This is a game where you use a
vacuum cleaner old, dusty book to suck up ghosts while solving mysteries.
Here's a folder with things related to the TAS I used/made/had:
- Emulator used: BizHawk-1.11.6
- Uses glitches
- Uses (U) (Yes, this is faster than all other (E) languages)
- Skips things
I had to restart this run multiple times due to new discoveries saving minutes of the run being discovered. I made a spreadsheet that compares version's amount of frames for each room. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1at3BGx6-XHpb7XADz1FqSmlo-QIEONuy46DskYAv7Rk/edit?usp=sharing
The fact this game has RNG made this game rather unspliceable for certain rooms. It's also the reason this took a year to make.
(E) v (U)
It takes 76 extra frames to select a language. However, one could argue that other languages have less dialogue boxes to go through. So, I recorded the amount of "A" button presses needed to get through the dialogue boxes I don't skip.
In the end, it took the English language 728 A button presses to get through all of the game's dialogue that's relevant to the run. In comparison, French and German took 751 and 750 A button presses. So in this case, there's no reason to use (EU) version, since the glitches and addresses are exactly the same as in (U).
Spreadsheet of A presses
Partner Switch Gltich (PSG)
Basically it goes like this:
- Switch to your partner
- Immediately switch back as soon as the high-five animation ends
- Run to the opposite direction you wish to move towards
- Switch twice back to back at the end of the high-five animation
Optionally, switch back once more after the final step to get a larger speed boost. Also, in some cases, you can trigger it quicker. Move to the opposite direction you wish to go before using PSG, and depending on how far you move back on the 3rd step, this can save from 3 frames to 30+ frames. However, since you move potentially far sooner than your partner, you may not be able to quickly switch again for said speed boost.
When you go far away from each other, normally, the game will "zip" the other character towards you at great speeds for 1 frame. When you switch partners, you are normally frozen on the spot, but the speed counter remains instact. By desyncing Scooby and Shaggy, then switching back and forth, the game will give you a high speed value, which then gets preserved far longer than 1 frame. The speed gained is enormous; moving opposite direction on a flat surface will give you over 23,000 units of speed. Your normal running speed is capped at +/-553 in comparison. For a better idea how fast this glitch is, the original WIP that did not use this glitch reaches the first half of stage 1 by the time this run beats it.
When using this to go upwards, since you never jumped, it's possible to press and hold "A" to lower your vertical speed (by jumping in mid air). This allows more flexibility in regards to how high you need to go. Unfortunately, this was discovered very late into the run, so it is not applied until the last stage.
Finally, you can do this chain this glitch multiple times by swapping over and over, allowing Shaggy and Scooby to reach 100,000+ speed. This is used on the 2nd mystery to skip large parts of the rooms.
If you do not understand, please see the input file (preferably using TAStudios or something similar) for how it is done.
There are more tricks, but those are mostly circumstantial rather than applied all over the game.
Also, in case anyone wonders how gamebreaking this glitch is, a test run I made took twice the length of the first stage in this run to get to half of it.
Room by room comments
I'm going to refer to the room's ID based on 0x0006B9 at Combined WRAM/EWRAM. I think this is better than saying "Library 1,2,3" etc.
For almost every room with a preview, it's faster to stand still. This almost always triggers the preview 15-20 frames sooner than moving immediately. Similarly, slowing down before talking to an NPC (Velma for instance) or a cutscene triggers it sooner.
There's actually dialouge at the first door telling you how to enter, but if you entered at the very edge, you can skip it.
Items: Red key
This is the first use of PSG. Unlike the second version of the run, I land on the ceiling lights. I realized it is far faster to gain horizontal speed and "hop" over the wall than it is simply use the glitch to jump very high over it. I also slowed down completely by the time I grabbed the key, since it starts the cutscene ~18 frames sooner.
I can't backtrack to the door I came, since the game won't count the basement section as "done"; there's an invisible barrier stopping me. While I can go over it, doing so will prevent me later from using the Yellow key from Velma.
It's faster to glitch under the crates than to hop over it. It also allows me to set up another switch to bypass the first time checkpoint message.
The elevator works for this roomm but glitching up to the above platform is faster. I then use it again to skip the red key dialogue with Daphne. It's actually possible to jump over her, but for the most part it seems to be based on her idle animation. Certain idle stances prevent her from talking, allowing you to easily jump/run past her. It takes too long to wait for that however in this case.
The stairs at the very beginning cannot be clipped through; even if you get embbed to it, pressing the opposite direction won't push you in.
While normally jumping before an edge makes you land sooner, I won't be able to pass the lower platform like this.
I had to do the glitch twice towards the stairs so I could pass through the sleeping ghost quickly. With careful positioning, I managed to not overshoot the jump. This is one of the (many) rooms that would've benefitted from pressing A in midair trick.
Items: Wrench, Velma's glasses I am unfortunately still unable to clip into the first set of stairs despite many attempts. It'll save ~2-3 seconds if done, but for some reason I wasn't able to. This time, I use PSG to gain horinzontal speed rather than vertical unlike the WIP. I clip into all the other sets of stairs, breaking the room in the proccess. I'm aware being unable to clip the first set of stairs, yet doing so for subsequent ones makes it look very bad. Sorry.
I grab the Scooby snack, since it's not worth skipping it. This cost 160 frames of dialogue, but saves a lot more time later since it allows you to get damaged more than twice.
After the first bookcase, I delayed 5 frames due to bad ghost placement.
The bookcase ghost's attack angle appears to be timer-based, so luckily this time I managed to have it strike at an avoidable angle.
In case you wonder what "invisible barrier" I mentioned before:
Also, slowing down before talking to Velma costs 5 extra frames to reach the door, but triggers her dialogue 18 frames earlier for a 13 frame gain.
Items: Clue 1 (Receipt), Lantern
I glitch to the clue first to avoid backtracking. I'm forced to grab the lattern since the only way to move freely in the dark is to enter the dark places from a light area by clipping into it from a slope. That's not possible to do for the wrench I need to obtain, so no lantern skip for now. I tried multiple times to use the "quick PSG" trick by moving to the opposite direction before switching, but it seems I'm unable to save time with it.
If I skipped the lantern, speeding through into the dark areas would softlock me (infinite dialogue). Oh, and you can't clip into the section with the book of doom. For some reason, I lost 1 frame between opening the bookcase door and entering it.
The dialogue with fred is unskippable; even if I PSG to zip past him, all it does is trigger it as soon as the screen loads. This appears to slow me down by 35 frames, but somehow saves it all back by the next screen.
The cart moves at 1113 speed max. It does not slow down when landing, but it does when it goes off ledges or over slopes. Since jumping and landing does not reduce speed, it's better to jump over ledges/slopes than to drive over them. Taking damage here does absolutely nothing to you, so I jumped there to maintain speed at the very end.
I was forced to land on the slope for 1 frame, or else I'd crash into the books. I'm not sure if it's possible to not lose any speed in this section, but I may be wrong.
I could've actually crashed into the other cart, but I didn't because bored. It doesn't cost any time nor speed.
The timing for the jumps is frame precise, since else I'd go over the edges and lose speed.
Like I said, nothing happens if you get hit by a cart.
Last minute jump towards the books; almost had to go over the slope for 1 frame.
Items: Clue 2 (Telegram)
If for whatever reason you somehow missed the clue, well, the exit leads to the door right next to the beginning of the cart section, so you're allowed to do this again (infinitely).
Items: Book of Doom, Clue 3 (Crumpled Note)
It's faster to go over the bookshelf than use the secret entrance. There's no way to clip out of the book section, so I have to back track. Glitching to the book and clue takes too much time to setup, so I just ran instead.
Moving slightly up the ramp before PSG allows me to reach both the book and the clue at the same time, skipping the book's dialogue. If I did it as soon as I entered, it would still grab both, but not fast enough to skip the book's dialogue.
It's incidentally also faster to once again skip the first bookshelf even on the way back.
It's actually possible to explore the level with the book of doom equipped if you failed to obtain 3 clues once you reach Velma. You will find wisps around the area to recharge the book, and for some reason all the bookcase ghosts gone.
So, you might be wondering why I PSG to velma instead of walking. Well, it turns out giving the book of doom to her costs 6 more presses for dialogue than seeing the book of doom. If you triggered another dialogue when one is about to start, it overrides the previous one. While this screws you over on certain instances (this makes the stage because it makes Velma think you don't have any more clues, even if you own all 3), the trigger for using the book is starting the dialogue with Velma rather than ending it.
Also, Velma will only talk to you after you reach a speed of 0, so slowing down before hand ends up saving time. In this case, 13 frames.
The larger ghosts have 88 health, and each "B" press takes off 3 hp. While it's painful to spam "B" 30 times quickly on console, with rapidfire this becomes a trivial task. I made use of cancelling the animation for closing the book to attack again sooner. And yes, it appears rapidfire is the fastest way to get rid of ghosts.
All the other doors are locked, so this is the only path possible.
This room is annoyingly linked with the next; what you do here seems to potentially affect the behavior of the ghosts next room, and there's several locations I need ideal luck.
I need the following conditions before entering the next room:
- Scooby as the character
- Scooby to not take damage
Using Shaggy before the cutscene would softlock afterwards, hence the switch to Scooby. The cutscene has a large rectangular trigger area that extends above the door, so I'm forced to do the next room "as intended". By the way, it's completely possible to enter the next room and delay the cutscene by moving at a very high speed, but it softlocks after Shaggy cries for help.
Scooby cannot take damage, since I need to take damage later to run.
These 2 conditions made this room rather tricky. The initial route was walk all the way near the gated megaphone and PSG through, but it turned out slower and far more prone to bad RNG. I initially thought of building up massive amounts of speed at the very beginning, but it turned out I would not be able to jump over the crates at the path below. I almost gave up trying the upper path due to the mummy, until I managed to avoid it.
Speaking of RNG, it appears delaying at the first boss area doesn't change the RNG enough to help with the next room.
I grab the battery now. While it was unused in this stage, it's far faster spending 160 frames on this dialogue than to skip every battery later. This also shows how the developers never expected the player to skip the battery on the first stage.
I took damage 3 times in this room; saving 100+ frames compared to walking. Even if I were to skip the Scooby snacks, it takes far too much time to lure the large ghosts away compared to the time saved from skipping the snacks. The first large ghost was fortunately at the far left; any further right and I would've been unable to run across it.
I'm well aware the falling blade parts along with waiting for the last large ghost looks awful. My speed does not go down when I move towards the blades, unlike other walls, so "dancing" around during down time would slow me down. The large ghost also needed to be at the right, so I would be able to run past the last pair of blades without dying/getting blocked. It may not look pleasant, but from checking, it appears faster to do this than to wait for the last blade (at the cost of unable to run).
Items: Clue 1 (Receipt)
The first secret wall simply leads to the one right ahead of me, so I ignored it. This room's strategy is highly reliant on the positions of ghosts, so it's also very unspliceable. Fortunately, delaying entering this room allowed the ghosts to be close enough to make Scooby panic.
The rock cutscenes are unskippable. Sorry about that.
For the green lever, I intially ran to it rather than the current route of PSG to the secret wall and using that. It initially turned out slower, but after my realization I could chain up PSG to build a lot more speed, it turned out faster to use the wall instead. Similarly, I had thought of using the wall to leave, but chaining PSG to obtain -85,794 speed ended up being faster despite the setup time.
I have to pickup the clue, or the game stops me from leaving. This applies to all the clues for this stage.
The door I just entered from was previously locked, so that solo Scooby section is still needed.
There doesn't seem to be a way outside cheating to get Velma here even without grabbing the first clue.
Items: Red key
I don't need to bother about overjumping when grabbing the key, since it's highly unlikely to obtain vertical speed that makes me fall longer than the cutscene.
My initial idea for this stage was to get hit by the ghost, then run to the door. However, I realized the platform gave me an oppurtunity to chain 2 PSG's, allowing me to reach 69,947 speed. This saves 246 frames. Curiously, the ghost here wasn't manipulateable quickly enough when I delayed entering this room, but somehow worked when I waited some frames from previous rooms.
Items: Clue 2 (Business Card) Grabbing the wrench takes too long due to backtracking, so I hopped over the stage. This actually won't be possible if not for the conviniently plasce coffin below. Thanks devs!
The lever doesn't work if you tried to use it before grabbing the clue; it will show as "flipped", but the next room remains dark. There's no lantern for this stage, so the lever must be used.
I opened the book away from the ghosts to drive them off without being forced to siphon one. I also grab the clue before it starts the cutscene for it. In case anyone wonders, there's no way to focus on the portal if you start sucking a ghost. I had better luck on the previous runs, but after improving the previous rooms it made the ghosts move too close to the portal. I wasted a couple seconds or so driving them off, but still ended up being faster.
I initially used the mummy to damage me to allow me to run, but due to route changes I was forced to chain PSG.
Lastly, the initially PSG used could be cutdown by 200+ frames by pressing "A" to slow down, but it changes the RNG far too much, and I discovered this at the last stage, so sadly it wasn't included.
I can actually glitch all the way to the secret wall in the dark, but then I won't be able to move, so I still need to use the lever.
Also it is faster to run to the wall once the light's on.
Items: Red key, Clue 3 (Brochure)
I had to delay a bit after the red key to manipulate some ghosts before the clue. Basically, If I landed on the clue immediately, Shaggy would get stuck there. I need them both for the slope clip later, so I land on the left instead. If I landed without taking damage beforehand (for invincibility), the mummy would prevent me from getting away without getting hit. There's 2 options to leaving the room. One is going over the entire stage until the end, then clip down the stairs. The other is the route the TAS takes. Due to bad placement of the giant ghost, I took this route.
By the way, remember that switch shown in the room's preview? It's for lowering a platform to reach the red key.
You can't enter here until you get all the clues.
You cannot move at all during the dialogue, so there's no skipping it.
Both top and bottom route takes you to the same room, except spawn at either the top or bottom. I took the top path since I could preserve my speed the entire time next room.
It was ~6 frames slower to use the bottom path. I almost failed to preserve 1113 speed at the middle.
If you slowed down and the knight catches you, you have to restart back at the checkpoint.
The middle path appears to be the only path that doesn't slow you down.
I tried going to the end with just a single large leap, but it does not appear to be possible. Also, the transition puts you into a new room.
Regardless of which lever for the lights you go to first, the knight will always appear. I glitched to the bottom lever since it's slightly faster than running. The ghosts can actually interupt the lever animation, so I had to wait for them to move. In this case, it's faster to wait than to lure/drive them away.
By the way, that purple mummy that appears at the end? It's from room 0x22, stuck inside a cage. There was no point in going there however.
Pretty much all doors except the hotel ahead of you is locked, so there's nothing "missing" for those curious.
Items: Music Notes
The first use of swapping is to get past the medium ghost; it's far too large to outrun. The second is to get up the floor; you cannot go under the stairs since it's solid. I really tried to avoid switching again, but as you can see, I get pushed back down for some reason. I lured the ghost away from the stairs, then went to grab the music note. Unlike the red key from the previous stage, grabbing the notes do not reset your speed. I actually managed to accidentally duplicated the note. It causes the game to crash later one when I obtain 4 items at once, so it has no known use.
If anyone's curious, the crate at the top was supposed to be knocked down using the book's suction, which destroys the floorboards; allowing you to enter the basement. It turns out that method is 900 frames slower than using the basement door instead.
I could've technically entered this as soon as I arrived at the hotel, but I needed the music sheet, and the door to this room is locked from the basement.
I need to turn on the lights to room 0x36, but room 0x34 has a platform that normally going to room 0x35, then backtracking. I skip doing so to avoid this.
There's normally a switch you're supposed to use to make the platform lower. Using PSG I skip backtracking back to this room.
By the way, after the switch is for the lights in room 0x36, which contains the lantern. Flicking on the switch also triggers a big ghost into appearing from above.
Leaving this room resets the mummy's position, allowing me to get to the next room without hassle.
Items: Clue 1 (Note)
I delayed my fall a bit at the fragile platform to manipulate the big ghost later. I obtain the clue here, then PSG'd past the large ghost.
Taking the Scooby snack doesn't slow me down whatsoever.
It does not appear possible to chain-PSG to the lantern in the dark. If it were possible, then I could've skipped room 0x34. The lantern in this stage is separate from the one in stage 1, in case anyone wonders why I'm grabbing it again.
I needed to use the lantern next room, so I swapped to Scooby right before the cutscene. It's not the best way to do so since switching here still takes time, but the previous PSGs made me end with Shaggy before the next room.
Items: Green key
Using a bit of time to move to the left of the swtich ends up being slightly faster than landing to the right, since the switch's animation drags me further left/right as well. Regarding the green key, I haven't managed to grab it without the switch, but I could be wrong however.
It's faster to use the elavator than the PSG back up.
Items: Music Notes 2, Red key This is yet another room that's faster to move immediately before the room preview. This is also the room where it crashes after I grab the red key if I duplicated the first music note.
I know it's annoying moving back and forth between the floors and this room, but this is the last time I visit here.
Items: Clue 2 (One-Way Train Ticket)
The long fall at the end looks really awful, and it's not helped by the fact that it could be reduced by pressing "A" but unimplemented due to being discovered late. Sorry about that.
Also, I'm not sure if there's a faster way up, but this was the best I found so far.
Items: Music Notes 3
Chaining the PSG was tricky, since it's very easy to accidentally obtain either too much vertical speed (and miss hitting the crate), or too low vertical speed (and fail to make it to the top). I failed to manipulate the 2 ghosts below me away.
The last PSG works simply because for a brief amount of frames the game still thinks I'm on the ground. This allows me to jump again to reach the piano. The piano also won't open until you have 3 different music sheets, so even if the game didn't crashed from the red key, duplicating the first note is useless.
Slowing down before talking to Fred triggers the dialogue sooner. It's also possible to run past the trigger point when Fred does a certain idle animation, but you would still be unable to open the door.
The bats can actually knock you down if you hit them at an angle. Else you take "damage" but nothing else happens.
This part gets a bit more confusing (compared to the other cart sections). If I fall down the tracks, I end up looping over and over through this room.
Moving up/down slopes while on a cart slows you down. There's lots of slopes, so it's easy to end up slowed down. Luckily, while on a cart, landing does not slow you down, so rather than moving over them, I jump over them instead.
I slowed down a bit to fall to the middle track, but it appears to be the fastest route compared to the top track.
Items: Clue 3 (Photograph)
There's not enough room to build enough speed to simultaneously grab the clue along with leaving this room. The fastest speed that still grabs the clue appears to trigger the dialogue too early. If it were possible to leave and grab the clue at the same time, I could've skipped the clue dialogue.
This area outside seems to be the few places it's faster to move before the preview. I go over the buildings instead due to the lack of obstacles in the next room here.
I prevent myself from being knocked back by chaining a PSG, then use the invincibility to run past the remaining ghosts.
For the dust devils, it appears capturing them as close as possible is fastest.
There's only 2 dust devils left. This room and the previous along with the boss is used to manipulate the RNG for the 4th stage, due to lack of any other ghosts/npcs at the 1st room next level.
By manipulating I mean delaying capture so the dust devils would advance the RNG. Even more annoying is that I also need the dust devil boss to move left initially to approach me.
The boss has 120 HP, so it takes 40 "A" presses. This is trivial in a TAS, but the problem becomes using this "easy" room to manipulate ghosts up to 5 rooms later.
Items: Jackhammer, Red key
I get the jackhammer here to break down floors/walls in this stage. Each breakable floor/wall have 45 "hp". An address next to the health one determines when the jackhammer works. if its 0, you're wasting batteries. if 1 it depletes the wall.
I need to fall into the 2nd breakable floor, but it's blocked by a ghost. This is one of the sections where I need to manipulate, using delay from stage 3. The closest hole ends up being slower, in case anyone wonders.
This room is the reason why avoiding batteries is unfeasible. Their placement makes it such that the only way to skip them (and thus never get the dialogue from grabbing them the first time) would be to PSG across.
I dispell the portal, then leave and reenter to despawn the ghosts that were summoned.
Adding a small delay before moving appears to cause less lag here.
Items: Clue 1 (Letter)
PSG through the wall is faster than using the jackhammer.
Normally, Velma would stop and talk with you about the clue. Fortunately, it doesn't appear to be mandatory to proceed with the storyline. However, due to the walls, along with Velma's wide range of sight, I need at least 80,000 speed to bypass her and reach the exit. Going even faster leads me to actually clip into the hill itself.
Items: Clue 2 (Book)
This is another room that's mostly dependent on luck. The first ghost floating around at the 2nd PSG (108,000 frames in) has to drift far away enough for me to set up speed, and the second ghost has to either be far away, or if close, able to stop me from flying too far. Delaying from earlier this stage does not seem to affect these 2 ghosts too much, so I had to do that from stage 3 instead.
I could've actually used the quick-PSG method instead, but that makes me end with Scooby at the final area rather than Shaggy.
Items: Green key
Another room where the press "A" to slow down would've saved time. It would've also made the PSG-chain much more easier to pull off.
Running to the door is slower than PSG.
Items: Clue 3 (Greenwood Development Documents)
The intended route here was to climb up the hill from within. Instead, I just PSG up to the top, and over the hill. This area actually won't let you leave until you grab the clue; an invisible wall normally blocks you. It is possible to PSG past it, but Velma won't appear later to give you the yellow key if you do.
Standing on the invisible wall immediately crashes the game by the way.
Fred's dialogue is triggered as soon as you arrive, so its unavoidable.
0x4E, 0x4F, 0x50
Getting hit by the branches won't affect anything. Landing on the middle of them also won't slow you down. This section is tricky in real time, but rather straight forward TAS-wise.
Running to the end is faster than setting up a PSG.
Items: Yellow key
Velma only appears here if you have all 3 clues. It's actually possible to get back here, not via backtracking, but PSG through the invisible walls in each area where the clues are. Sadly, that won't make Velma appear here, so it's useless.
The zombies here will keep spawning until the portal near it is destroyed. The zombies are summoned as soon as the one near a portal is captured, so the focus is to turn off the portals.
I initially tried using quick-PSG after the 2nd portal, but it ended up slower later due to bad timing with the zombies.
<Explain here things the audience would probably like to see> <Explain also things that could be improved in your movie> <You may also suggest screenshots.>
Noxxa: This run features some neat movement glitching, but that doesn't save it from getting rather stale over the course of the run. Accepting for the Vault.