Submission #2136: Saturn's SNES Super Metroid "glitchless low%" in 42:37.13

Super Nintendo Entertainment System
glitchless low%
Super Metroid (JU).smc
Submitted by Saturn on 11/9/2008 12:03:37 AM
Submission Comments

Super Metroid 14% (aka. glitchless/legit Low%) TAS v1.1 by Saturn

Recorded on Snes9x 1.43-improvement9 (but works on future versions of the Snes9x 1.43 series just fine as well)

Sync Settings

  • WIP 1 Timing: ON
  • Left+Right/Up+Down: OFF
  • Volume Envelope Height Reading: OFF
  • Fake Mute desync workaround: ON
  • Sync samples with sound CPU: ON

Attributes of this run

  • 14% mode (beats the game with the least amount of items possible in legal conditions)
  • aims for fastest possible time, both, real- and ingame time wise
  • takes damage to save time
  • very high luck manipulation (especially to get optimal refills)
  • abuses glitches (but not the major out of room ones the 6% TAS does)
  • Genre: Platformer
  • Total Frames: 153428
Addendum by Bisqwit: "legal conditions" as defined here: Forum/Posts/184660 and Forum/Posts/184775 according to the author.
Suggested screenshot:

About the Game

Super Metroid is a classic platformer with many advanced techniques and a very fine, subpixel-based move engine. The story is about a bounty hunter called Samus who has the goal to explore a foreign planet called Zebes to find and destroy Mother Brain, the evil leader of the galaxy who is breeding a mighty species called Metroids to abuse them for her own benefits. During the journey you will find alot of items such as new ammo, energy tanks, special upgrades that speed you up or allow to pass certain areas you would normally not be able to, and making your character strong enough to be ready for the upcoming showdown against Mother Brain.
Despite being 14 years old by now, it is considered as one of the best games ever made, and is still played by many people on a regular basis. Due to the many different move techniques, a high variety through the new upgrades, and alot of route possibilities, this game is a very common target for many types of speedruns and playthroughs.

Moviemaking & Comments

As promised in the Super Metroid thread, here is my first version of a 14% TAS. I mainly recorded it between July 19, 2007 and January 1 2008 (v1.0), with a small improvement added during the big Metroid escape in July 2008 (v1.1). It's a huge improvement to the previous run, beating it by gigantic 30517 frames (or ~8,5 minutes) of realtime, and achieving a record-time completion of 0:27 minutes on the game clock (or 27:59 to be more exactly), which is definitely the limit for a glitchless 14% run. On top of that I managed to avoid the pause screen / menu entrance completely except to execute the unavoidable Gravity Jump, getting a optimal realtime as well while making the run more entertaining to watch due to less interruptions.
During the making of the run I managed to develop some really cool techs never done before, most noticeably the "WS-Lake horizontal bomb jump" without collecting the Missile pack, and also many new strategies at bosses (especially on Ridley and Draygon) to still beat them very quickly, even with the very limited conditions in ammo and equipment. Finally the run uses a fully optimized route to avoid backtracking as much as possible.
All in all, the quality of the run is very high, and it's only improvable by at most 15 seconds in the early parts of the run (the late ones are pretty much flawless with a few tiny exceptions worth of single frames only). Ammo and energy management is excellent over the entire run, and in fact, the refill drops are so good in this one that I doubt they could be reproduced without sacrificing realtime by entering the menu to manipulate them, which would in any case result in possible slowdowns to compensate that.
Seeing that the 14% category got kind of obsoleted by the 6% NBMB one (although they can't really be compared to each other), I don't expect this to be published, despite the huge and ground breaking improvement. My intention with this submission is to just contribute a unique run that sets a eternal ingame completion record to this site for the many people who want to see it, especially for those who have problems downloading large video files due to slow connections. It's definitely not less entertaining than the 6% NBMB TAS overall, so maybe it's worth to at least include this submission to the description of it without necessary publishing, like it was done a couple of times before. There is also a concept demo section for runs that aim for special goals like this one, so it would eventually fit there as well.

Ice VS Speed

In a 14% run, you must either take the Ice Beam, or Speed Booster. Both items, as different as they are, have the same purpose: They are required to get past the pre-Botwoon room and through the Zebetites in Tourian. I collected the Ice Beam in this run because my tests have confirmed that it is at least 75 ingame seconds (and even more realtime sec) faster in the end, despite of the slower running speed and the missing shinesparks. The reason is that Ice Beam does 50% more damage than the normal beam you have to use when picking up Speed Booster, and therefore speeds up boss battles with much HP alot. In fact, the Mother Brain fight alone already compensates the entire losses of the lacking Speed Booster, with additional big time saver at Ridley and the Metroids (which you would have to slowly PB otherwise).


  • Terimakasih -- for his previous 0:35 run. He used a nearly same route, which helped alot in the decision to pick Ice over Speed Booster, giving me a pretty accurate estimation before even starting this run that the former will be a faster choice especially due to early Wrecked Ship.
  • Cpadolf -- for his new technique to escape the big Metroid even faster. It was the key to get the 0:27 time in this run.
  • Hero of the Day -- for his any% v1 in 0:25 run. It was of great help to me when comparing the Speed Booster gains and allowed me to estimate the rough completion time of this run already back at Ridley.
  • Moozooh -- for the Torizo Skip, and for motivating me to start this run parallelly to his own 14% one that would use the Speed Booster route. I actually hoped he would finish his one so that we would have TASes for both routes and a better comparison between them, but unfortunately it didn't want to happen.
And everybody else who has contributed something useful for SM-TASing.


For those interested, this run is also available on YouTube.

mmbossman: I’m rejecting this run for the following reasons:
Primary reason - Quoting the Judge Guidelines: ‘’Keep the number of different branches per a game minimal.’’ This run is an attempt to resurrect a movie branch that is now obsolete, as there is already a true low% Super Metroid run published, and I see no need to resurrect a dead category. Considering that the previous 14% run was left unimproved for 4 years, while multiple other Super Metroid runs were improved (and added) several times, it shows that there is a lack of interest in the Super Metroid TAS community in this category, which can likely be correlated to a lower interest in this category from the TASvideos community in general. When compared to the three currently published "non-glitched" runs, this movie provides very little additional entertainment value for viewers who do not closely follow Super Metroid techniques and tricks.
Secondary reason - The goals of this run, along with the execution of those goals, are nebulous. The author has stated an obvious preference towards ‘’maximally optimized subpixel position’’ techniques in the latter half of his run, while rationalizing intentionally missed techniques in the first half of the run by saying they ‘’add up to the entertainment level of the run’’. I am not against entertainment tradeoffs at the expense of speed, however those exceptions should be made clear in the submission text, not explained away afterward (and especially not in the passive aggressive manner shown by the author). Additionally, very little attempt is made in the submission text to define what makes a run ‘’legit’’ in the authors mind, and the issue is further clouded by admitting to abusing other glitches. This lack of clear goals is the second reason this submission is rejected.

Dear mmbossman, the goals of this run are as clear as they can be: Completing the game with the minimal amount of items without skipping bosses and use major glitches. The explanation of "legal conditions" wasn't stated in the submission text because I expected it to be a obvious thing to anybody who knows at least a bit about Super Metroid (since those who don't, wouldn't even care to watch this run). Besides, it was explained in the discussion tread here, or here. You apparently still fail to realize that the 6% run you labeled as "true low%" skips 90% of the game and all bosses, so it can't be put into the classic low% category this run represents, that exists for almost any game.
Also, the clear majority of people have stated that they enjoyed the run and think the category is good. I'm not sure if ignoring all this people and just go by your own biased opinion is a good thing, especially for the TAS community as a whole, which because of that will miss a very unique and entertaining quality run that would only enrich this site due to the many people who would definitely be interested to see it. Too bad.

mmbossman: For my rebuttal to Saturn's complaints, see the following links: Link 1 Link 2 Link 3 Link 4

Since we're at it, mmbossman forgot Link 5, for a clear and detailed explanation to his "multiple goal problem". Didn't seem to arrive yet, but hey, it's not too late.

Bisqwit starts concentrating on a new spell.
Bisqwit holds up a diamond and whispers the magic words "herää".
Pieces of #2136: Saturn's SNES Super Metroid "glitchless low%" in 42:37.13 surface from various positions in the ground
and come together forming a living submission!
Eww! The pieces stink like grue excrement ― hardly surprising,
considering the circumstances in which they were deposited.
Bisqwit starts concentrating on a new spell.
Bisqwit empties a bag of fairy dust at #2136: Saturn's SNES Super Metroid "glitchless low%" in 42:37.13 and sings "wunderbaum, wunderbaum".
The foul smell of #2136: Saturn's SNES Super Metroid "glitchless low%" in 42:37.13 is neutralized!
Submission 2136 has been resurrected from the dead.

Bisqwit: Decision: Submission postponed until a time we can have arbitrary goal movies without making the site unmanageable.

adelikat: Decision: rejected until a time we can have arbitrary goal movies without making the site unmanageable

Nach: Since the above has now come to fruition, accepting.
feos: Processing.......
Last Edited by adelikat on 10/5/2023 6:27 PM
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