Submission #7173: xy2_'s DS Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles in 55:57.72

Console Nintendo DS Emulator DeSmuME 0.9.9
Game Version unknown Frame Count 200879
ROM Filename 1992 - Assassins Creed - Altairs Chronicles (U)(Micronauts) Frame Rate 59.82609828808082
Branch Rerecord Count 210692
Unknown Authors xy2_
Game Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles
Submitted by xy2_ on 7/19/2021 7:08:28 PM

Submission Comments
Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles is an Assassin's Creed game for the DS. The prequel to Assassin's Creed, it retells Altaïr's past before the events of the former. Altair is tasked with finding the Chalice, a trinket that could unite all factions and end the Third Crusade. Altaïr ignores these instructions and jumps around the neighborhood instead.
(Enable subtitles for commentary!)

Summary

Altaïr's Chronicles is a Prince of Persia-style adaptation of the franchise, featuring extensive platforming, stealth and combat.
This is a 04:01.75 improvement over my old TAS. Improvements come from better understanding, new routes and extensive optimization of every aspect of the game.

About the game

Abilities

Altair can move around, and runs after a few frames of warmup, eventually going to 20k units.
When walking, Altair has to change direction gradually, else I lose all speed. We can, in one frame, go from right to down-right, or from right to down (losing more speed), but not any further.
I mostly use jumping, as it's much faster. Whenever jumping, I get a 30k speed boost, that decreases down to 21k airbone speed. Because the boost is at the start of the jump, I want to jump as often as I can.
Altaïr can chain jump, getting a double (and later on a triple) jump. These two respectively have a bigger boost than the single jump, so getting them often is needed.
I can also walk, reducing speed. While in this state, jumping will do a low jump. Normally the low jump is very slow. But by walking right as we land from another jump, and jumping again the next frame, I can use this low jump fast.
The low jump on its own is commendable. Since it's much lower, it's ideal to chain jumps quickly, since I land faster. Using it allows taking less fall damage. Finally, its minimum airborne speed is 24k instead of regular jumps' 21k, making it a bit faster for long jumps.
Altaïr can go on wooden beams by walking onto them. Jumping off them grants 40k speed, a significant increase. Often I'll go out of my way to get on wooden beams to go fast.
Jumps can be started in any direction, regardless of current facing direction, although facing forwards is fastest, as other jumps give a small penalty based on direction. They can also be controlled in midair, allowing some precision when jumping and giving a bit of momentum. This momentum carries over on ground and can be preserved on future jumps, although the speed decays slowly over time. It can be canceled by switching to running for a frame.
On spots with a glowing green circle, Altaïr can grapple. Grappling speed depends on the position from which you grapple and your incoming speed, but it is by far the fastest method of movement.

Combat

The main combat method is using Altaïr's sword. This is very slow in general. Whenever I'm forced to use it, I use the fastest combo and move on. Enemies can counter, so make sure to manipulate them not to do that.
The other weapons are much better. Daggers can stun enemies when hitting them, but they can be only be used on foot. This drawback makes them impractical to use everywhere, but they are invaluable at the right spot.
Bombs do the largest damage of all weapons, instantly killing many enemies. They can be thrown fast and explode in an area, making it an excellent general choice. However, they're unlocked pretty late.
When bombs aren't accessible, an unorthodox fighting style is my best bet. Enemies are no different from Altaïr: they can run into each other, take damage from traps, get crushed, and even fall into death pits. The best weapon in the game, the wooden box, abuses this. Although it was never intended as a weapon, it can crush enemies, killing every enemy instantly; however, carrying it around is slow.
When combat is too slow, manipulation is my best option. Enemies run directly to Altaïr, and they can't attack until they pull their sword out. Pulling out the sword has a small animation during which I can interact with them freely. If enemies run into each other, or into a while, while running tp Altaïr, they will reset each other. Finally, they stop once near Altaïr and prepare for attack. I use this to manipulate enemies into blocking each other, or to die to traps.
When an enemy dies, it drops a red orb that heals Altaïr for a random amount of health. I can use this to take more fall damage, and manipulate luck to get a full refill when it's needed.

Tricks

Taking fall damage
Many short sections of a level can be skipped by falling down into a later part.
Fall damage cancel by ledge grab
If you grab a ledge while in the air, then fall damage will reset once you fall off.
Fall damage cancel by enemy
If you get knocked back or attacked by an enemy right as you land, Altaïr takes no damage.
Fall damage cancel by cutscene
Triggering a cutscene stops Altair and puts him on the closest ground. This can be used to take no fall damage.
Cutscene trick
The game is still active when a cutscene runs. If you're grappling while a cutscene is active, Altair can stay on the grappling.
Avoiding ledge grabs
When jumping to a ledge, Altaïr will grab the ledge, and we can climb up. This ledge grab takes a lot of time, but we can avoid it by jumping so that we don't face the ledge.
Sword tutorial bug
When using the sword for the first time, a tutorial pops up. The tutorial object only exists on the first stages. Triggering it outside of these stages will display an error and waste some time. However, it's still faster than using the sword once.
Grappling glitch
Using the grappling on the edge of a grappling point teleports you to the right. Very useful to go fast.
Freefall speed trick
When hitting a wall, or getting hit by an archer arrow, Altair enters freefall with both hands up. During freefall, speed is locked in. This is very useful, since speed constantly decreases in midair. We can enter freefall via a wall or an arrow and lock in our speed for that jump.
Archer arrows jump cancel
Archer arrows have one extra property: they cancel Altaïr's jump. This is very useful since I can chain jumps quicker. However, be careful of the damage taken.
Checkpoint skip
In every level, the way to end the level is different. In some level a checkpoint always exists ta the end. Sometimes it's not loaded, and taking other checkpoints is necessary. Using out of bounds requires that we have a plan to end the level.
Out of bounds
When I say OoB, I mean every usage of level geometry that's not intended, such as going on top of buildings out of the level, going on the invisible level walls, and going completely off the level. In many cases, because of checkpoints, I can just skip most of the levels and trigger the final checkpoint. In some levels OoB is possible but checkpoints are required: to load part of a level, load enemies, and so on.
OoB infinite fall
Out of bounds of all levels, there is an invisible floor around Y=-64k. However, this floor doesn't exist in the level, which means we can find "holes" in the level geometry and fall infinitely. There is no cap on vertical speed, so Altaïr will start rapidly accelerating, continually overflowing in the level. This fall has a limit once the Y position overflows, and Altaïr gets warped back to the floor after 2 minutes. This can be used to bypass the entire level and hit end of level checkpoints.

Special thanks

Special thanks to the people who've followed the TAS over the years. We made it!
And, if you're made it this far, thank you! I hope you enjoyed the TAS!!!

arkiandruski: Claimed.
arkiandruski: Everything here looks great. Accepting for publication.
Zinfidel: Processing...

Last Edited by Zinfidel on 8/18/2021 1:31:56 AM
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