Submission #5905: hopper's A2600 Yars' Revenge "fastest Easter egg" in 00:05.34

Console Atari 2600 Emulator BizHawk 2.2.1
Game Version unknown Frame Count 320
ROM Filename Yars' Revenge (1981) (Atari) [!].a26 Frame Rate 59.9250936329588
Branch fastest Easter egg Rerecord Count 632
Unknown Authors hopper
Game Unknown Game
Submitted by hopper on 4/1/2018 6:27:02 PM

Submission Comments
  • Aims for fastest ending
  • Does not colour a dinosaur
  • Finds an Easter egg
Since April 1 happens to be Easter, it seemed appropriate to beat the best-selling Atari 2600 game as quickly as possible by finding an Easter egg. I play on the hardest difficulty level: Game 6 (Ultimate Yars) with Difficulty set to A.
The bad guy is called the Qotile. The Qotile changes colour on a timer (it is not random) which counts down until the colour becomes 0x34, which turns it into the Swirl. That happens on frame 190. There is then a countdown until the Swirl attacks, which happens on frame 389. There is also a Destroyer Missile which tracks the Yar. In Difficulty A, the Zorlon Cannon destroys the Destroyer Missile (and is destroyed) instead of passing through it.
The Qotile/Swirl can only be killed by the Zorlon Cannon. In Game 6, you have to get 5 TRONs in order to fire the Zorlon Cannon, which are acquired at a rate of 1 for every piece of the shield eaten, or 2 for every frame in which Yar is touching the Qotile. You also have to touch the left side of the screen in order to load the cannon. If the Swirl is killed while it is in attack mode, an Easter Egg becomes available. During the explosion, there is a vertical line where the Qotile/Swirl died. If Yar is on that line, and in the bottom 1/3 of the screen, when the explosion disappears, the game ends and the score lists as the author's initials, forwards and backwards. (Howard Scott Warshaw = HSWWSH)
In this run, I acquire 5 TRONs and destroy the bottom half of the shield so that I have a place to park the Yar. I rush to the left to load the cannon, then rush back to the right and get as close to the Swirl as I can. I fire on frame 313, which is the first frame where the Zorlon Cannon will hit the Swirl after it enters attack mode on frame 389. I then push down on 3 input frames to get the Yar out of the way of the Zorlon Cannon (which will otherwise kill the Yar instead of the Swirl). Since the Yar is already where it needs to be to activate the Easter egg, the Yar can then stand with its back to the Swirl like a badass and let it die 1 pixel behind it, with the Destroyer Missile 1 pixel away as well.
Suggested screenshot: frame 390

feos: Judging...
feos: Added 60fps 4K encode because why not.
fsvgm777: Replaced movie file with one that contains a close pass of the Destroyer Missile. Total time unchanged.
feos: It's Easter in my country, so I felt dealing today with this Easter egg movie submitted on Easter is the perfect timing.
I'm really sorry to reject this run that I suggested to make. But this is exactly why I believe it should have been done: to showcase a rejectable concept when doing so is appreciated and traditional, on April Fools!
This Easter egg basically brings us to the SELECT screen. Can we call this an ending? To answer that question we must first decide what tier this movie belongs to.
  • It's short enough not to become repetitive and annoying.
  • Does it showcase superplay?
    • Maybe it does. But a similar level of play could be also reached by a trained human, given how short this run has to be. We've seen plenty of times how RTA guys made use of tricks that were believed to be TAS-only.
  • Is the movie actually entertaining?
    • I'm not sure. Playing this game is clearly entertaining and fun. But for the viewer to enjoy even a full a TAS of this it takes a bit more than just watching it for the first time: you need to understand what's going on. And this game is quite complicated in that regard, so in most cases it ends up looking very impressive or incredibly boring, depending on your experience.

      And even then, this run only plays through one level. Some years ago we decided that single-level movies shouldn't be accepted, because they don't beat the game. Why don't we want such movies? Because they don't feel like superplay anymore, and because they can be made in a proper, acceptable way instead. Single-level movies are generally not impressive, they feel abrupt and anti-climactic. So even this Easter-egg run feels like it's not showcasing anything enjoyable, just makes a point for the sake of it.
Therefore, it's not a Moons material. Therefore it has to be judged by the Vault rules. Therefore it has to be rejected, because Vault rules require certain approach to game completion when dealing with infinite games:
Quoting Vault
  • Must be clearly definable as having completed the game.
    • Games that loop endlessly can still be defined. The completion point is one where there is no new content, and the game is no longer increasing in difficulty.
A run that does it will be accepted. This run can only serve as a reference, like "Yes, we have this done as well for the sake of it", but can't be published.

Last Edited by on 1/1/2022 6:13:44 PM
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