Submission #7262: illayaya's SNES EarthBound "in bounds" in 2:58:51.36

Console Super NES Emulator Bizhawk 2.6.3
Game Version unknown Frame Count 644942
ROM Filename Earthbound (U) [!].smc Frame Rate 60.0988138974405
Branch in bounds Rerecord Count 95858
Unknown Authors illayaya
Game EarthBound
Submitted by illayaya on 12/7/2021 11:04:59 AM

Submission Comments
This run is the improvement of old inbounds TAS. Previous run used low amount of glitches as author tried to label their run as glitchless. This time, I implemented glitches that save time as many as possible while forgoing any forms of out of bounds, wall zipping/clipping. I made this TAS on experimental core but I didn't see any critical different emulations so I decided to submit. It syncs on Bizhawk 2.7.0 too.

Temp encode

Improvements over tutelarfiber7's TAS

Better field movements, item management and exit mouse usages are the main improvements. Additionally, Sprite over glitch allowed me to skip several mandatory events.

Names

I named everyone "A" like old run. Longer names don't only lose time but also change battle results completely different. RNG value changes by 1 per a letter.

Glitches

Item duplication
That glitch is well known as Rock Candy glitch. It only occurs in battles. To perform this, two items need to be consumed in one ally/enemy turn. In this TAS, it's done with teddy bear + consumable item.
Sprite over
Game can store 22 sprites into memory. When game tries to load 23rd sprite, 1st sprite will be replaced, 24th will replace 2nd. Game crashes when trying to load 25th sprite. Usually they are cleared out from memory when they go out of screen. But while teleporting, they won't be wiped from memory, allowing store sprites remotely.

Luck manipulation

  • Zigzagging on enemy spawn line(s) - those lines aren't visible without lua script. Walking across those updates RNG. Proper manipulation with that walking can prevent enemies from spawning, even if spawn rate is 100%. You can see spawn rates in this page. (Click "Load default EB file" -> click one of red square and check "rate x")
  • Spawn enemies - It's used when desirable RNG isn't near. It can advance RNG more than B menu.
  • B menu - That menu advances RNG by 1 per every single frames. Though, it stops Ness and not ideal way to manipulate.

Tricks

  • Changing turn order - That's determined when entering battle for 1st turn, after everyone finishes their turn for rest turns. Different order changes move outcome.
  • Stutter walking - That allows to skip some events or delay to trigger. Some enemies react to your consecutive walking and stutter effectively works to walk past them.

Changes over old TAS by places

Onett part 1

  • Fight Skate Punk for pizza. (1/128 drop) Old TAS fought him by talking to static NPC but you have to read some texts and can't first strike him. Fighting him by touching random spawn enemy npc is much faster.
  • Perform sprite over glitch and erase one of barricade to skip several story events in this town, getting Exit mouse and hamburger (for Apple Kid to feed him) on the way and proceeding to go Twoson early.

Twoson part 1

  • Because I skipped most of events in onett, I needed to fight several enemies to earn 200$ for Apple Kid event. I chose to defeat New Age Retro Hippie and Everdred. They can waste their turns and have much money. (especially Everdred, he has 171$)
  • Save for deathwarp later and withdraw money for Apple Kid at bus station.

Peaceful Rest Valley

  • Grab Cup of Lifenoodles for deathwarp

Happy Happy Village

  • A Rockin defeats all three enemies at once (Rockin + Bash in previous TAS)

Lilliput Step

  • Manipulate several 100% spawn enemies not to spawn at all or to aggro right away.
  • Defeat Mondo Mole while not letting enemy break Teddy Bear.
  • Deathwarp by bear to skip walking across Peaceful Rest Valley and save Exit Mouse.

Twoson part 2

  • Withdraw 300$ for story events.
  • Revive Paula with Cup of Lifenoodles to progress event.
  • Everdred wouldn't give me Wad of Bills outside since I'd beaten him before Paula joined.

Threed

  • Progress story to be seen in the graveyard and then follow the mysterious lady in order to start the Winters sequence.

Winters

  • Skip Bottle Rocket in Pond Cave, grabbing it is slightly slower.

Threed part 2

  • Money was withdrew in Twoson already so no need to use hotel ATM here.

Saturn Valley

  • No changes, having to wait for 3 minutes behind waterfall.

Belch's Base

  • Move Paula's Teddy Bear to Jeff for setup to item duplication and advance RNG for favorable battle.
  • Teddy Bear can block turn-one scripted nausea. So I could defeat Belch in one turn without anyone gets inflicted nausea.
  • Use Exit Mouse here instead of Lilliput Step. It avoids long backtrack.

Threed, Dusty Dunes Desert and Fourside part 1

  • Walk to Desert is faster than bus. Skip Sandwich DX was used upon entering Desert because it's one of several spots where Ness can dash for full 20 seconds without any interruptions. And it helps reducing menu lags for shopping later.
  • Ness gets sunstroke as soon as possible for deathwarp later.

Mole Cave

  • Mole 1: Have Mole break Teddy Bear then Jeff uses Big Bottle Rocket (BBR). Item duplication is done here.
Grab BBR in the box.
  • Mole 2: Freeze β + Rockin α, have Mole attack Jeff.
  • Mole 3: Freeze β + Rockin α, have Mole attack Paula to knock out her.
  • Mole 4: Have Mole attack Ness, BBR (Ness faints by sunstroke on the way to Mole 5)
  • Mole 5: BBR
Get ambushed by snake and perform deathwarp.

Fourside Part 2

  • Because I used a revive item in Twoson already, I only had one revive item which was from Mole Cave. I did one random battle to revive Jeff with Pray.

Department Store

  • Buy much less items because menus are too slow and it makes using items slightly slower versus PSI often in battles.

Moonside

  • Directly talk to the man in black over the wall.

Fourside part 3 to Monkey Cave

  • Take bus for faster travel. Enemies will spawn again by that but it doesn't matter for TAS.
  • Go to Fourside instead of Saturn Valley after learning Teleport.

Monotoli Building

  • Have third lobo hug the wall in long corridor then enter leftmost door. It's 40 frames faster than 2nd door.

Threed Part 3

  • Manipulate male monkey move to go up in Lab before riding Skyrunner.

Rainy Circle

  • Take down Shrooom! with two BBRs and one Super Bomb (SB). Saved one bomb compared to old run.

Summers Part 1

  • one more teleport added after ascending stairs.
  • Buy 10 Skip Sandwiches for faster travel.

Dalaam

  • Manipulate to shorten Poo's level up texts.

Summers Part 2

  • Skip entire Hieroglyph copy event and go straight to the boat.
  • Flash α to confuse Kraken, it uses Flash β itself and pull instant kill effect, end.

Northern Scaraba

  • Give two Crystal Charms to Ness and Paula to speed up several fights. (Carbon Dog and Giygas in particular)
  • Sprite over to erase pyramid doors.

Pyramid

  • Rockin β + BBR in Guardian General.

Dungeon Man

  • No money withdraw

Deep Darkness

  • Skip Hieroglyph copy event seemed to break Tessie related flag, making beat the game impossible. So I had to save and reset to fix that unexpected bug.
  • Buy only three Multi Bottle Rockets (MBR), no SBs anymore.
  • Sprite over to erase Master Barf. Poo won't come back until Magicant ends.

Winters Part 2

  • Erase 100% spawn enemies above tent to avoid teleport.

Stonehenge Base

  • Teleport to Onett instead of Fourside.

Onett part 2

  • Sprite over to swap Frank with blond hair NPC. To initiate to fight Frank, pre-fight messages need to be popped out so normal enemies NPC or objects can't be used.
  • Grab Shyness book at this point.
  • Finish Giant Step in order to go Magicant. Only cop event was skipped by sprite over glitch as a result.
  • Teleport to Tenda Village.

Lumine Hall

  • Grab Bag of Dragonite from Tenda leader.
  • Electro Specter is down with MBR and Grab Bad of Dragonite.
  • Teleport to Saturn Valley.
Doing this place early gives enough exp for Ness to learn Flash β. Flash β or stronger have chance to give instant death effect to enemies that are vulnerable to the move.

Milky Well

  • Zigzag walk to erase 100% spawn enemies.
  • Flash β to Trillionage Sprout.
  • Teleport to Twoson to grab Exit Mouse. Onett was out of choice because barricades were still blocking the way and sharks wouldn't appear as Frank was defeated.
  • Teleport to Fourside.

Magnet Hill and Pink Cloud

  • No changes except teleport to Lost Underworld after Pink Cloud.

Fire Spring

  • Zigzag walk to erase or avoid to aggro me immediately by 100% spawn enemies. I succeeded to reach Boss without encounters.
  • Flash β to Carbon Dog, following Pray to confuse Diamond Dog then have dog to attack itself with diamond bite.

Magicant

  • Have Ness' Nightmare override psychic shield with physical shield then Flash β.

Saturn Valley to past Cave of the Past

  • Skip Star Master event. Starstorm isn't required for Giygas.

Cave of the Past

  • Grab Legendary Bat
  • Erase enemies thoroughly because favorable RNG was relatively near when reaching cave.

Giygas

  • Turn 1: MBR to Pokey, Instant guts pill to Ness, Smash Pokey. Pill raises Ness' smash rate to 20% (104/500 to be exact). Manipulating RNG upon entering battle so enemies didn't move at all in this turn.
  • Turn 2: SB and smash
  • Turn 3,4: Smash*2 to finish second phase.
  • Turn 5~: Deliberately let Giygas move to faint everyone but Paula because Pray is only way to win at this point. Manipulating to let Paula move first at final Pray.

Post Giygas

  • No changes.

Possible Improvements

  • Faster everdred. (I couldn't get max offense for Ness in short time to make it faster. one more turn could be shortened with max offence, ~2s)
  • Talk to NPC near hotel after exiting hotel in moonside. (~3s)
  • Grab Exit Mouse after Stonehenge. (Sprite over glitch was possible until Frank was defeated, ~3s)
  • Possibly better RNG manipulation (unknown)

Special thanks

  • octopuscal: Searching desirable RNG for multiple battles and reviewing my wips.

Screenshots

https://imgur.com/a/WpymLww frame: 427240
https://imgur.com/a/rqYZxzs frame: 428177
https://imgur.com/a/TznZBO0 frame: 512740 

Samsara: Judging!
Samsara: Apologies for the delay, the transfer to the new site has taken a lot out of me!
There's a couple notable things about this submission that made it a bit tricky to judge: The core choice of BSNESv115, and the introduction of glitches to a historically "glitchless" category. The core choice, to me, was never an issue unless it lacked determinism, and given that I was easily able to sync all 3 hours of this movie, it gets a pass from me. It may still be listed as experimental in BizHawk, but I see no reason not to accept runs that use it from now on unless major problems arise. The trickier thing is the glitching, particularly the sprite over glitch, which one could consider as stretching the definition of "inbounds" with the way it ends up being used.
How should we be treating things branched as "inbounds"? Do we remain completely true to the definition, and if so, what exactly is the definition? To me, "bounds" in any game are confined to any area the player is intended to walk around in. At all times, this run remains in those bounds. While it does remove progress barriers at a few points using the sprite over glitch, these barriers are naturally removed as part of the game's normal progression anyway. In a way, I'd say this glitch is on the same sort of level as the stutter stepping used in the published run, in that it simply finds a new way through a barrier in the middle of the intended path, as opposed to going around the barrier by going off the intended path entirely, if that makes sense.
So, all of that being said, I'm accepting this as an improvement to the published run!

EZGames69: Processing...

Last Edited by EZGames69 on 1/24/2022 3:24:44 PM
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