This run (6:17) is a 41 second improvement of the previous submission (6:58). Lots of combo improvement, route optimization, and overall clean-up of battle sequences
Speedrun Playtime based on time between Player is controllable, to the final kill shot on boss.
- Emulator used: Mame-RR 0.139-v0.1-beta
- Difficulty: Easy
- Whiff moves to improve enemy stand up time, reduce lag
- Intentionally trade hits to improve overall speed
- Improved combo sequences
- Willy shoots his gun off after the game ends!
- Dead Man falling from sky after Boss dies
Link to previous submission (6:58 completion)
RAM Watch, Combos, etc
Please visit forum thread http://tasvideos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19968 - I maintain this thread for general speed run notes
Overview of Improvements Below!
Insert Coin Screen
Saved 2 frames on initial coin insertion. I discovered the savings while playing with holding buttons differently across frames
Stage 1, Battle Sequence 1 (Black Roper, White Roper, White Williams)
121 frames faster - thanks to new 16HP damage combo I discovered (punch, punch, knee, knee, punch, uppercut) which allows me to kill Black Roper without knocking him down first. This, coupled with timing enemies to come towards me as I'm executing 16HP combo, makes for a much faster fight
Stage 1, Battle Sequence 2 (Linda, White Williams, Adobo)
This basically a set of 1 on 1 battles
Williams - 2 frames faster with cleaner execution (better use of button hold vs button presses for input)
Linda - 22 frames faster. In addition to different attack set used, I also discovered whiffed punches cause enemies to quick stand - which yields additional frame savings
Adobo - 69 frames faster. With research for perfect execution. I discovered again that button hold vs button presses work best for uppercut input. Use of Kick, Uppercut combo (9HP dmg) plus positing myself slightly off axis from Adobo allows me to do damage on the first frame he's vulnerable to attack. I also do better job making sure the screen scrolls right vs left as I knock him down
Stage 1, Battle Sequence 3 (Black Roper, White Williams, Bolo)
40 frames faster. Plan of attack was no different than original submission - I just executed better (got rid of unnecessary movement, and knife Bolo on the first frame he appears on screen).
Even thought it looks like Roper and Boss die simultaneously with knife attack... Black Roper actually dies 2 frames after Bolo. It may be possible to kill them on exact same frame, but I couldn't find a way to make that happen
Stage 2, Battle Sequence 1 (White Williams, Black Williams, Roper)
24 frame improvement - this uses same coordinated pit drops and dynamite kill as previous submission. I just execute the sequence Cleaner
Stage 2, Battle Sequence 2 (Black Williams, White Roper)
118 frames faster - saved a lot of time having Williams jump into pit himself, instead of using a kick/throw
Stage 2, Battle Sequence 3 (Mix of Lindas, Ropers/Williams, Jeff)
216 frames faster - I'm at the mercy of RNG gods here (maybe there's a way to control which enemies appear??? if there is I haven't found it).
I was wrong about my statement in previous submission - it does matter how the second group of enemies coming out of elevator are killed - Lag Frames Matter.
Reduced Lag Frames, plus killing Jeff by throwing him off balcony saves a ton of time
Weird thing I discovered - 11 frames were saved by whiffing a headbutt after I kill Jeff. For some reason the whiffed headbutt causes the level to end faster (haven't invested underlying mechanics - I just know this works)
Stage 3, Battle Sequence 1 (White Williams, Black Roper x2, White Roper, Linda)
146 frames faster - Same general pattern as previous submission. I opt for straight lines and hit trades to save time.
The second black roper fight can be optimized (I didn't discover the infinite combo sequence until I was already deep into Stage 3 - for the last Black Roper encounter....). This is the only enemy left whose attack sequence is unoptimized :(
Stage 3, Battle Sequence 2 (White Roper, Williams x 3)
77 frames faster - better enemy manipulation for pit drop. I manage to keep everyone closer to left side of pit this time, which prevents that large rectangular pattern the enemies take in previous submission
Stage 3, Battle Sequence 3 (Bolo x 2, Williams x 2, Roper)
128 frames faster - big savings from kicking Williams that jumps out of the pit immediately back into pit. This prevents one of the rectangular paths patterns one of the mobs would have to take
I waste a few frames here to position the final Williams kill so the knife drops on right side of pit (this creates big savings in next sequence - as I can immediately do 16HP of damage in Sequence 4 with that knife)
Stage 3, Battle Sequence 4 (Williams, Roper, Adobo x 2)
444 frames faster - huge savings here.
knife + optimized Kick, Uppercut combo on Williams
Infinite combo series (punch, punch, knee, knee, punch, knee, knee, punch, knee, knee....) - repeated as necessary until finisher (either elbow or uppercut). This allows me to kill Roper without wasting frames spent on knockdown/standing animations
Found new glitch where I can keep one of the Adobos falling towards right side of screen with rocks (the second rock interrupts his throw sequence). This allows to kill one of the Adobo's quickly
The second Adobo dies an optimal death as well. Magic 9HP series (Kick, Uppercut) plus figuring out Adobos fall backwards as long as the final hit drops them below 25HP.
Stage 3, Battle Sequence 5 (Jeff x 2, Roper)
114 frames faster - I skip picking up the boulder after I get up the stairs (it's no longer necessary given the optimized combo I started using for Green Bolo fight). I also take the left side of stairs instead of right to save about a quarter second
Stage 3, Boss Fight
169 frames faster - I replaced boulder attacks (6HP dmg) with quick two hitter combo of Kick/Uppercut (9HP dmg). Also optimized cornering path for punching Bolo off cliff
Stage 3 end to Stage 4 start transition
104 frames saved - better positioning at end of boss fight shortens the time
Stage 4, Wall Trap
6 frames lost - Not much to say here - I'm at mercy of RNG gods (and I don't know how to control them). Each run gives different sequence of traps.
Stage 4, Gargoyle Spears
12 frames lost - again at mercy of RNG gods. But I discovered a trick to product two knives from one mob (appears to be related to forcing two dynamite sticks to be dropped - haven't fully tested)
Stage 4 - Double Bolos
530 Frames Faster - I stumbled upon way to allow Black Williams to drop two knives on screen instead of 1 (seemingly related to forcing two dynamite drops in previous sequence). This allows me to do knife damage (16HP) much faster!
I also manage to hit all 3 enemies with one knife - also a huge time savings
Stage 4 - Boss Fight
1 frame faster - I was surprised to see this sequence was 1 frame faster. I was expected it to be slower - the only reason I can rationalize it being faster is reduced lag frames
Willy Machine Gun Glitch and Man Falling From Sky
Again - appears related to garbage memory that's left after enemies are dropped into pits. The sound of Willy's machine gun after game ends seems to be more proof of that
What's next? How fast can you make this????
I think it's possible to create a 6:12 speed run (I stress the word "think" -- I don't know how much more juice I can squeeze from this orange. I'm getting close to running into limits of internal game mechanics).
A few places I have in mind to improve time (assuming there are no other optimized routes/combos available):
Stage 1: I estimate 10 frames could be saved (this last one was almost perfect. I don't see many more places to shave time)
Stage 2: Possible 60 frame savings (if I can further optimize routes taken by mobs coming out of elevator)
Stage 3: 220 frames (Use infinite series combo on Black Roper, and if I can find a more optimized path for first pit sequence). Savings I'm not mentioning in estimation - the "fall backwards" knockdown constraint for Bolo/Adobo may be "HP <= 28" instead of "HP <= 25" I use in this run. If 28HP constraint turns out to work in this stage, I could redo the double Bolo fight (need to investigate if using routes using boulders to trigger HP28 scenario and knock them off cliff is faster)
Stage 4: I don't think this can be optimized any further. The Double Bolo and Final Boss fight sequences are virtually perfect. The gains that could be realized are small IMO - maybe 10 frames. And those 10 frames of savings could be ruined by the waiting between spear/extending wall sequences at beginning of level (which I suspect is controlled by RNG). However - if I, or anyone else is able to find a way to bypass the Y-axis protection on Bolo in Stage 4, it will be possible to elbow them into pits - and a sub 6 second run would be possible!
feos: This is getting so much better every time! I'm considering starring this game eventually at some point. Accepting to Moons over  Arcade Double Dragon "1 player" by sugarfoot in 07:13.06.
I also have a screenshot suggestion:
As for RNG, latest MAME has insane reverse engineering tools, you might want to check them out. No rerecording though.