Submission #7662: Rocker's N64 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 "All Goals and Golds" in 09:21.80

(Link to video)
Console Nintendo 64 Emulator Bizhawk 2.4.2
Game Version USA Frame Count 33708
ROM Filename Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (USA).z64 Frame Rate 60
Branch All Goals and Golds Rerecord Count 19706
PowerOn Authors Rocker
Submitted by Rocker on 8/26/2022 7:17:25 PM

Submission Comments
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 is the third game in the series and was the final game to ever be released on the Nintendo 64 in the U.S. The biggest change from Pro Skater 2 to 3 was the addition of the revert to better chain vert (air) combos together. THPS3 features eight levels, five of which contain goals and the other three are competitions.

Game Objectives

  • Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.4.2
  • Complete all goals, get all gold medals, and reach the credits as fast as possible
  • Aims for in game time first, then real time

Comments

It's difficult to compare this run to the previous TAS done by emu, mainly due to his choice to score in one heat and grab the stat points in the other heat. Due to the stats in competitions not completing any goal and the extra score padding out the length of the run, I've chosen to skip those and create a run more like what the real time speedrunning community would do. All in all, 19 seconds of in game time were saved in goal levels, 228 seconds of in game time were saved in competitions, and upwards of 30-40+ seconds were saved by skipping out on adjusting stats/tricks between level menus. These time saves will be elaborated on further in the submission.

Options

In the Options menu, I choose to turn Autokick off and disable the music. The music may not be necessary, but with how fragile the input file is (more on that later) I decided not to risk messing with it. Very minor but worth a mention regardless. I turned Autokick off for two main reasons. First and foremost, you move a little bit faster overall (though you lose around 8 frames at the start of level waiting to get up to speed). It's fast enough that you catch up to and surpass Autokick on within the first 5 seconds or so of a level. The second reason is that having Autokick off be on C-Left means that I can choose to do a one frame ollie with A, whereas with Autokick On I would do a big jump every time I release A. It allows for much more precise and controlled movement overall at the sacrifice of a few seconds of menus.

Skater Choice, Stats, and Tricks

Unlike other TASes of Tony Hawk games, instead of choosing a Pro Skater, I instead choose to create my own skater due to a glitch you can do with your stats. Skater 3 is chosen due to him having more preferable base stats to do the glitch.
How the stat glitch works:
  1. Add your first five initial stat points and confirm them
  2. Back through the menus until you get to the INFO section, and change your style (in this case we're changing from Vert to Street)
  3. Go forward to the stats menu once again, and you'll have duplicated some stats!
A few things happen due to changing style and stat glitching. Due to changing style, you go from 7 Air, 5 Hangtime, and 4 Ollie (Vert style) to 4 Air, 2 Hangtime, 6 Ollie (Street style). Less dead airtime is always a good thing, though it does make some strategies significantly more difficult compared to how the previous TAS did things.
The (arguably) bigger gift from stat glitch is getting 12 Speed and 9 Switch (up from 10 and 6 respectively). If your Switch stat is below maximum, your stats are decreased when you're in Switch stance, and if it was left at 6 we'd be moving like a snail comparatively. One stat is taken from Speed and added to Switch, maxing our Switch and leaving us with 11 Speed. The 11 speed may only save a few frames but the 1 extra Switch is invaluable. This also allows us to do every strategy and not have to visit the stats menu ever again.
The last thing to note is after I finished editing stats I changed exactly one trick. I chose to put 360 Flip on Up+B since it will be the main way of getting Special and incredibly good for Degree Add On. Speaking of Degree Add On...

Scoring and Speed Mechanics

Every trick in the game gives a varying level of base score and gives one multiplier. However, there are two mechanics that get abused VERY heavily in this run/THPS2 engine games in general. Those are Degree Add On (DAO) and perfect landings. How DAO works is that if you do a trick, land in a grind/manual, ollie again very quickly, and spin, each extra 180 you do will be applied to one single trick. We can exploit this due to how the multiplier system works. The following table shows how scores are affected by rotations and perfect landings (landing straight essentially)
Degree of RotationMultiplierPerfect Landing Multiplier (1.5*Multiplier)
1801.5x2.25x
3602x3x
54034.5x
7205x7.5x
You can also land sloppy (close to sideways/bailing) and your base multiplier will be *.75
You may wonder why understanding these things is so important if the main focus of my TAS isn't scoring points. The two benefits from DAO and perfects are as follows:
  1. You can cheese competitions by using DAO on a high value trick
  2. You go faster after landing a combo depending on how large your combo was
That first part is obviously very nice for speeding up competitions, but the second one is the really valuable one. Ideally you want to land perfect as much as you can to speed up your overall movement (though situations do arise where landing perfect ruins a strategy). One last note on perfect landings: if you 180 into a grind and then land (be it from the rail ending or ollieing without turning), you will almost always get a perfect landing.
One final detail is that tricks decay each time you use them. They decrease by 25% base on each of the first four uses and the fifth is 10% on the base. Switch, Fakie, and Regular stance tricks all decay separately. Even 10 extra base score makes a lot of speed difference, so trick variation is vital.

Comparison Table

LevelMy TAS in game timeemu in game timeDifference
Foundry581:06-8 seconds
Los Angeles1:231:24-1 second
Rio Round 1360-57 seconds
Rio Round 2339-36 seconds
Suburbia5254-2 seconds
Airport1:071:08-1 second
Skater Island Round 1360-57 seconds
Skater Island Round 2315-12 seconds
Canada1:081:15-7 seconds
Tokyo Round 1660-54 seconds
Tokyo Round 2618-12 seconds
In Game Time Difference: 247 seconds

Level By Level Comments

Foundry

Goals

  • High, Pro, and Sick Score (10k, 25k, 75k)
  • Collect S-K-A-T-E
  • Valves Unjammed
  • Activate Press
  • Cannonball Over the Halfpipe
  • Grind the Control Booth
  • Find the Secret Tape
  • 100% Goals, Stats, and Decks
Foundry starts similarly to the original TAS but changes when we grab the stat point on the catwalk. Instead of doing the 8-10 second skate to the stat and back, we get it much later in the level. Otherwise, the route is the same up through the third valve. I skip bonking the wall before the control booth gap. The control booth goal wants you to do grind the whole booth, but if you just barely jump over the trigger the gap will just count anyway. You also can't land a perfect landing from that control booth jump, which is why I jump again to get a perfect and build more speed.
After the third valve, this route deviates and goes to do the Cannonball Over The Halfpipe goal instead. I chose to late Boneless which gives me super low air over the gap. One important thing with the Cannonball goal is that I need to land in a manual with my setup. For whatever reason, if the gap is only in your trick string for one frame it just doesn't count. The manual also allows me to angle myself better to turn for the third fourth valve and go up the hill.
The next strategy involves doing a few grind hops to build speed, wallriding and jumping onto a tiny metal support beam facing nearly sideways, then doing two really small jumps to get the stat and a slope boost afterward. The slope boost after getting the stat is 100% necessary for the next trick because of our ollie stat being so low. You just can't get enough speed from jumping straight down to the flat to reach that upper stat point. From there we get one last slope boost then skate our way to the end.

Los Angeles

  • High, Pro, Sick Scores (15k, 40k, 100k)
  • Collect S-K-A-T-E
  • Transformers Shutdown
  • Grind the Electric Rail
  • Elevator Grind
  • Kickflip Over Elevator Lobby
  • Find the Secret Tape
  • 100% Goals, Stats, and Decks
Los Angeles is very similar to the original TAS. The only major difference is that after doing the electrical wire and the two stat points, I immediately turn around instead of going for the deck right away. After leaving the car wash, I hit a one frame jump off of some geometry to jump over the railing and head straight towards the kickflip goal.
Whenever there's a goal that involves doing a certain trick, it checks for the word not the individual trick. Since once of my special tricks is a Kickflip Mctwist, I can do that instead and it still counts towards the goal. Unfortunately immediately after that cool trick, we get to wait for a little while. If you do pretty much anything inside the elevator (be it manualing, jumping, anything that isn't just moving forward and turning) you will fall through the elevator or clip out of the side of it. I choose to do a leap of faith onto the elevator rail to make up for the wait.
After the elevator grind, I side hop left for the K and set myself up in such a way to get a slope boost going towards the stat point. If you hold up on that ramp you'll do a really small air out that gives almost no air regardless of how fast you are going into it. Then it's just optimal movement up to the end. Once I reach the final valve, I do an insanely high wallride into wallie to reach to ledge with the deck on it. I think it's frame perfect to make it up there without falling and super precise. One frame later on anything and it would've spelled disaster.

Rio

Oh boy, Rio caused me so so so much grief throughout this TAS. My original project got all the way to Skater Island when Kami (an rta runner) and I realized how stupidly overpowered Degree Add On was. I went back to Rio to do the combo you see now (this current one saves a second igt and .7ish rta over the previous idea) and it caused a major desync that took me like two weeks to fix properly. The reason is that due to how the physics work, the frame you're on matters. So you can sync the run to the exact frame and it's completely useless because haha physics. That said, absolutely a blessing in disguise with how the new Suburbia turned out.
To discuss the actual strategy, Fingerflip and 360 both give insanely high base score, but even with them you would lose if your grinds weren't correct. Fakie Nosegrind and Crooked (either backside or frontside) are incredibly high scoring grinds for being single tap grinds (double taps usually give more points but take longer to input and much longer to come into the trick string).

Suburbia

  • High, Pro, Sick Scores (20k, 50k, 150k)
  • Collect S-K-A-T-E
  • Appall the Appliances
  • Disrespect the Dishes
  • Ice the Ice Cream Man
  • 360 Flip the Weathervane
  • Find the Secret Tape
  • 100% Goals, Stats, and Decks
This Suburbia route is largely ripped from the previous TAS with a bunch of minor improvements. This is where different stats really start to come into play though. I simply couldn't take the same angle for the K emu did because my stats weren't high enough. Wasn't any time loss but just worth pointing out.
On the second dish, I specifically choose NOT to land perfectly here. I would go way too fast grabbing the stat point and not only would I miss the E and slope boost, I'd probably just fall off the house entirely. After a little skating around the pool I do a wallride into quick grind to get into the backyard of the next house.
After grabbing the fifth and final appliance is where the routes movement differs a lot. My first attempt did the same strategy emu did, however due to wonky physics/speed it wasn't realistic for me to do it that way. Instead I decided to turn sharply right and take a more direct path and it paid dividends. That corner cut and grind onto the roof saves slightly over 1 igt by itself and sends me zooming up to the roof.
Zooming up to the roof indeed. In fact I'm going so fast that the 360 Flip goal was made a lot harder. The setup I had forced me to land sloppy because any other setup (jumping a frame earlier or later, rotating one frame more or less left) would make me either miss the gap or fall off the roof. Landing sloppily here doesn't lose any time from what I could tell.
From there it's just grinding along the wires to get the deck and stat point, then one of the coolest segments in my opinion. By turning and doing a very late Boneless off of the quarterpipe, you can ice the ice cream man without doing the whole ramp to ramp transfer. The fun comes from getting the tape. Normally, you'd think to just wallride the nice, beautiful, flat back of the ice cream truck, but due to where I landed that wasn't feasible. Thankfully the windshield is a steep enough angle that you can Boneless off of it and reach the tape.

Airport

  • High, Pro, Sick Scores (40k, 100k, 200k)
  • Collect S-K-A-T-E
  • Snag the Flags
  • Lost Luggage Found!
  • Nosebluntslide the Airport Sign
  • Grind the Plane
  • Find the Secret Tape
  • 100% Goals, Stats, and Decks
Airport is structured is a quite obnoxious way for TASing it. There's a lot of empty space followed by very dense very precise movement. The beginning of Airport opens with a few few grind hops to get the deck, turning around and heading back to the entrance. Once I get near the S, I make sure to Boneless so I get the Holy Pop gap and get a bunch of extra speed from it. After the suitcase I do a wallride up to the stat and carry my combo up through the next stat.
Then comes the first exceptionally difficult part of this level: the plane grind. The main factor in its nightmarish difficulty is just getting good speed out of the grind. Ideally you want to be parallel to the thing you're grinding to conserve the most speed, and this is almost wholly perpendicular. Even IF the ramp was wide enough to take a more shallow turn, the base of the plane is a bit too close for you to get a more shallow grind. The grind hop strategy I end up doing works out perfectly fine and I'm very happy with it overall.
After that there's a subtle chain of perfect landings I do after grinding the escalators. I get one from dropping off of the rail, and use that speed to get a perfect landing slope boost over the metal detector. Then it's just cutting the corner and doing a few grinds. The drop down slope boost after the Nosebluntslide is also super specific. If I did any trick while falling down, I would have gotten too much speed and slammed into geometry.
Due to having significantly worse stats at this point, the wallride up into the flags needs to be significantly sharper than the previous TAS if I want to make it up there early enough for the first flag to count. From there it's a lot of lightning fast grind hops on my way to the last flag and the suitcase.
It may look strange how after the fourth suitcase I spin the Boneless to get a perfect landing, however it is really important that I do that or I can't make it up to the stat point from the position I'm in. From there it's just a little skating to the end.

Skater Island

This combo is actually super cool even though it looks like 360 Flip spamming. For whatever reason in this competition, the judges give you less points in the second round. My original strategy was to do a Benihana into wallride at the end of the heat. However that wasn't enough to survive the crazy second round the A.I had. So instead I changed the Benihana to two Del Mar Indys while keeping the few frame long wallride at the end.

Canada

  • High, Pro, Sick Scores (50k, 125k, 250k)
  • Collect S-K-A-T-E
  • Totem poles
  • Blow Up the Tree
  • Nosegrind Over the Tree
  • Ollie Over the Pool
  • Find the Secret Tape
  • 100% Goals, Stats, and Decks
This level is action packed from end to end with stuff. It opens with very similar but more optimal movement through the beginning. The perfect landing 540 Flip setting up the jump to the wire is something I'm super happy with.
Even though logically you'd think to grind, you don't actually need to grind the tree detonator. I choose to get a little slope boost while heading towards the first totem instead. After the first totem, I wallride the snowbank and jump up to the side of the building. For some reason, it just kills all my speed but then suddenly sends me flying. Trying to do the intended route for the tape is pretty much impossible on my stats (in a timely manner that is), so I choose to do a huge air out instead.
One thing that may not look super great is the sloppy landing on the second totem. Unfortunately, there was no way for me to land straight into the totem and get the Nosegrind goal to count. Even when I properly angled myself where I would get the gap, there was no way to create enough speed to get up the tree. This strategy loses very minimal to no time overall.
After Nosegrinding the Tree, grabbing a totem, and skating back there's another really cool strategy. There's a very small angle of the building where you call wallride, jump off of it, and grab the T essentially through the wall. Then there's another massive wallride up to a super high stat point.
After angling myself left and landing, I jump again instantly and get a slope boost in the pool. I try to do a wide turn and shallow grind so that I have enough speed to clear the pool gap. Once I land, I turn left slightly to not slam into the ramp while still getting the stat point. Instead of jumping outward over the rail to get the E, I instead jump more straight on to stay in the park.
With the E secured, I move left and do a super fast grind hop to reach the stat point over the pool, immediately turning right afterward and heading back towards the K and the totem. The whole second half of this route was set up specifically for this final strategy. When you're within a certain area going out of bounds will spawn you at specific points, and conveniently the final objective that we need it right where we spawn from going out of bounds. So instead of skating all the way down the skate park and spending forever, we just fly over the wall and that's Canada done.

Tokyo

One final competition to end the game. Unfortunately not many super interesting things with this one. One nice thing is I get to use both Fingerflip and 540 Flip in separate heats without any time loss. Otherwise it's more of the usual fare.

Other Comments

Feels good to finally have this done. It was such a rewarding journey to go on. Special thanks to Kami for letting me help route the RTA category and really motivating me to keep working when the going got tough. Now it's time to update THPS2 Any%!

Samsara: Claiming for judging.

Last Edited by Samsara 26 days ago
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