Submission #6548: Memory's GBA LEGO Bionicle in 07:07.16

System Game Boy Advance Emulator Bizhawk 2.3.1
Game Version USA Frame Count 25513
ROM Filename LEGO Bionicle (U) [!].gba Frame Rate 59.7275005696058
Branch Rerecord Count 63055
Unknown Authors Memory
Game Lego Bionicle
Submitted by Memory on 11/15/2019 1:59:04 PM

Submission Comments
LEGO Bionicle (subtitled in some places as Tales of the Tohunga or later as Quest for the Toa) was a game taking place in the universe of the Bionicle, a brand of LEGO toys with an accompanying storyline. It was released during the brand's first year and takes place directly prior to the first story arch. You play as Takua, a Tohunga (later renamed to Matoran) villager, and you go around to the 6 areas of the island of Mata Nui and rescue the 6 Turaga (village elders) and reclaim the 6 Toa Stones. I don't actually rescue all 6 Turaga or reclaim all 6 Toa Stones because this game is incredibly broken.
This is an improvement over my first published movie: [3039] GBA Lego Bionicle by Memory in 08:15.42. There are a number of timing differences due to using a different core from my first TAS, namely the addition of the bios screen and some slightly faster loads.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.3.1
  • Heavy Glitch Abuse
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Contains speed/entertainment tradeoffs
  • Heavy Luck Manipulation (?)


The majority of techniques are explained in the submission text for my previous movie. However there are some new finds here and there:
  • RNG manipulation: I found the RNG address for this game finally and that allows me to save a lot of time due to screen transitions. When you transition between areas, the game selects from two different animations to transition to the next screen. The fade to black transition is approximately 30 frames faster than the pixelated screen transition. I manipulate that when possible. The RNG address only increments when it is called, an easy way to advance it is to talk to NPCs with randomized dialogue boxes since entering and exiting a conversation only takes 5 frames.
  • You can cancel the period of time you lose control over the character after certain text boxes by pressing A prior to triggering the text box. I only found out how to apply this more widely towards the end of the TAS so this is not used for much of the TAS. The game is not particularly sync friendly meaning I would have to essentially redo much of the TAS to incorporate it.
  • Lavaboard speed abuse: The lavaboard item uses separate speed addresses from normal. These addresses are only set to specific values under a few condition. Landing on the lavaboard on the ground will set all lavaboard speed values to 0. Jumping on or off the lavaboard will set the lavaboard speed for whatever directions you're facing. Therefore if you jump off the lavaboard speed facing up or down, your x speed gets maintained and will be used again if you jump on the lavaboard while facing up/or down.

Stage by stage comments

Beach 1st area

I cancelled the period of time where you normally lose control after the first conversation by pressing A prior to it, resulting in a second conversation being triggered. It's still worth it.
I incorporated much better rotation walking here and used long jumps much more sparingly.

Beach 2nd area

Slightly better movement. The RNG value I got at the end of beach 1 allowed me to get two fade to black transitions in a row.

Onu-Koro Entrance

I talked to a guard to advance RNG to get the fade to black transition.

Onu-Koro 1st visit

I grabbed the staff this time as a speed/entertainment tradeoff to make it so the rest of the caves were actually visible and you could see what I was doing for them. This wasted about 50 frames compared to my published TAS.

Onu-Wahi 1st area (Rescue Whenua)

Much better movement here and better usage of mushroom boosts.
I stunlocked the boss at the end to prevent it from spawning smaller enemies that lag the game significantly.

Onu-Koro 2nd visit

Not much different.

Onu-Wahi 2nd area

More optimized slides and some different strategies here and there.

Onu-Wahi 3rd area

I throw the explosive using throw swap glitch a bit sooner than my previous TAS, meaning less wait time.
The red explosives I grab here end up being enough to last me through the run.
Setting up a slide at the end was slightly faster.
There isn't really enough options here to manipulate RNG without losing time overall.

Onu-Koro 3rd visit

Pretty much identical to previous movie.

Onu-Koro post minigame

Slightly better movement

Onu-Koro Exit

Unfortunately I got locked into a bad screen transition here where I didn't in the previous run. I couldn't find a way to manipulate RNG to avoid it that didn't lose more time than it saved.

Ga-Wahi 1st area

Got worse positioning on the grasshopper enemy by the exit but only one frame lost.

Ga-Wahi 2nd area

Adding a slide saved a little bit of time here.
The strategy I eventually came up with for the teleport launch conveniently allowed me to get a fade to black transition.


The skip is pretty much the same as it was in the last run but I talked to an NPC at the end a bunch of times to get the next two transitions to be fade to black.

Ga-Koro Exit

Not much to say here.

Po-Wahi 1st area

Vibex, who did the original RTAs of the game, found a large skip here after I finished the previous TAS. It involved abusing the launcher text interrupt glitch to build up enough speed to go through the walls of the area and reach the end. Normally you need to walk behind the boulder pile to shoot the launcher sphere behind it but I managed to shoot it through the boulder pile and reach the back wall anyways.
I still need to setup teleport coordinates at the end of the area.

Po-Koro 1st visit

I specifically routed this to be able to talk to NPCs at the right times to give me a fade to black transition.

Po-Wahi 2nd area

A bunch of timesaves here. I incorporated a lot more slides than my previous TAS.
The green bird enemy advances RNG every frame that it's aggro'ed on you. I kept it active just long enough to get a favorable RNG value.

Po-Wahi 3rd area

I didn't need the additional explosives so I did a slide here to the first dirt mound.
While I was waiting for the pillars to fall into the ground, I triggered the green bird to aggro to get a favorable RNG value for the next 3 transitions.

Po-Wahi 4th area

Slightly more efficient slide and better management of the enemies to keep them out of my way.

Po-Koro 2nd visit

Abusing conversations ended up not particularly viable so I had to manipulate this one in advance.

Po-Wahi 5th area

I start this area off with a more efficient opening slide and item management. I then manage to get sent all the way into the boss arena with the launcher text interrupt glitch unlike my previous run which ended up much higher.

Po-Koro 3rd visit

More RNG manip

Kohli Minigame

I wait some frames here to get more favorable RNG.

Po-Koro exit

Slightly more efficient

Le-Koro entrance 1st area

Not too much different

Le-Koro entrance 2nd area

Normally you're supposed to ride the bird up to the screen transition.
I didn't do what I was supposed to.


Not much different aside from some RNG manipulation off the NPC at the end.

Le-Koro Exit

Not much different

Snowball minigame

I waited a couple frames to manipulate RNG.

Ko-Wahi 1st area

This is where I discovered a more effective way of cancelling the loss of control after certain text boxes.
I didn't need to short hop against the edge of the screen diagonally, saving a little time.
The enemy teleport coordinates being in a different spot and approaching the enemy to teleport more efficiently resulted in a different launch trajectory that passed by another enemy and an ice block.


Slightly more efficient movement saved 3 frames.

Ko-Koro exit

Not much different.

Ta-Wahi 1st area

Different RNG resulted in different ostrich patterns which forced slightly different strategies that ended up being faster anyway.

Ta-Koro Entrance

Used a slide here instead of just long jumping and walking.


Slightly better movement here.

Ta-Wahi 2nd Area

Better understanding of the lavaboard allowed for a sizeable timesave.
For some reason the land just below the exit seems to set your lavaboard speed to 0 when you pass over it. I'm not sure why.

Ta-Wahi 3rd Area

I used large object dragging to move the 2nd and 3rd large boulders while waiting for the small boulder to fall.

Ta-Wahi 4th area

The second speed/entertainment tradeoff: doing this room the intended way is 21 frames faster. However I found that if you jump off the lavaboard on the first frame possible by buffering the input on the previous loading screen, it causes the player sprite to glitch.


I end input early by pressing start on the last input frame of the previous screen, buffering it to appear in the minigame. Selecting quit will cause the minigame to essentially complete itself. Technically this reaches the ending cutscene 26 frames slower but results in 1773 fewer input frames and is significantly more entertaining.

Other comments

Some better planning in regards to health, explosive usage (I ended up with one more than I needed) and teleport coordinates should be possible but I'm done with this game for now and probably for quite a while.

ThunderAxe31: Judging.
ThunderAxe31: File replaced with a 11 frames improvement.
ThunderAxe31: Accepting as improvement over the current publication.
Spikestuff: Publishing.

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