Submission #6541: simillarian's NES Skate or Die! in 02:19.37

(Link to video)
Nintendo Entertainment System
BizHawk 2.3.2
Skate or Die! (U) [!].nes
Submitted by simillarian on 10/27/2019 12:53:18 PM
Submission Comments
This is a short Skate or Die run that is only about 2 minutes long. It attempts to beat the game as fast as possible by taking optimal routes and manipulating the AI to end some of the events as soon as possible.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 2.3.2
  • Aims for fast time
  • Luck Manipulation


This is a short TAS that mostly involves optimal movement and inputs, except in the last two stages where you can use your character's movement to manipulate the AI's position resulting in the stage ending faster. The third stage's optimizations just include staying off grass and hitting a perfect straight line to minimize left and right movement. Other than that you just need to end the ramp stages as quickly as possible by doing nothing and pumping your character for speed.

Stage by stage comments

Stage 1 - Freestyle

To complete this stage as fast as possible you need to turn back without launching in the air. On the last pass you can pump your character (rapid press A) to gain speed. That's it. Not much going on.

Stage 2 - High Jump

In this stage you want to make the smallest jump possible then pump the character to gain speed on the return trip.

Stage 3 - Downhill

You want to stay off the grass and pick the perfect line at the skull ramp to hit most of the obstacles in a straight line. However, in the beginning it's necessary to make a sharp turn across the grass. Rocks are jumped over to avoid losing time by turning around them.

Stage 4 - Jam

This is the first stage with AI manipulation. The reason you need to manipulate the AI is because the stage ends when Lester crosses the finish line, rather than when you cross the finish line. To the best of my knowledge, Lester's movement is determined based on your character's position. For most of the level it doesn't matter but at the end of the level you want to be in a position that keeps him from lagging behind. I accomplish this by straightening my character at the end of the level during a range of acceptable frames. If you don't do this in the right spot Lester can get caught up on the speed bump or decide to turn right and bonk into something on the right side.

Stage 5 - Joust

This level also has AI manipulation which comes into play at the final hit. Again, I think the AI's actions are determined based on what player 1 does just like in the previous level. Before the winning hit you want Pete to launch up above the lip of the pool which will allow you to line up with him when the game gives you the joust pole. You set this up when you are on the left side pool with your Y position at the apex of your turn. When you roll back to the right side of the pool you want to position player 1 just a couple pixels below Pete so that he doesn't hit you when he has the pole then input up and input A to hit him before he rolls down the pool. Normally you have to both roll to the left side of the pool for the final hit.
This is a pretty short run and for a portion of it you are more or less just waiting for the stage to end. This game doesn't offer many opportunities for saving time so I had to think about how I can manipulate the opponents in the last two stages to find more time to save. Doing this I was able to save a little over 2 seconds on my original TAS where I didn't consider this.
Areas of improvement would include finding a way to make Pete cross the finish line sooner and getting the last hit in the joust sooner. Maybe a glitch could be found to end level 2 (Freestyle) before you reach the 10th pass.

Memory: Judging
Memory: Optimization appears to be acceptable.
So one potential complaint one could have is that parts of the game are obviously not built for being completed in a speedy manner. The goal chosen "compete all" goes through all 5 different events. However only one of those parts is trivial to optimize and so the goal seems reasonable.
The last event you are given a choice of different opponents, each labeled with a different difficulty. This one chooses to fight against the easiest opponent. Given the hardest difficulty guideline is... well... a guideline, and selecting the hardest difficulty here wouldn't make it substantially more interesting, I'd say that's it's fine to use easiest.
The TAS was not received well by the audience in terms of entertainment and for good reason. Each minigame is kinda simplistic and not particularly interesting.
Accepting to Vault.
Dacicus: Processing...
Last Edited by adelikat on 11/1/2023 10:46 PM
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