Submission #5716: WarHippy's SNES Action Pachio in 18:41.94

Super Nintendo Entertainment System
BizHawk 1.13.1
Submitted by WarHippy on 11/21/2017 10:06 AM
Submission Comments
Action Pachio is the story of a sentient pachinko ball on a quest to save his pachinko friends and pachinko family from the evil pachinko-bots. With the stakes so high Pachio needs to roll harder than he ever has before.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 1.13.1
  • Aims for fastest real time
  • Takes damage to save time


This submission is an improvement of 24.22 seconds (1456 frames) over my previous TAS. New lag reduction strats, improved movement, better enemy manipulation, and boss strategies all helped in saving so much time.
Action Pachio is a platformer with very few controls. There's Up, Down, Left, Right, and Jump. As you hold left or right while on the ground you start accelerating. You can freely switch running left and right while accelerating, but once you hit top speed you will skid to a halt if you try and turn around.
Pressing Down will unlock Pachio's ultimate form. A ball. You accelerate fastest while in ball form and can only hurt enemies if you jump on them while in this form. Jumping onto an enemy will bounce you up to a fixed height regardless of how fast or high you're moving. If you hold the jump button right as you bounce of an enemy you will get an extra few pixels of height and this basic technique is responsible for about 11 seconds of the time saved. Pachio's ball form also causes extra lag, but this can be managed by switching Pachio to his standing form while in mid-air and then switching back to ball form right before landing.
Easy difficulty was chosen to maintain a good pace through the game. Bosses take a lot fewer hits to beat and enemies deal less damage which allows for more damage boosts. There are 16 boss fights (and 2 mini-boss fights), so the time saved is exceptional. There is no change to the game otherwise.

Stage by stage comments

LevelOld TimeNew TimeDifference
Stage 123652265-100
S1 Boss14751477+2
Stage 229662759-207
S2 Boss16071601-6
Stage 361215890-231
S3 Boss20561788-268
Stage 439053794-111
S4 Boss14971505+8
Stage 570066970-36
S5 Boss37503637-113
Stage 644614370-121
S6 Boss10951092-3
Boss Rush1787417646-305

Stage 1 - Homeworld (and more game mechanics)

Releasing the directional button the frame before your jump or roll off a ledge will allow you to keep all of your speed. Pressing either forward or backward in mid-air (even for one frame) will immediately reduce Pachio's speed by about half. Landing from a jump will immediately reduce Pachio's speed to zero, but holding a directional button two frames before you land will allow you to retain a small amount of momentum.
For this first stage the improvements came from better landings (see previous paragraph), better lag management (switching to upright form), and better platforming so as to land one fewer times. At one point I had saved 8 frames on the boss fight (I think because it loaded 8 frames sooner). After making a 22 frame improvement in the stage portion Pachio decides to spend an extra 10 frames on his victory pose. I had no success in manipulating this behavior.

Stage 2 - Green Factory

Better strategy for getting past the blue monkey robots. I was able to jump onto the moving platform at the top of its circuit instead of having to wait for it to move down. In the same section I also used a small glitch that was brought to my attention by TaoTao that lets you jump off of spikes. It only works if you roll off an edge (no jumping), and you can jump off the spikes the frame you land on them but there is no saved momentum. Also less lag and better landings. Five frames saved on the boss by jumping off the balls instead of merely bouncing from them (again, this was a change from the previous submission when I didn't notice that there was an actual difference in height when holding the jump button off the enemy). One more frame saved by getting a tiny bit closer to the right edge when he starts his victory dance. In the first six stages Pachio has to be standing in the middle of the stage in order to do his victory dance, and he'll waste time rolling to the center if you're not already there. You also want to be in ball form when he starts the victory dance so that you'll roll to the edge of the screen instead of walking.
I can bounce off the wall. It only works on boss stages, which have open edges... no physical barrier like with a stage obstacle. My momentum is conserved since I'm not considered to be hitting anything. I can even accelerate when pressed against it.

Stage 3 - Water World

Manipulated enemy spawns to keep them out of the way. Reduced lag and better landings.
Using the tiny extra height from jumping off an enemy (combined with the air bubbles) allowed me to never have to land during the boss fight. It's possible to manipulate which of the two attacks he'll use, but only sometimes. I was able to hit the boss as soon as invincibility ran out 14 out of 16 times. The other two times are from riding the air bubbles to the top, and you can't change direction for 20 frames after touching them.

Stage 4 - Cloud World

Better movement in the spiked section before first teleport. On the first fan jump right after that first teleport to the clouds I go up extra high so as to trigger the trampoline platform to start coming down earlier. Reduced some lag. Was able to sneak onto the platform at the end. No changes in boss fight.

Stage 5 - Spikechain Factory

Going through a wrong door will lead you to a previous door in the level. Was only able to reduce some lag. I got in an extra hit on the boss's first cycle by waiting to get hit by the green projectiles. This let me land soon enough to do an extra jump and attack. The boss's hitbox disappears right after firing the second round of yellow projectiles. So even with invincibility frames you can't hit him until he finishes the whole cycle again. Also reduced some lag.

Stage 6 - Robot Chicken Factory

Reduced lag. Better landings. As a side note about the boss, you're supposed to only be able to jump off each arm once. Somehow the hitbox stayed for the left arm so that I could jump off it again saving 3 frames.

Boss Rush

BossOld TimeNew TimeDifferenceReason
S1 Boss13371333-4The level extends beyond the border of the screen wherever a boss moves beyond them. If you slide right when you land you can slip right into this space so that the level will end even faster after his victory dance. And unlike the first six levels Pachio doesn't have to be near the center of the stage to do his victory blinks
S2 Boss14961463-33Slid into side of the stage
S3 Boss19321879-53There is now no way to hit this boss twice in the same jump, even if you jump off the top with a little extra height. More precise movement with the bubbles allowed for an extra hit before landing. It would be fastest if every boss attack were just the bubbles, but I was unable to manipulate which attacks he used
S4 Boss128912890None
S5 Boss34963470-26Reduced lag
S6 Boss10191010-9Not sure. I think the level started 9 frames sooner
Alarm Bots17471654-93Intentionally getting hit to land sooner allowed for an extra two hits faster
Final Boss38203733-87Was able to hit boss's first form as soon as invincibility wore off (the previous submission was slow on one hit). Reduced a couple lag frames. The second form I was also able to hit earlier a couple times saving 49 frames. Another 28 frames saved because jump glitch at the end didn't work.

Possible Improvements

I feel like there are subtleties to Pachio's movement that I still can't grasp. Maybe it's sub-pixel manip? And of course more lag reduction. Good Luck.

Suggested Screenshot

8549, 8610, 44046, 65092

Noxxa: Judging.
Noxxa: Replaced movie file with a 77-frame improvement. Good action, good improvement, accepting as an improvement to the published movie.
fsvgm777: Processing.
Last Edited by adelikat on 10/24/2023 11:26 PM
Page History Latest diff List referrers