage had a bunch of horrible, obvious mistakes in my original run... all fixed! =)
The Big Board: For those wondering, here's what the spaces on the board mean:
  • Heart: gives Wario a heart (duh)
  • Lightning: the screen flashes and Wario takes damage. Wario can't hit the switch again until he's out of invincibility mode.
  • The dark spectre thing: Causes three card-monsters to materialize.
  • Diamond: Gives Wario a diamond. 1000 pts!
  • The red block: Turns the red platforms throughout the stage off or on.
  • Wario: Gives a different status affliction to Wario depending on the room he's in. Often it's needed to get Jewel Pieces. In the final room, it turns him into Fire Wario, wasting lots of time.
Doodle Woods: One of the slower Fat Wario sequences is skipped here. I was so happy when I discovered how to do it.
Domino Row: I discovered a lot of ways to take damage to save time in this particular stage, so much so that I almost died! It's fortunate that the "close to death" chime is a lot more pleasant than Zelda's.
Crescent Moon Village: Bat Wario is pretty fast when moving up or down, and hellishly slow when moving left or right. He's avoided twice in this stage. Again, the CD case blocks the path to the third Jewel Piece, which is why it's the only stage where I get this normally-optional item. Also, the ghost stole my key this time!! But I got it back easily, so no harm done..
Arabian Night: I have to say I was pretty shocked when I got that shortcut near the frog switch to work. =O
Fiery Cavern: Most of the strategy comes from taking damage in the proper places, and I did a much better job this time than I did with my first run.
Hotel Horror: Bat Wario, Fat Wario, and Fire Wario transformations were all avoided... wowsers! I could have avoided one of the Zombie transformations as well, but it would have been slower to do it that way. Whenever I avoid a slow transformation, it's done by throwing an enemy, then bouncing off him to perform a "super jump" of sorts. This move is virtually impossible to do without slow-motion.
Golden Passage: This wasn't much different than my original run. For a final stage, it's actually kind of a drag in TAS form. Too much repetition!
My boss strategies are the same as in the original run, except for some very slight differences with the Golden Diva, where I saved a few seconds.

  • Genre: Action/platform/puzzle
  • VBA 1.7.2 17.1 (should work with all versions)
  • Hard Mode run
  • aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
This is my most ambitious TAS yet. I hope you like it!

Truncated: Up for judging shortly, probably tonight.

Truncated: VERY nice. A whole lot of new tricks and overall much better played. The only things that stood out was irregular use of the butt-stomp and weird movements as the bat, but it's probably nothing.
The justification for using Normal mode last time was that the run would otherwise be even longer. But this run does so much more and is still of comparable length, so the obvious descision is to have it obsolete the one we have.
And like you guessed by now, accepted.

Nach: Terrific, encoding.

Last Edited by on 1/1/2022 6:13 PM
Page History Latest diff