EZGames69: 2017 was when I started this project. It was my very first speedgame, and also the first game I ever tried TASing. Now 5 years later, I am finally able to get this TAS finished and not have to deal with sync issues as well as impossible tricks anymore.
As a quick aside, this game seems to have terrible performance when playing back in BizHawk. I’m not sure why this is the case but you may get an average of 35-45 fps.
- Emulator used: BizHawk 2.7 (also syncs on 2.8)
- Uses GLideN64 video plugin (also syncs on Glide64mk2 for older graphics cards - change SyncSettings.json's VideoPlugin to 2)
- Takes damage to save time
- Genre: Platform
I'm never that good at writing submission texts, and honestly I don't think there's much to write. But I'll do what I can to get to the point.
I hadn't seen this game before, but on watching EZ's original run I found I really liked the game and the run. Especially I think the N64 version has a lot of charm with its unique and colorful shading and graphics tricks, and near lack of loading times. The Poohsticks level of the run did look improvable though, and since EZ offered to resync the rest of the run if it was improved, I improved it. I also added a subtitle track that points out tricks as they happen, and added these comments to the BK2, under Comments. Overall working on this was pretty fun, but I might be as burnt out on this game as EZ is now.
Stage by stage comments
Before we actually start the first level, we already do a glitch, dubbed “Ninja Skip” because it was found by NinjaCocktail. Normally after completing a level, the main map screen creates a brick bridge that leads to the next stage. Tigger does not move to the next level until this happens, which usually takes about 3-4 seconds. By repeatedly pressing the up button as we bounce to the first stage, the game thinks Tigger is moving to the stage after it. If we do the same trick as we exit level 1 and go back to the main hub, we instantly start moving to the next stage. This disables the rest of the bridge building animations and saves about 24 seconds in total.
Tigger has the option of bouncing for his forward movement. This is the main movement we want to use as not only is it faster, but as you can see, we get a little bit of height in our bounce to clear any small enough obstacles such as the tree root.
There are two types of jumps, a standing jump and a moving jump. Standing jumps can be useful if you need to gain height quickly, but it has a slower horizontal speed.
Whenever we bounce near ledges, we press the duck button to gain a bit of extra distance forward. This also allows us to make jumps that are harder to reach, such as the leaf platform cycle in this stage as well as the next stage.
This stage has a trick that caused me to put off TASing this game for a long time. Near the end there is a tricky jump you have to do off a leaf platform to grab a hold of a ledge at the top. It's very specific and was such a pain to deal with back then.
The number of honey pots needed for Owl at the end is shown in the HUD. It's 65, which is 5 pots more than Stage 1.
Simon Says but with Rabbit. Always in the same order, no way to speed it up. This stage gives us a flapping ability after we complete it.
Windy city. We don't want to be in the gusts of wind that long as it's slower in horizontal movement, but it's very useful for clearing large cliffs.
We make a detour to collect some honey pots in one of the secret underground caves. Later, after talking to Piglet, we walk left and then right to charge up some forward bounces, then use them to get across some tilting platforms. This is faster than the intended way of crossing them with standing bounces.
You need to get your stick to the end first in four rounds. This game has some unforgiving RNG. There's no easy way to manipulate it in a favorable result. Basically, each round doesn't end until all sticks have made it to the end, meaning we need to make sure Pooh's stick also gets dropped as soon as possible. On top of that, invisible lag and hard-to-predict physics act on the sticks so you might lose time by e.g. dropping a frame earlier.
If anyone finds a faster RNG seed for this stage, I'll be willing to redo the run from here.
Round 4 is the only place we use a trick to reduce 2 frames of lag by pausing and unpausing rapidly. The sticks jump forward after the pause to make up for lost in-game (gameplay) time so only the lag frames are affected. Sometimes it leads to time loss instead of gain though, so it really needs more testing, and probably a better emulation core.
This stage gives us the super jump afterwards.
Now that we have the super jump, this is where the game's pace picks up. It's the fastest movement in the game, and can be used for some funny stuff.
We can use the super jump to skip some cutscenes, such as Owl telling you how to use the super jump and Pooh asking for his umbrella. We can't skip Owl's end cutscene though due to an absence of lag.
Super-jumping in a forward direction is done by turning around for a frame, then turning back around and performing the jump. We also cancel the usual animation by pressing any directional button with the super jump.
Sliding into Owl's intro cutscene looks like a glitch, but is actually just part of the cinematic.
We do our second and final damage boost here. Health carries between levels, which limited the amount of boosting we could do. There are no health pickups in this game; only dying would reset our health, but it would be too slow to be useful.
At the end of this stage, there is another cutscene skip we can perform with Owl. I (EZGames69) originally thought you could only perform this trick on console because emulator doesn't produce enough lag for it to work. However I discovered if we do a pause manip, the game lags just enough to skip the cutscene trigger. The level is already considered complete anyways so the cutscene is not required.
- Better RNG for Poohsticks. We did our best, but as with any RNG level, going slower to go faster or saving a frame somewhere could lead to a big breakthrough. Better emulation could also help the lag and unpredictable currents/physics, maybe on the Ares64 core (though this run does not sync on it).
- A way to lag Level 7's ending Owl cutscene, though it's not known how this would be done yet.
arkiandruski: Claiming for judging.
arkiandruski: Setting back to new.
arkiandruski: Claiming for judging.
arkiandruski: Looks good. Accepting to Standard.
EZGames69: This is an unusual move from me, but this submission has been sitting on the workbench and we were planning on waiting for the next BizHawk release so we can encode with AngryLion (since this submission syncs on it). However that release wont be for another few months, and other publishers had issues with the current video plugins this movie used, so I’ll be taking this one. Processing…