Submission #4798: Hetfield90, StarvinStruthers's GB Kid Dracula in 18:43.57

Console Game Boy Emulator BizHawk 1.11.0
Game Version USA/Europe Frame Count 67108
ROM Filename Kid Dracula (USA, Europe).gb Frame Rate 59.7275005696058
Branch Rerecord Count 15660
Unknown Authors Hetfield90, StarvinStruthers
Game Kid Dracula
Submitted by Hetfield90 on 8/16/2015 1:28:30 AM

Submission Comments
Hetfield90 and StarvinStruther's GB Kid Dracula TAS in 18:43.6. It is 2981 frames(~49.9s) faster than the published run in terms of comparable gameplay improvements, and 1942 frames(~27.3s) faster outright due to version and emulation differences. Emulator used was BizHawk 1.11.0.

Goals

  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time

US vs JP Gameplay Differences

  • Most enemies and bosses have double HP in US version
  • Some enemies have different patterns(namely the fish in stage 2: area 3)
  • Ceiling speed in Stage 7-Area 2 increased in US version

Stage Info

Table of time saved per stage

Here is a simplified version of the stage by stage comparison table which omits areas that have gameplay differences between the US and JP versions. The detailed version can be found here.
Current Run FramesPublished FramesFrames SavedTime Saved(approx.)
Stage 1499752182213.5s
Stage 21984289290815.0s
Stage 39774100973235.5s
Stage 465666658921.5s
Stage 50000s
Stage 6298535575729.5s
Stage 7459349223295.5s
Stage 811285118215369.0s
Total4218445165298150.0s

Stage 1(221 frames saved)

  • (Room 1)Lag was reduced by jumping/shooting at different times
  • Jumping has slower horizontal speed than walking, so it is best to minimize the number and height of jumps as much as possible
  • (Room 2)Killing enemies at different times is better if it allows you to grab ladders higher up
  • Bat transformation takes a long time, so most of the time it was avoided unless absolutely necessary
  • The KKK ghosts, like most bosses in this game, have double hp in the US version, so their room was omitted from comparable gameplay differences
  • Damage done to bosses never carries over across phases, and bosses that jump tend to not transition into subsequent phases until they are on the ground

Stage 2(908 frames saved)

  • (Room 1) Again, avoid bat transformations like the plague
  • Jumping for each shot in the sunflower room allowed Kid Dracula to keep moving forward at all times instead of stopping for each shot
  • The fish at the end of the long waterfall room behave differently in the US version than the JP version; the JP version can ignore them completely and go underneath them whereas the US version has to kill them, causing a lot of lag in the process
  • Jason's second phase does not start until he picks up the axe

Stage 3(323 frames saved)

  • (Room 1) Avoiding using homing missiles reduced lag
  • Being airborne reduces lag at most points during the roller coaster ride
  • The Batarangs can hit the chicken twice per use because of his short i-frames
  • The chicken's egg was barely able to be one cycled by using a combination of 3 different attacks

Stage 4(92 frames saved)

  • Minimizing airborne time during upside down transitions and cleaner boss fights were the only real improvements in this stage

Stage 5(0 frames saved)

  • This stage was only one room that had tremendous amounts of lag not emulated properly by VBA in the published run, so it couldn't really be compared
  • Crouching during the autoscroller helped to reduce lag
  • Standing in a specific position allows Kid Dracula to fire at the boss while standing inside his blade beam, but this does not save time since it does not reduce the number of jump cycles
  • Damage boosting into the boss after phase 1 gets him to jump and pop his head out sooner than letting him walk across the room first
  • The alien cannot take damage for a while after coming out of the armor

Stage 6(572 frames saved)

  • Again, bat form should be avoided at all costs
  • A certain damage boost helped to navigate through the lava geysers more quickly

Stage 7(329 frames saved)

  • It is faster to not wake up the miner sleeping next to the double block barrier in room 1
  • Since some blocks have to be broken from inside a narrow passage way, horizontal movement can be initiated sooner afterwards by jumping repeatedly
  • (Room 2) The ceiling moves at a rate of 3px/f in the JP version and 4px/f in the US version, making it so you have to wait in 2 different safe areas for the ceiling to go back up where you would be able to keep moving to the next part in the JP version
  • You are not able to fire another bomb until the explosion from the previous has completely dissipated, so it is faster to hit the blocks from point blank range on phase 1 of the boss fight(so that you don't have to wait for travel time+explosion time)

Stage 8(536 frames saved)

  • (Room 1)The vertical descent is an autoscroller that continues indefinitely until you reach a certain horizontal position, so it is best to move right as quickly as possible. Bat was able to pass underneath the spikes, and downward movement was able to be retained during the transformations because of the camera scrolling
  • (Room 2)Same as the camera scrolling in room 1, you always want to be in front of a gravity strip during a bat transformation to retain vertical movement
  • (Room 3)Not taking damage on the spikes in room 1 allowed for 2 time-saving damage boosts against the drills
  • The final boss is one of the only bosses in this game which does not have increased health in the US version. He can only take damage when his mouth is open. It was just barely impossible to 1cycle him in phase 1, and damage boosting in phase 2 allowed for 3hit and 2hit cycles respectively. In phase 2, he will not open his mouth unless he jumps from the edge of the screen, so manipulating him to jump twice in the same direction allows for the fastest pattern(2 closed mouth jumps in between each open mouth jump).

Possible Improvements

  • This game has so much lag everywhere, even in places where nothing is going on, so I don't doubt that lag can be further reduced as a whole with even more trial and error.
  • The bat transformation in Stage 1-Room 2 that Weegeechan15 suggested in the submission thread; at least 20 frames can be saved from it
  • Killing the Frankenstein in the mandatory bat room of Stage 1 with a jumping charged shot before morphing to bat; 36 frames can be saved

Screenshot Suggestion(frame 45325)


ars4326: Judging!
ars4326: Hello, Hetfield90 and StarvinStruthers. Nice job on improving this 2007 run! Lag reduction was especially noticeable in parts (e.g. Stages 1 and 3) when comparing side-by-side. There were smart gameplay refinements featured, as well; including the use of jump shots in Stage 2, the vertical descent in Stage 8, and the final boss strategy on Garamoth. All in all, this was a very solid improvement.
Accepting as an improvement to the published run and, due to positive feedback/voter count, upgrading a tier to Moons!
fsvgm777: Processing.

Last Edited by fsvgm777 on 8/20/2015 9:33:15 PM
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