Submission #5926: klmz's GBA Lady Sia "game end glitch" in 12:02.68

Game Boy Advance
game end glitch
VBA-rr v24 svn480
Lady Sia (U) (M6) [!].gba
Submitted by klmz on 4/14/2018 4:23:47 AM
Submission Comments
Lady Sia beaten with a glitch to warp from the Walrus boss fight to the ending scene.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: VBA-rr v24m svn480
  • Aims for fastest input time
  • Abuses programming errors in the game
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Uses deaths to save time


Since this "any%" run skips half of the game with the Walrus glitch and warps directly to the ending scene, it could be considered a "major skip glitch"-ed run, and maybe specialized as "game end glitch". I decide to leave it to the judge to determine what is the proper branch name.

New tircks

For old tricks, see also GameResources/GBA/LadySia and the forum discussion.

Instant cursor movement on menus

The selection cursor in the shape that Sia is riding a bird (not really a griffon) normally moves slow between options. However if you press the direction to move and the A button to confirm on the targeted option, the movement animation can be skipped instantly.

Abusing the delayed falling mechanism

When Sia goes into midair, by walking off an edge, canceling a Sword-Climb etc., the game doesn't immediately sets her state to be "in air", but instead counts down a timer for extra frames when she is still considered "on the ground". This can be exploited for various purpose such as to make a longer jump or to jump from a Sword-Climb state.

Manipulating the camera

Various objects in the level such as enemies, floating platforms etc. are only activated when they are within a distance of the camera. Thus the camera can be used to manipulate their timing. It's widely exploited in this run.

Quick acceleration/turnaround

Holding the L Button sets Sia's horizontal speed to a fixed value, which is faster than normal "cold start" from 0. It also allows instanteous turnaround.
Holding the Down on the D-pad to crawl has similar effects, but it's slower than the L method and cannot be done in the air.

Fast level-completion/drown fade-out

After the fanfare for level completion is played, the fade out can be brought in sooner by pausing and resuming. However this cannot be used to skip the animation that Sia puts her sword back in, which becomes unfortunately usual after she gets the sword in Algambiade. It is still doable after the whole animation ends to skip the "score screen" anyways.
The similar thing can be done after Sia gets drown.

Pulling levers from above or below

It's possible to pull levers as long as Sia is within a certain area covering a lever if she is considered to be on the ground by the game. This allows her to pull levers ontop of them, and to pull the one in the Water Kingdom from below. Only the latter saves time though.

Walking through thin walls/round corners/bumps

It's possible to enter and walk through thiround corners and bumps like those in the Air Kingdom from certain vertical postions. I made use of it once to save some time.

Crawling through thin walls/snowslides

It's possible to crawl through thin walls if Sia can somehow gets inside them a bit. This is done in the Castle stage with Sword Climbing.
It's also possible to crawl through the snowslides in the Snowy Mountain stage when Sia is being pushed down by them, but it just faster to skip them.

Walrus glitch

The warp from the Walrus fight to the ending is to glitch the "game stage counter". By getting the victory in the Walrus fight during fading out to the Game Over screen, the "game stage counter" will be set to 59 first, which means Game Over, then erroneously increased by 1 to become 60 ie. the beginning of the ending scene. It is achievable in this fight as:
  • Sia can die without dying animations by simply falling down into the bottomless pit.
  • Walrus is beaten by letting itself dashing onto the broken ice bridge.
  • And more importantly, Sia doesn't have any victory-celebration animation in this fight.
In previous levels, there is no way to meet the requirements for a similar glitch either Sia could not be killed when beating the level.

Stage by stage comments

Intro, Title & Prelude


By pressing the Start Button at certain frame, I can glitch the prelude text to be blanked. When the timer for the scrolling hits the end, the Stage Counter is glitched to increase so that the following plot scenes as well as the next stage is skipped.

Athorre, The Human Kingdom

Intro Stage: The Prison

As mentioned above, this stage is skipped.

The Castle

Thanks to the discovery of the "invisible platforms" found by Pekopon, Sia can jump on them to take some unintended shortcuts. The main bottlenecks in this stage are those transporting hooks and moving platforms, so I manipulate the camera to activate them as early as possible. The first hook is activated by moving the camera far left-up, but it still takes some time, and Sia is bored to exhibit some wall-sinking techniques.
When I arrive at the chained bird, I use a sword slash to extend Sia's hitbox to make contact with it to trigger the end of the level, skipping the dialogue.
Now I can choose either the village level or the city level to go to first. I choose the village to get the "sword upgrade" as it can be used to quickly destroy those very tough shielded enemies in the city level despite disabling the fast level-completion trick.

The Village: Algambiade

The boat-riding is unskippable as the water will always flush Sia to the left in no time. When I get inside well, I wait 1 frame to manipulate the falling crystal or something so it can fall down on the left side during its oscillation, to allow Sia to get past without getting hit. The big leaf is caught up thanks to the extended long jump. Nothing worth noting until Sia gets the sword in the last scene of this level. Only the last thrust of the sword combine B-R-R can penetrate the shields of the enemies. I adjust the position of Sia so that I can penetrates two shields in one go.

The City: Merrion

The Death Lever glitch is not used as it takes more time to deplete Sia's HP than to simply fire an energy ball to resolve the "pool puzzle". Either way is faster than the standard "getting the key" solution.
Sia gets the ring in the end of the level. The airport level is unlocked after the city level is completed.

The T'soa Airport

I manipulate the camera to control when those pesky enemy birds may appear. Fans that blow wind to the left have to be turned off or they will slow down Sia a lot. The bird riding part is actually manual-scrolling, but it may just look as straight forward a you may expect from any standard auto-scrolling stages in a platformer game.
In the next scene, I take a new shorcut to skip all needs for lever operations. Wind blown to the right by the fan is favorable. Then more bird-riding.
In the last scene of this level, there are moving platforms. To save some waiting time later, I reach far right to activate the distant diagonally moving platform before I go back to flip the lever to activate the balloon. It doesn't save time to pull the last lever from above but it's fun. And thanks to being riding on a bird when exiting this level, I can use the fast fadeout trick again.

Boss Stage: Pelican

A dedicated boss stage. To defeat this boss, I have to first drop three rats out of the screen, then grab the captain of the airship. I have to take damage from the propellers to scroll the screen up and down as this is the fastest way to clear the rats.
There is a weird bug discovered by MUGG when grabing the captain (see the forum post). However the bug would make this boss remain undefeated and the game go backwards in progress and is not useful in this run.

The Peripheral Realms

There are three levels to beat in any order. I simply do them from left to right to save cursor movements.

The Water Kingdom

Since I want to use the Walrus glitch, I have to kill Sia until she has 0 lives left before fighting Walrus. According to my test, it takes the shortest time to kill Sia in the beginning of this stage than elsewhere. So I get Sia drown 3 times in a row to reduce the Lives counter to 0 and after that, proceed.
The button to make pillars rise from the sea and the lever to make water streams spew from the nozzles both accept to be operated from below, which saves some platforming time.

Boss: Poseidon

This sharkish boss is only vulnerable when his belt flashes, and can only be hit with eneragy balls. I manipulate his movements to reduce waiting time as much as possible.
After beating him, Sia learns the Water Spell (Left, Up, Right, A+B), which can be cast to make her invulnerable but it costs too much time and is not useful in this run.

The Fire Kingdom

Nothing special here.

Boss: Rafooza

This boss has to be defeated with hits from falling rocks for three times. In normal gameplay it requires three loops dealing with the disappearing platforms, but with the TAS Power, I make it in just one go. It's also cool to see Sia posing in the lava.
After this fight, Sia learns the Fire Spell (Up, Left, Down, A+B), which can be cast to damage all enemies on screen, but useless in this run due to time cost.

The Air Kingdom

I manipulate the camera to spawn an extra rising air-stream platform in the beginning of the level so I can avoid the upper route that would be blocked by the attack of the malicious street lamp. The first bubble generator is skipped thanks to the extended long jump trick. The cart riding part is faster on foot, and cooler as Sia rockets up the rail. I maneuver Sia to enter the floor of the building from a round corner, get through the spears and take a shortcut to arrive at the second bubble generator, which is unfortunately unskippable.
Then here wait the riding bird and Sia's sis.

Boss: Sia's Sis

This is a chasing stage. It is glitchy in various aspects. Sia can fly all the way out of the screen when the first chase phase starts, and catch up with the boss before she gets away. Then here's some dodging between flames.
For the second chasing phase, Sia has to be within a certain horizontal range of the screen area, otherwise the chase will be glitched that the boss never shows up again and the progress will be stuck.
After playing with lightning clouds, the third chasing phase ends pretty quickly although it suffers from the same glitch as the second chasing phase. And Sia learns the Air Spell (Left, Down Right, A+B), which can be used to kill one enemy on screen and not useful due to the huge time cost.

The Snowy Mountain

The falling icicles are manipulated so that Sia can get past them without getting hit. The two penguins fought here have different HP volumes. The snowslide is skipped with the platforms. And the effect of the Sword-Boosted Climb glitch that makes Sia fall through the floor finally provides a usecase near the end of the stage, to allow Sia to take a shortcut through the icy floor.

Boss: Walrus

The last battle in this run. Sia transforms into her Sasquatch form to face the Walrus. Instead of scratching on the boss, she has to pound the ice bridge for 6 times and wait for the boss to move "onto" (literally) the bottomless pit when the bridge has collapsed. With the Walrus glitch in mind, the goal addtionally requires Sia to fall into the pit at the same time.
This fight is very difficult to optimize due to the fact that a pound doesn't count if it is interrupted, and its duration is randomized. I somehow manage to make a quick pound once and barely make a "pushed over by the boss" at the right edge of the stage so the boss retreats immediately, for me to do the rest 5 pounds before it launches snowballs that can easily interrupt the pounds. With some more camera manipulation to time the boss's action the Walrus glitch is done successfuly.


Hooray! Enjoy the plot and credits!

Other comments

Special thanks to Pekopon who demonstrated various tricks that inspired this run.
Also thanks to MUGG, and all other players and forum members who gave constructive comments and motivations.

ThunderAxe31: Judging.
ThunderAxe31: Since the Walrus glitch alone allows to skip about half of the game, I'm labelling this movie as "game end glitch".
This is a good movie, featuring nice tricks there and there, and closing with a major skip to the ending cutscene and credits. The game itself is an interesting one, featuring nice cartoon-like graphics and ambiance diversity. The audience response was also positive. Accepting to Moons.
feos: Pub.
Last Edited by adelikat on 10/25/2023 8:28 PM
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