My encoding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSgq82AYeM4
This game is filled with random collision, allowing a lot to be done that is technically not humanly possible. The first level will already introduce a mechanic that is rarely used in ILs, and is the one dominantly used in this. These mechanics are getting clips from the edges, and swerving; the latter is used mostly in air and flat ground, the other is only on edges, it's the more finicky of the 2, yet also the faster of the 2. The monkey used is actually faster overall, by using Baby the loading times do not take quite as long. The objective of this was to aim for the fastest possible RTA time, and due to certain circumstances in this game, that does mean some IL times were not beaten for the sake of having it be faster overall.
The reason overall RTA time is sometimes slower is mostly due to quirks in level rotation, which mostly hinge on whether or not the stage has moving parts. When speeding up the rotation, the level itself does not respond by speeding up its animations as well, instead the monkey will spawn earlier into that animation, and be presented with possibly an entirely different level. Therefore in some cases it is basically necessary to slow down the rotation speed to get a faster overall time.
Level Strategy descriptions:
- Beginner -
(B1) Crossroads: This level is fairly simple, get a clip off of the edge of the level, and one from the border.
(B2) Shuffle: Slightly more complicated, there is a slight bit of slowdown in order for the right collision to occur to get over the gap. This is both faster and different from the IL strategy here.
(B3) Cascade: This level is simply just falling down as fast as possible, then getting into the goal at an odd angle. One of the few levels where I could not beat the IL time.
(B4) Over the Hills: This is the first long stage of the run, along with that it's one of the most boring long stages of the run. It's just a straight path, which is good for getting clips on the edges.
(B5) Jump: The starting frame boost is key, the nudge of the rock, while it looks slow, actually seems faster. This was the fastest I was able to obtain, even without nudging that rock.
(B6) Holes: Clips til the goal really, there was not enough speed to get from the start to the end without the aid of either of the other platforms. I opted for the right side due to it jutting out a bit more than the other.
(B7) Overrun: Similar to the last level, except there was enough speed to get to the goal. I again opted for the right side since it provided a more straight shot towards the goal.
(B8) Ripple: This is the first stage where the IL is faster, yet slower for RTA purposes. In this I opt to get a clip that sends me over the 3rd platform, allowing a finish to occur before the IL would have. Based on the cycles alone, this is actually faster for my sake.
(B9) Sequencer: This stage largely has 2 viable strats in this; those being go from side to side to get clips from the platform, or in this case go on top of one edge to get clips. The latter was used in this TAS solely due to it having more potential.
(B10) Tongue Twister: The coolest, also most boring stage in beginner. Just small clips to the goal is all.
(B11) Celtic Knots: This stage has a bit of depth, where getting off of the initial platform is one thing, getting a little clip off of the stage itself is another. This clip allows for more fluid falling, leading to an overall faster time.
(B12) Simple Split: This is the longest stage in beginner. I lose a frame here to prevent a crash by hitting the goalposts, because that would prevent me from continuing this. The crash happens by finishing a mode, then falling out of the level, while it does start the level over, it does this in the way Story Mode would. Then by trying to exit this, the game will then crash.
- Advanced -
(A1) Bowls: Utilizing the first wall in the game, it is possible to immediately get to the edge to get a clip, then proceed through the rest of the strat like normal. The angle is needed to get through the level fast, as to why I only opted for 1 clip.
(A2) Freewheeler: This stage is long if one does not do this skip. It's simply bouncing on the stage to get to the straightaway with the goal at the end.
(A3) Skid Slalom: The first absolutely crazy stage in this, normally one would go all the around the level... instead this tours the level taking no precaution. The start was key, as both the clips and speed were necessary in order to make this run possible.
(A4) Serpent: Getting small clips from the edge to start, it progresses to needing 1 large clip to get to the other side, from there it's just another small clip.
(A5) Smile: Turn around as fast as possible... really all there is, I did ride the edge though.
(A6) Dimple: After grinding the edge, I proceed to get a few bounces that send me to the goal without losing speed.
(A7) Tiptoe: By getting 2 clips, I can get Baby from the start of the level all the way to the goal by barely even touching the stage.
(A8) Sidestep: This is essentially just getting clips, however at the end there's a clip from the middle of the platform which allows the stage to be completed a bit faster than normal.
(A9) Pitch & Putt: At the start, this level is mostly just about getting clips. It then transforms to getting another bounce, another clip off of the edge, then yet another bounce. The last of which is the most important, as it's the only one that allows the stage to be completed this fast.
(A10) Circuits: Coming from the levels that preceded it, this is mainly just getting clips to get from the start to the goal, really in any way possible.
(A11) Hairpin: Just a long grind really, attempting to get clips from this resulted in falling out of the grind entirely, therefore it was faster to just take this grind with few clips.
(A12) Funrun: This is the most boring stage in this, as there no clips to be found, the little obstacles are cylinders (meaning no clips are actually possible). It's just a 13 second stage of swerving is all.
(A13) Ridge Walker: This is essentially just getting clips from the first curve to the goal. I leave the initial platform as soon as I can, to get speed as soon as possible.
(A14) Checkmate: The stage of resurfacing, it's also faster to get a clip on the start of the 2nd section of the level, from this you can basically get straight into the goal.
(A15) Eternal: Despite everything I tried, it's actually faster in every scenario to chase the goal. Meaning grinding on the edge to get to the top of the level, and falling in the goal from behind. The way I get to the goal here is not intended in any way.
(A16) ZZ Stop: Essentially just hit the wall to turn faster, and fall into the goal.
(A17) Loop It: Getting a clip from the side border, it is possible to basically get a small bounce from the middle section of the level to land in the goal.
(A18) Plughole: Similar to ZZ stop, except hitting the wall to turn is slower.
(A19) Gravity Wells: Similar to the first level of this mode, except going head on into the bowls is possible, mainly due to there not being a literal wall in the way.
(A20) Bread Basket: Turning around to hit a certain polygon that makes it far easier to get out of this level. From there I can get a specific clip that sends me into the goal even faster than normal.
- Expert -
(E1) Backflip: This level is largely just fall off and get into the goal as fast as possible, nothing special here.
(E2) Slider: In order to go fast here, one must get a few specific clips. My idea to get over to the goal without needing any of the stage obstacles proved seemingly impossible after a while, which caused me to think of hitting a jamabar from behind an obstacle.
(E3) Headlong: Mostly just getting collision. I was going too fast by the end of it to swerve optimally, as it would take me over the goal.
(E4) Bumps: I take the beginning slightly slower in order to get a specific clip from the platform following the first "bump". From there I am able to skip most of the levels with a few more clips. I was too high at the end, so I tried my best to angle Baby towards the goal, and get there at a fairly optimal time for the situation.
(E5) Spiral Scratch: Similar to Backflip, except swerving is important to do here.
(E6) Squeegee: This is the fastest strat for rotating into this level as fast as possible. This is slower than the actual strat, but is faster to do it this way. I go off the edge of the platform to get a little bit of extra speed, get a tiny nudge to maintain air time, then get nudged towards the goal by another platform.
(E7) Eternal: It is impossible to do anything on this stage if one doesn't wait during the rotation, therefore I do not rotate it in fast. Nonetheless, I roll up a hill to get speed later, then after rolling down I grind on the curve to maintain that speed, following that I get 2 clips to get me sent straight into the goal. Any earlier and I would be going too slow, and the level itself would not be able to help send me towards the goal.
(E8) Slinkysteps: Basically trying to leave the platform as early as possible, with the aide of speedbumps along the way. I hit the edge of the platform so that it will hit me to the right, while also removing some of my downward momentum.
(E9) Jawbridge: Before, the optimal strat was waiting a bit, now this is the fastest possible to do the level. This is in large part due to being able to fall off of the initial platform early to hit an upwards moving object on the stage. From there I get insane clips I wasn't even intending to get.
(E10) Backslider: I opt to rotate slowly as little as possible, as it allows the correct cycle to barely be present. From there it's just getting the right clips to get into the goal.
(E11) Floor Sliders: This level is mainly just playing with the gimmick of the stage. By getting a clip on the initial platform, it allows Baby to have enough speed to reach a middle platform with a clip just waiting for him. From there, all that is needed is another clip to get into the goal.
(E12) Slalom: Speed is key here, too much and the strategy would not be possible. Essentially, one wants to be able to get a bounce off of the first turn, too much speed and Baby will fly over the goal, too little speed and Baby won't reach the goal. The speed obtained here was enough to allow a low bounce to get into the goal.
(E13) Hoopsnake: This level is slightly deceiving, while it looks faster to get bumps on the entire stage, not just the end, it isn't feasible. The angle of the platform is too steep to allow this to occur. Nonetheless, I get up to the goal on a cycle that would otherwise be impossible to finish at.
(E14) Deadline: The one stage where doing it the normal way is slower. The goal happens to be placed just close enough to do a skip that barely reaches it. This is the first time this has been done on any version.
(E15) Cog: Rotated in a little slowly to allow cycles to be aligned better. There is a faster strategy, however that wasn't worth waiting longer to get.
(E16) Gankanny: By waiting as little as possible, it makes it possible to get into the goal before it should even be possible. By just hastily rotating in, the goal is too far out, wait too long and it's not faster for RTA, this is just the right amount, as getting into the goal barely happens.
(E17) Slipknot: Arguably the coolest looking stage in the game, made better by collision not occuring on the final section of the level.
Levels slower than the IL time:
B8: Ripple - Rotated in more quickly to be faster for RTA time. Time Obtained in this TAS: 6.03; IL time: 5.02
E6: Squeegee - Rotated in more quickly to be faster for RTA time. Time Obtained in this TAS: 4.92; IL time: 4.83
Also, the only thing I intentionally took a timeloss on, was inputting "TAS" into the name for highscores. I did end the movie at the final score screen, for the sake that there are no credits in this mode, and it's fitting enough for an end. It will not do anything from there, such as go to the menu, as another input is needed. Last thing to mention; I use the 3rd fastest version of the game (fastest being PSP, 2nd fastest is GC PAL at 50hz), as it is essentially the standard that most people play on.
One of these frames would make a good screenshot: between 20764-20772
Memory: Trimmed file to remove blank input
Memory: Optimization seems good. Syncs for me with no problems.
The entertainment was fairly good with some interesting tricks that are to be expected from the Monkey Ball series at this point. Though this game is known for being one of the weakest entrants in the series, it did not negatively affect the audience's response.
One person questioned the goal to aim for real time instead of in game time but it doesn't have too much effect on the run and is fine as is.
Apparently the PAL version of the game has faster physics at 50hz but from looking at the rules and from precedent, the existence of a faster PAL version would not necessarily block this submission from being published. On the other hand if a PAL 50 run was submitted in the future, it could be accepted as a separate publication if it is considered sufficiently different. If it is not considered sufficiently different it could potentially obsolete this run if it was considered more entertaining.
The original label given, All Challenge Mode Difficulties, was changed to just "Challenge Mode" given that there is no other content to be featured in Challenge Mode. It is acceptable as completing this fully distinct mode.
Accepting to Moons.
Note: This might take a long time.