The NES platformer with a rather creepy premise.
Why revisit such a little-known game?
The reason I revisited Circus Caper again was due to an excellent discussion over the acceptance of the currently published run.
While judging, Feos demonstrated a way to improve movement over a few frames in one section of the game. He suggested that my submission exhibited less-than-optimal play for not using this improvement.
At the time I pointed out that even a minor improvement in one part of the game may lead to a longer overall run due to RNG changes (and conversely taking one portion slower can result in a faster overall run due to RNG). I suggested that until the demonstrated 'improvement' was carried through to the end of the game showing overall improvement, it shouldn't be the primary reason for a run to be rejected.
While Feos agreed that RNG changes may result in a longer overall run, he disagreed with my perspective (because my submission was lacking the perceived improvement) that my submission should be accepted as 'current best.' Thankfully Feos agreed to render judgement as 'Delayed' while I checked into the potential improvement.
After completing the level in question using the anticipated improvement, RNG changes resulted in the final time for that level being longer than what it was in the submitted run. Accordingly Feos updated the judgment to 'Accepted for Vault' as the fastest known completion of the entire game.
I felt vindicated to a degree, as I had 'proved' my perspective that partial improvement does not always result in overall improvement.
That said, I was curious if my own argument of taking one section slower to result in a faster overall run was also valid. Thus I finished the run with the anticipated 'improvement' that unfortunately resulted in a slower level and carried it out through the end of the game. In this case, my concept of slower portion = faster complete run was accurate.
So to make a long story short...
Feos found an anticipated improvement in one of my runs that didn't result in time improvement over the course of the level where it takes place, but it did result in a shorter run of the complete game. This submission.
How I look at this whole situation...
Strange as it seems, both Feos and I were correct in our perspectives (variety is one of the things that makes TASing and this website so awesome). Feos was correct that the short term improvement would theoretically make a shorter run overall. While I was correct that a short term improvement made something else longer (the level), and I was also correct that something longer in one part (the level) resulted in a shorter overall run.
General Submission Notes:
This submission is an improvement over the current publication (http://tasvideos.org/3328M.html) by a whopping (Sarcasm intended) 8 frames. Please see that run's description for game details. http://tasvideos.org/5356S.html
Thanks to Feos for the discussion.
To whomever judges this submission: This run does use the movement pattern suggested by Feos. So if it is more appropriate to include his name as part collaborator, please add it.
Fog: An improvement is an improvement. Accepting as an improvement to the previous publication.