Submission #5619: Mitjitsu's Saturn Astal in 20:29.92

Console Sega Saturn Emulator Bizhawk 2.1.0
Game Version USA Frame Count 73795
ROM Filename Astal (U) || Sega Saturn BIOS v1.00 (US).bin Frame Rate 60
Branch Rerecord Count 3100
Unknown Authors Mitjitsu
Game Astal
Submitted by Mitjitsu on 7/30/2017 10:16:07 PM

Submission Comments
Astal is a 2D platformer that is widely viewed as being the best looking 2D game on the Saturn. In this game you control a beast named Astal and must save your sister and the world, but predominantly the latter.
  • Aims for fastest time
  • One person controls 2 players
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates luck
  • Abuses programming errors
It took a couple of weeks of research. Initially I played the game on the actual system; then watched speedrun videos of it and then asked the current world record holder Chaos42666 for advice. Most of the difficulty at the start came from understanding how to use the bird and wondering if it could save any meaningful amount of time outwith a few boss battles. Evidently I completely underestimated it's usefulness, as it did the bulk of the work throughout the game.
Normally the game is one player and the player can use various bird specials by filling up karma meter, and refilling it by destroying enemies. However, in two player mode you don't have access to it, which is slower at parts of the game. At the start of the level the game starts in one player mode and player two must press any button to assume control. If the bird dies then Astal loses a life must restart the level.
Initially, I was going to use the Japanese version, due to having more health. Thus allowing more damage to be taken, but close observation showed a TAS wouldn't need the extra health. I was told the North American version of the game had shorter dialogue, but took longer to switch from 2p to 1p mode. Which amounted to 30 seconds as opposed to 5 seconds in the Japanese version. The one spot this could have been useful in was the fire boss fight. As landing the final two hits would have been much faster in 1p mode, as it would have allowed me to take advantage of the screen filling special.
The bird moves faster than Astal as a result of it's beak dash attack. It can be used to stun enemies, allowing Astal to run harmlessly passed them. It can also slap and peck enemies into submission, and finally it has a beak buster attack, which is game breaking to put it mildly. By holding down the C button, can charge up an attack which gives priority over everything in the game and allows you to reach breakneck speeds. The downside of using the attack is that it takes 3 seconds to charge up and you can't move while doing it.
The last boss was by far the hardest part of the game. It has no pattern to what it does. So I had to do a bunch of random stuff to produce preferable outcomes. It also moves very quickly, which makes it difficult to land hits even with the advantage of tool-assistance. However, the game goes glitchy whenever Girado attempts to summon his crystal dragon. Whether it's caused by the plugin I'm using or a result of the emulator I don't know, but hopefully someone will set the record straight on it.

Useful Memory Addresses

OC7A18 - X-Pixel Subposition
0C779C - Y-Pixel Subposition
0C77A0 - Run
0C77E2 - Jump Flag
0C77A6 - Peak Jump
0C7796 - Ground Flag
0C77A4 - Y-Speed
I wasn't able to find the X-Speed which was most annoying

feos: Rejecting for using a strat in the first boss fight that loses time to the RTA, see the thread for all the details.
feos: I used to treat "losing to existing records, especially human ones" as an optimization flaw that can apply to individual parts of the run, not just the entire thing. Over the years we agreed that an established record means a complete run that a submission has to beat or at least match. If it's slower in some segments, the question is whether or not it's sloppy overall. Unrejecting. It'd be ideal if another judge takes a look, and I have a lot claimed at the moment anyway.

Memory: Claiming for judging.
Memory: User is banned so this is being sent back to rejected.

Last Edited by Memory on 1/15/2022 10:00 PM
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