Submission #2322: DarkKobold's Genesis Shining in the Darkness in 43:27.20

System Sega Genesis Emulator GENS
Game Version USA Frame Count 156432
ROM Filename Shining in the Darkness (U) [!].bin Frame Rate 60
Branch Rerecord Count 16367
Unknown Authors DarkKobold
Game Shining in the Darkness
Submitted by DarkKobold on 7/12/2009 10:35:55 PM

Submission Comments
Changes from the last submission
  • Pick up 2 angel feathers pre-Kaiser, so I don't have to die. Saves ~6-8 seconds per feather. (Note, the last (now only) death is required, to regain health/MP)
  • Don't fight the Cyblok or Sea Stallion. Saves about 20 seconds each. This means I don't get the Fire Rod or Madu.
  • Cause the Mithril Rod to drop. Saves unknown amount of time, a ton in the end battle, removing the various Box animations.
  • No Magic Rings dropped, Forbidden Box used in a different way.
  • Light Helm not picked up, Dark Knight is defended with only Frost Armor, Princess Tiara, and Leather Shield. (Note the hero wears the Princess Tiara through the end of the game.)
  • Abuses naming glitch, which allows me to rename the characters. Saves 3 frames per time Pyra's name is said. I left her with a 1 character name, to make it less confusing. Milo not given a name, since he never does anything but die.
  • Dancing Darksol is maintained, of course
Text from last submission:
Two Genesis Shining games down, two to go.
  • Manipulates Luck
  • Kills characters to save time
  • Uses death as a shortcut
  • A singular entertainment for speed trade off
  • Used Lua extensively - Lua should be listed as an author

About the Run

The first of the Shining series, SitD is a far departure from the subsequent Genesis games of the series. However, the final boss, and final boss music are identical to that of the sequel, Shining Force 1. It is a standard dungeon crawler RPG, with the normal expected leveling, fighting your way slowly through the dungeon, and returning to town to heal. Of course, being a TAS, there are only a few 'random' encounters, and instead the heroes walk blissfully easy through the dungeon, beating up bosses, only to be destroyed at the end, and sent back to town. Unfortunately, like many RPG TASes, this also means lots of boring walking to watch. I include a script to make this slightly less annoying, hopefully.

About the Game

You are the son of Darth Vader a Knight of the realm of Thornwood. Your father and the Princess have gone missing. You are sent to investigate the only other location in this small world, to see if that is where the Princess is hidden (um, duh?). After determining the Princess is held there, you must traverse 4 Trials (Strength, Courage, Truth, and Wisdom). By traverse, I literally mean traverse. Each of the trials can be completed individually simply by walking through them. Granted, normally you'd encounter monsters, but that doesn't happen in a TAS. Additionally, boss fights are required to obtain an item to access the next trial.
Once the 4 trials are completed, the hero and his party are granted access to the upper floors. These upper floors have balconies that probably could have been scaled to by a smart person. No one said your hero was smart. You encounter your father at the 4th floor, and are forced to kill him to save the Princess.
Of course, you don't actually HAVE to save the Princess to win the game, so just keep walking, and kill the big bad guy behind it all. When all is over, the Princess magically appears back at the castle, and all is well. Strange, couldn't she have just done that in the first place?

My buddy, my buddy, my buddy Lua and me...

Surprise, surprise, Lua played a big role in the making of one of my runs. One of the most difficult things to do in the run was to traverse the dungeon without encounters. When re-doing the run repeatedly, I wrote a Lua script that calculated how to avoid encounters, and how to load an 'alarm state' and modify the walking on the chance that an encounter did happen.
All big encounters near the end required a large amount of Luck manipulation. (See WangChung). However, once you make the final selection in a battle, the next round activity is untouchable, due to lag frames. Therefore, it was far too difficult to reverse engineer everything that happened. Lua to the rescue. While I slept, Lua went through every possible battle that could happen, and wrote it to a text file that could be opened in Microsoft Excel, and then sorted. Of course, Lua was then told the value I wanted, and using a quick script, executed that value. (Thanks to Nitrodon for explaining how to do this).

Everybody have fun tonight, Everybody Wang Chung tonight...

Wachunga! For those who do not know this game, I will talk a bit about Gila. I pick him up in the Cavern of Strength, and he stays with me until the end of the game. Now, in the run, he attacks every turn. This is a result of luck manipulation - He only has about a 10% chance of attacking. (Small note, it is determined before the round whether or not he attacks, making the luck manipulation more difficult). Also, when playing the game normally, you lose him when you spend a night at the Inn. This being a TAS, I die for my all my healing, and thus he stays, Wachunga'ing his way through the entire game.

About the final boss

Magic Rings reduce the amount of damage magic does by an additional percentage of -25%. Thus, with 2 Rings, Z takes 56% of magic damage, and Pyra takes 42% with 3. This was the only way I could survive Demon's Breath. Additionally, Darksol's 2nd form gains 100 Hp per battle round. Thus, I use some of the Forbidden Box's slower spells (the roulette wheel) to decrease the amount of healing he is able to do. Also, after his arms drop (< 1200Hp), he either casts Demon's Breathe every round, or swings with his tail (200+ damage to Z).Thus, I deal just enough damage to get his Hp to 1208, to allow one more round of roulette before switching to the slower Attack/Heal combo required to win.
It would have been slightly faster to have the box deal damage in the 2nd to last round, and then have the tail kill Pyra at the end round.... but I think my decision to end the game the way I did was far superior, and it appears most viewers agree.

Item management

You might notice that I never drop an item, I instead either break it or transfer it to Milo. This is faster, because when I get 4 items from drops for Pyra, it does not require me opening the menu to transfer them. (Item drops go to the next available space)

Watching the run

Thanks to LagDotCom and Dammit, I have a Lua script that shows a map of the dungeon, here. This should make viewing the massive amounts of walking slightly more bearable. EDIT: Added Enemy HP watch, per LagDotCom's suggestion.


Thanks go to matO for the suggestions, LagDotCom and Dammit for the script/map/idea. Zucca for being a WIP watcher, and others.
Also, please remember that Dungeon Crawlers have a hard time getting published - So if you enjoy this run, please post! Thank you.
mmbossman: I continue to have a hard time believing that people could find a dungeon crawler entertaining if they haven't played the game. Repetitive textures, long walks... the most impressive aspect is what you don't see, i.e. the luck manipulation. Oh well, the audience spoke loud and clear for this run, and the previous submission, so this will maintain the "accepted" status of the previous movie.

alden: Encoding.

Last Edited by on 1/1/2022 6:13 PM
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