Submission #3674: MUGG's GB Super Mario Land in 12:08.75

System Game Boy Emulator VBA-rr v24
Game Version any v1.0 Frame Count 43725
ROM Filename Super Mario Land (W) (V1.0) [!].gb Frame Rate 60
Branch Rerecord Count 34834
Unknown Authors MUGG
Game Super Mario Land
Submitted by MUGG on 8/16/2012 3:18:27 PM

Submission Comments

About the run

  • Emulator: VisualBoyAdvance v24-m. Does not sync on other versions of VBA.
  • Aims for the highest possible score without wasting time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Genre: Platform
This is an improvement of 4.3 seconds over my previous run. The most time was saved by using a new strategy to make the bonus games go by quicker, and by using the Out of bounds glitch in 2-3. These new tricks will be elaborated upon below.

New tricks

New strategy: The RNG mechanism behind the mandatory bonus game after each world still hasn't been figured out. However, I figured out a simple way to pass the bonus game much quicker.
When Mario gets the fire flower... small Mario, the timer that needs to run down starts decrementing after Mario has turned big. big Mario, the timer starts decrementing as soon as Mario transforms to fire Mario (69 frames faster). fire Mario, the game will play a "dun dun dun dun" sound effect and the timer will decrement as soon as that sound effect plays (additional 64 frames faster)
Because it only takes about 15~20 frames to pick up a mushroom or fire flower, you can see how I saved a ton of time, just by making sure I enter the bonus game as fire Mario.
Out of bounds glitch: On version 1.0 of the game, you can get pushed offscreen on autoscrollers if you hold "left", therefore appearing on the right side of the screen. This allows you to reach 2-3's goal a lot sooner. This hadn't been found despite the testing I did back then, thus I used version 1.1 for my previous runs (also because the RNG worked out in my favor more).
Other version differences between v1.0 and v1.1 are only music-related. As of this writing I found all the version differences listed on tcrf.
Shooting without slowing down: Previously, whenever you shot a ball, you would slow down (because you had to let go of the B-button) and thus be a pixel behind. There are two ways to avoid the slowdown: Jump and shoot at the same time while running, or shooting while falling fast (i.e. after having fallen for an extended period of time and reaching fastfalling status). Due to Mario oscillating between 1 and 2 pixels movement each frame, you have to do either of the aforementioned inputs on the correct frame lest you still slow down anyway.
In this TAS I still shoot and slow down whenever I had to wait for the proper bonus game luck anyway. You can reach the level exit within a certain frame even if you shoot a few times with the slowdown and it was carefully planned how many times I could shoot without falling behind.

Difference between VBA24m and VBA21

  • As opposed to the previously used VBA21, VBA24m undergoes additional delay whenever the game loads a next screen or next room, caused by added LCD screen emulation.
  • VBA24m's screen updates one frame sooner
  • Already introduced with VBA23, newer versions of VBA will - during AVI recording - capture several frames during a long lag frame instead of only one.
Only the first difference is relevant for this TAS.

Level by level

Because it is so difficult to compare between the two versions of VBA, I neglected to properly describe why time was lost or gained in some places. Most of the time it's because of invested idle frames to manipulate the bonus game after each world, or because of LCD difference. So I resorted to comparing the two versions by checkpoints.
1-1 start+24 +0
1-2 start+5 +400 By chaining two flies in 1-1, gaining 400+800 instead of 400+400.
1-3 start+47 +2590 Time lost by picking up mushroom and fireflower. Points gained by picking up mushroom and fireflower, and shooting some stuff.
2-1 start-68 +8090 A lot of piranhas were shot in 1-3, even though the "no slowdown" trick wasn't even used here because I had to wait a long time for the desired bonus game outcome anyway, which is why I kill 1-3's boss as well. Time was saved by using the new strategy mentioned above. Points were saved by shooting the boss and a lot of piranhas and coins.
2-2 start+15 +1500 More points were gained by shooting stuff. Some frames lost by having to pass the construction at the level end differently.
2-3 start+6 +550 More points were gained by shooting stuff.
3-1 start-193-1370 In previous versions of my normal mode runs, I didn't kill 2-3's boss because I thought it had an effect on how long the delay in the bonus game took. This time around I understand how the bonus game delay works but I still couldn't kill the boss since I use the out of bounds glitch mentioned above to reach the goal sooner. 10 breakable blocks couldn't be destroyed, the boss couldn't be killed and a mushroom couldn't be collected, totaling in a 1500 points loss. With the 30 extra points gained by being at the goal 3 ingame seconds faster, I should have lost 1470 points, not 1370. I don't know why I only lost 1370 but I expect some kind of mistake in my previous run (a mistake like this: killing two enemies at the same time will not give you both enemies' points, for example).
3-2 start+3 +1000
3-3 start+4 +0
4-1 start-53 +1880 Yeah, I've gotten lazy to put any info in these levels, heh...
4-2 start+1 +850
4-3 start+5 +400
Game end +4 +600 I don't know how I saved 600 points, probably another mistake in my previous run.
TOTAL:-259 +16490

Possible improvements?

There might be a faster way to get the good luck for 1-3's bonus game. If there isn't, than I'm almost confident that this movie is "maxed out" , i.e. not improvable.

About GameNetworkOnline

A Youtube user named GameNetworkOnline has uploaded a lot of TAS videos to Youtube, claiming that he did it in accordance to TASvideos' redistribution policy (it is allowed if you credit the player name). That's all well and good, but he monetized most of his videos, essentially making money off of others' work. Because I wanted this to stop as soon as possible I contacted Nach about the matter but we couldn't conclude a solution. Therefore, I refused to submit my latest TAS until GameNetworkOnline ceased to exist since at least yesterday.
I couldn't (and can't in the future) claim copyright on my tool-assisted speedruns because I'm in a grey area as I do not own the videogame graphics and music. TASvideos can't claim copyright since they release their videos under Creative Commons.
At least I hope that everyone agrees that what Gamenetworkonline did should be frowned upon and I hope that we find some means of dealing with such problems, for example: flagging for spam or mass thumbs down? Perhaps I should have made a topic much sooner about this since it has been on my mind so long.

Nach: Very nice improvement. I like the new high score. I also love how Mario seems like Houdini in 4-3. I'm over here, about to be crushed by the wall - nope, I'm really over here! I give it a 10/10 for amazing death trap escape. Accepting.

natt: processing

Last Edited by natt on 8/19/2012 5:54 PM
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