Mario Kart 64 Mario Raceway non-shortcut fastlap (time trials) by Michael Fried
1 lap of Mario Raceway completed in 22.89 seconds without shortcuts.
Some people in the IRC chatroom think this won't make a good TAS, but I disagree, so I guess I should give a list of reasons why this TAS is interesting, and one of the best possible examples of highly optimized racing. I know this isn't exactly a typical TAS, but it could be put in the concept demos category.
- Mario Kart is a very competitive series of racing games, probably more competitive than any other series.
- Many people consider Mario Kart 64 to have the strongest world records of any Mario Kart.
- Mario Raceway is one of the most played tracks in the game, probably 2nd only to Luigi Raceway.
- Mario Raceway non-shortcut fastlap is the most sought after world record in the game, and has long been considered one of the strongest world records, with 2 people tied at 23.10 and 3 people with 23.11, and 28 more people with 23.30 or faster. Of course it's always interesting to be able to see how much faster a TAS is than the world record, especially one that's strong. For comparison, you can find the world record videos here and here
- You might be thinking that .21 seconds isn't a large amount for a TAS to beat a world record by, but for such a strong world record, I can assure you it's a very huge amount. For a person with experience in Mario Kart 64, the difference is very noticeable. Before this TAS was made, many people estimated the perfect time to be ~23.05.
- The strategies are very complicated, more than just taking turns tightly. It normally takes many months just to develop a proper understanding of the game physics, so you could say in a way I did many months of research for this TAS, even though the TAS itself took me less than a week to make.
- Why only 1 lap, you might ask, instead of the whole race? 3 laps would get repetitive. Also, as I said before, the fastlap world record is very strong, and it's always interesting to be able to compare a TAS to the world record. This is also the reason I did non-shortcut. People are more familiar with the non-shortcut fastlap than with the shortcut fastlap (because they've spent more time playing it), and people have worked much harder on optimizing the non-shortcut world record, so it's stronger than the shortcut world record. Also because the shortcut would skip over several parts of the lap that look very cool when done as fast as I did in this TAS.
Main differences between this TAS and the fastest non-TAS runs (in addition to these, the TAS also has faster MTs (mini-turbos), tighter turns, and various optimizations:
- I AB spin at the start to turn more quickly.
- Perfectly timed mushroom (just before the speed would have started decreasing), and perfect angle (yes, I tested them all). You need to find just the right angle to get a good balance between taking the mushroom tightly and taking the next left-facing mini-turbo tightly.
- After the first left-facing MT, I hop to turn more sharply, followed by an SSMT (straight-stretch mini-turbo). People normally just drive straight here in a non-TAS run.
- Perfectly timed hopping through the grass, and tight around the wall. Very hard to do perfectly in a non-TAS run. It might look like I hit the piranha plant. Actually I jumped through it (though everyone jumps through it so that's not new).
- At the next part where I hop through grass, I enter the grass from earlier than most people do, to cut down on distance. It also makes the hopping much harder to control, and with this strategy, clipping the wall seemed to be the only way to avoid going wide (luckily it didn't slow me down by a significant amount). Also, as before, the hops are perfectly timed, which minimizes speed loss.
- I used the 2nd mushroom earlier than most people do, to get back up to top speed sooner.
Emulator used: mupen64-rerecording-v8
- Video: Jabo's Direct3D8 1.6
- Sound: Jabo's DirectSound 1.6
- Input: N-Rage`s Direct-Input8 1.60
- RSP: RSP emulation Plugin
- Length: 43.6 seconds (power-on to completing the lap)
- Frames: 2616 (951 input)
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