Submission #7677: EZGames69's Arcade Shinobi in 09:03.97

(Link to video)
Console Arcade Emulator libTAS 1.4.3/MAME v0.246
Game Version USA v1.0 Frame Count 32638
ROM Filename Frame Rate 60.0000024000001
Branch Rerecord Count 4182
PowerOn Authors EZGames69
Game Shinobi
Submitted by EZGames69 on 9/5/2022 3:32:15 AM

Submission Comments
Weird how a mainline Sega game from the Arcades never made it to the Genesis.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: libTAS 1.4.3/MAME v0.246
  • libTAS command-line: "shinobi -rompath <path to rom file here> -w -skip_gameinfo"


Let me first address the Elephant in the room:
So this is Greg, he is a huge beast but also very friendly. He's known me for many years since he is an elephant that has great memory. He also likes peanuts.
Ok so let me address the movie format. This TAS was made using libTAS running MAME. This allows me to use an input editor similar to the ones in FCEUX and TAStudio. Since the TASing tools in MAME-rr are not exactly ideal and because FBA-rr is very outdated and has emulation problems, I wanted to wait until there was a more practical way to TAS arcade games. MAMEHawk is still a bit of a ways away, so I started looking into libTAS using MAME since it's been hinted at for a long time:
Now, a Parser for Arcade is available for libTAS movies (edit: the parser failed as of submitting this and it says Linux, oops), and with that, I can finally TAS Arcade with a workflow I'm used to.
Anyways, time to talk about the run itself.

Stage by stage comments

Mission 1

The main goal of each level is to rescue hostages, then reach the exit. We have shurikens we can throw, and some hostages you save allow you to upgrade to a gun. You can also slash or kick enemies if you're in close range to them, which is useful when getting around some enemies.
Some stages have levels you can jump up and down to, I sometimes take a hit when transitioning as it makes me move horizontally faster, the knock back speed is the same as walking speed.
The only things that actually hurt Shinobi are bullets and swords from enemies, anything else will just knock him backwards. There is no risk in doing that on some enemies, especially since you're invincible in this state.
Shooting shurikens in the air is more ideal since shooting them on the ground makes shinobi stand in place
kicking the boss of this stage is about 1 frame faster on the final hit.

Mission 2

Sometimes hostages are in awkward places where I need to slow down to free them. Such is the case in 2-1.
For the boss of this Mission, it's best to stay to the left of the area, as if you're too close to the helicopter as it goes up, it sends out yellow ninjas, during that time the helicopter stays in the air where you can't deal damage.

Mission 3

This mission introduces different colored ninjas, and they are a pain to deal with sometimes. They take two hits and can block your projectiles with their swords. They're about the only enemies in this game that force me to slow down just to avoid them.
For the boss of this Mission, I use the Ninja Magic to do a skip. Normally you're supposed to destroy all the statues, but if we use the ninja magic we can get ourselves inside the statues and use the knock back to get us to the boss very early. With some careful inputing while bouncing as so we don't accidentally bounce back out

Mission 4

In 4-1, we get to see how annoying the color ninjas will be. There's so many jumping behind me that I have to pause for a bit and shoot two of them down just to prevent a huge lag spike. Not only that but some of the ninjas are flying in incontinent spots, it's one of the only times I have to maneuver around enemies not in a straight line.
For the boss, you don't want to get too close to it. It's sword can block your shurikens, and getting close will make him hold up his sword. Staying a bit far back will make him move forward, where his sword goes down, allowing us to throw shurikens at the earliest opportunity

Mission 5

5-2 is the worst when it comes to avoiding these color ninjas. Levels like this are another reason why I prefer input editors, as I can more easily experiment with possible strategies to avoid these enemies.
For the final boss, there are 4 phases.
On Phase one, I get as close as I can once the electricity goes away to do a kick, as this is about 2 frames faster than just throwing a shuriken while standing outside of the electric shield, although I do throw one on the last hit so I can reach phase 2 a bit earlier.
On phase two, I just have to punch at the earliest time, shurikens don't work on this phase.
phase 3, I simply hit the first possible frame, then the next when he's on the ground, then the next at any time so one of my shots can hit phase 4 on the first possible frame.
phase 4 just walk to the left then throw a shuriken as soon as possible.

Other comments

Would like to give a shoutout to some people
The libTAS devs, your program is really good and despite taking a bit to learn, it's a really good workflow.
Everybody involved in testing movie recording with MAME in libTAS, such as Spikestuff and feos.
darkman425, who offered some useful advice on a few stages, and for making the TAS for the PCE version of this game.
And finally, V, who originally submitted two TASes for this game. Both of which were useful for understanding some of the mechanics in this game.

feos: Claiming for judging.
feos: Nice run! Makes perfect sense alongside [3202] Arcade Shinobi "maximum kills" by V in 11:41.42, accepting as the main branch.
fsvgm777: Oh joy, MAME in libTAS. Processing.

Last Edited by fsvgm777 8 days ago
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