- Emulator: Bizhawk 1.7
- Optimized for Real-Time
- Uses damage to cut time
- Exploits deep mechanical discoveries by Kejardon, EternisedDragon, and Sniq
- Introduces Spike Spark / Flash Suit for the first time ever in a TAS (Discovered Summer 2015 by EternisedDragon)
- Introduces Boomerang for the first time in a TAS.
This is a Tool Assisted Speedrun of the popular Super Metroid game in the category of 100% Map Completion. It has been improved in almost every room by either optimizing existing strategies, altering strategies (in room routing, or change of method used), minor room to room route changes, correction of door transition problems, or applying recent discoveries to cut more time. This 2nd version cuts 2:26.77 from the original (released in June 2015). This now puts the TAS at 12:03.67 ahead of the WR, held by SweetNumb. During the 9 months of re-scripting, EternisedDragon (E D as we call him) played an important role in advising and discussing techniques on best approaches to further the time cuts. In addition to E D, the following people also contributed details that helped out as well:
- SweetNumb (100% Map Completion concepts and routing)
- Total (Various techniques, RAM watch suggestions, and frame cutting suggestions)
- Sniq (Concepts for speed boost incrementation and Soft unmorphing)
- Taco (RAM Address values, Soft unmorphing help)
- Dessyreqt (RAM Address suggestions for space jump detection)
- Foosda (Various speed running techniques)
- Cpadolf (Soft unmorphing information for tricking Wrecked Ship treadmill)
- TAS Time: 1 Hour 12 Minutes and 32.16 Seconds (Previous Time: 1 Hour 14 minutes and 58.93 Seconds)
- RTA Converted Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes and 11.33 Seconds (Previous Time: 1 Hour 12 Minutes and 38.1 Seconds)
- Human World Record: 1 Hour 22 Minutes and 15 Seconds (By Sweetnumb)
Twitch Commentary Stream
- TAS Script (With TAS submission)
- LUA Script for confirming map tile visitation http://nymx.org/TAS/SuperMetroidMapTileCounter.txt (A controversial tile in Green Brinstar Fireflea Room has been added to the LUA counter in order to reduce confusion. Normal count is 247, with hidden tile...becomes 248)
- V1 / V2 Comparison Spreadsheet http://nymx.org/TAS/V1-V2_Comparisons.ods (Open Office Spreadsheet format)
Tools Used In This Recreation
Visual analysis of the game does not supply critical information needed in order to understand Samus's position, speed, and status. By analyzing various addresses, conditions can be discovered for proper strategy application...such as detecting the speed boost counter during heavy lag. Additionally, RAM watch was used to alter existing values to experiment for possible theories.
Interfacing to Bizhawk's provided API, allowed me to programmatically check conditions that would have been otherwise, painfully slow. Multiple scripts were written to also provide data for analysis in the following areas: Map Tile Visitation Confirmation (use to show that every square was visited in the game, thus fulfilling the categories intended goal) Door Transition Frame Markers (use for comparing between version 1 and 2 TASes)
The built in feature of this tool allowed for faster TASing, by using macros instead of manually creating certain inputs. Additionally, altering the script with this tool made it easier and faster.
100% Map Completion Only Techniques
This TAS showcases techniques that are not applicable to any other TAS;thus, providing entertainment that would not be possible or would otherwise waste time. These techniques are absolute necessities for ensuring that 100% Map is as optimal as it can be.
This shinespark at the Grapple Training Room 3 (in conjunction with the Green Gate Glitch, or GGG), allowed for time saving approximately 8 seconds to perform the lower crocomire area in reverse.
This shinespark helps to color in the lower parts of the moat and quickly escape the water(heading towards Wrecked Ship). This prevents 2 extra returns to this rooms and alters the routing dramatically, thus preventing re-visitation, as the RTA runs must do.
Up and Over Spark
This is shinespark is required to bypass the 3 Oums.
The Dechora Room Energy Station can be exited extremely fast, due to the full build of of speed booster. This discovery by Kejardon helped to cut 55 frames off exiting the room visit immediately before the door closes, having stayed in the room only 3 frames.
Fish Tank Spark
An apparent TAS only shinespark takes same quickly through the Fish Tank straight to Maridia Mountain.
New Speed Fighting Techniques (Not 100% Map related, but noteworthy improvements):
Spike Spark / Flash Suit was used to reduce lag...cutting 85 frames from the boss fight.
This categories requires the visitation of this mini boss in order to color in the squares. In doing so, acquired items play a roll in escaping faster. In this case, space jump was used in a way to kill the boss and leave the room simultaneously.
Major Improvement Details (minor and other details can be found on the attached spreadsheet)
Although most improvements are related to optimizing the existing TAS, other improvements came from newly founds discoveries...namely the Spike Spark / Flash Suit. Also, "Boomerang" is also used for the first time in a released TAS. For a room by room analysis, please refer to the provided spreadsheet. Highlight of major improvements:
Blue Brinstar (First Visit)
Obtained early E-Tank in order to set focus on ammo farming. Although a loss of 1618 frames occurred, these frames were easily recovered by the time Samus visits Crocomire's lair. This extra energy shifted the focus to speed techniques, rather than depleting health and diminishing any abilities due to that low health.
Green Brinstar (First Visit)
Early items taken from Blue Brinstar have opened up the first recovery time by skipping a missile expansion pack. In route to Crocomire, drop manipulation was performed to focus on using energy more wisely for speed techniques such as damage boosting.
Norfair (First Visit)
In final approach to Crocomire, CWJ was used in place of health farming to prevent further health loss in the suit-less run through Cathedral and Lava ball rooms. Upon Crocomire fall, a shinespark was used to escape lag and traverse the acid vat to the E-Tank. In traversing the Crocomire Escape room, the occurrence of coloring in squares was optimized by passing through the cross-hairs of 4 sqaure sections. This dramatically cut down visitation time and made the TAS look less like 100% map completion.
Red Brinstar (2nd Visit)
Used Red Tower Shinespark for entertainment (even though this beats RTA timing by about 1/2 second). The secret to this spark was to properly place and time a missile before shinesparking, thus clearing the Shotblock at the top of the tower before passing through the opened area. This is an original shinespark fulfilling a theory and dream I've had since I first played this game.
Most notable room in the entire game comes from tackling on a Fast Left Phantoon pattern. This feat cut 661 frames. As with the previous, this was the beginning of health concerns that lasted until the next acquired E-Tank. The second most time saving effort came from a suggestion from Cpadolf that led to future conversations with Taco and E D, where the discussion of soft unmorhping (sub-pixel related) was needed in order to trick the treadmill from moving Samus against her own. This allow for building up a blue suit to mockball through two areas in the next room...saving 134 frames.
First occurrence of Spike Spark occurs after the death of Draygon and it created using the broken turrets. This trade off from obtaining blue suit, allows Samus to move a full speeds, where the limitation of blue suit prohibits the use of the dash button. Critical map visitation square was found when visiting Maridia Mountain again, where Samus's horizontally shinesparks to crash into grapple block. From this point, in-room routing was changed to pick up the left most square in Samus's reach as not time cost. This saved 81 frames on the final pass through of Maridia, heading towards Red Brinstar.
Spike Spark's lack of animations keeps the normal lag of Kraid's emergence from occurring. This cut 85 frames from the boss fight and has the possibility of being the fastest fight known. The final recovery of the early route change in Blue Brinstar, occur by skipping the E-Tank associated with the Warehouse...which saved 471 frames. The final Spike Spark setup occurs at the Acid Snakes Tunnel and is carried through with the Flash Suit at the double chamber. The community is calling the new spark, which occurs going into the Wave Room...Wave Fly. This is an original shinespark and most likely not to be used in TASes other than 100% Map.
Other than the normal optimizations, the most important cuts occurred starting at the Metal Pirates where the two frame vulnerability of the pirates was exploited. The improved fighting techniques positions Samus for a long build of speed that traverses the next two rooms with more speed and cuts even more frames. Lastly, the Ridley fight was improved dramatically by 455 frames due to a heavy focus on holding a high super missile count(which cause 600 HP against this boss, rather than the usual 300), followed by finding the magic frame to trigger Ridley's early death.
Maridia (Final Visit)
Early map tile visit, prevents waste of time leaving Maridia and saving the previously mentioned 81 frames.
Crateria (2nd Visit)
In the Crateria Super Room, the spikes in the parallel column to the right of the climb was used to build up the speed boost counter in order to achieve blue suit. This was a critical technique to escape the bomb block at the top of The Climb for a faster escape.
Samsara: Hi nymx, glad to see you're still motivated to work after last year's debacle.
After taking a look at the run, I have to agree with everyone's assessment that you have definitely improved as a TASer, and the run in itself was indeed a more entertaining watch because of the improved level of skill and control. I'm looking forward to seeing what you produce in the future, and I'm sure others would like to see that work as well. However, the main issue still persists from your previous submission: The category. A lot of this run is spent going into rooms, only to leave them immediately afterward, which is offputting to a lot of viewers. At the time of me writing this, the run has as many No votes (12) as Yes votes and Meh votes combined (8 and 4, respectively), giving the run an overall average of 40% with our voting metric, well below the bar we set for non-standard categories to be accepted.
I have to say that, after the reception that both of these submissions received, that the audience has deemed the "100% Map Completion" category as being unsuitable for site publication. You mentioned you would be going back to work on a third version, and that's definitely okay, however I will say that any future 100% Map Completion runs will also be rejected due to the category. That's not to say there isn't a place on this site for this run or any future runs: There's always the Super Metroid game thread to post WIPs and finished runs like these that may not be publishable (your Spore Spawn run comes to mind here as well). As I probably mentioned in one of the threads, submitting a run for publication opens it up to intense scrutiny. We have rules and standards in place that all of our runs need to meet in order to be published, but this only applies to site submissions, not the game threads in the rest of the forums.
I definitely recommend sticking around the community and engaging more with the other Super Metroid TASers we have, not just to improve your own skills, but possibly to see if the tricks you've been discovering in these runs could be applied to other categories. Perhaps you could even try working on an improvement to one of our published runs, or even looking into discovering new tricks that could improve them further than anyone could have imagined. Even with all of that, I do urge you to continue TASing these more oblique categories as well, because that kind of out-of-the-box thinking is what we need more of in the community. You could stumble upon the most important discovery since arm-pumping with these kinds of runs... But as I said, these kinds of runs are also the most scrutinized submissions on the site, so even if you do work on a third version of this run, or any other strange category, please keep them within the game thread.
Even though the level of optimization has definitely improved since the previous submission, I'm rejecting this category due to a negative audience reception.
Samsara: Revisiting this one.
Samsara: Moving to Playground. There's possibly some discussion to be had about the nature of the category as a publishable branch, but now isn't the time for that.