emulator: snes9xw improvement 7 with WIP timing
TMNT 4 is a pretty fun beat-em-up game starring the infamous Ninja Turtles. Played with Raphael, with a totally different strategy for the most part (than Mazzaneko's previous runs). Still only 1-player, though.
- plays in hard mode
- aims for fastest time
- doesn't get hit
- manipulates luck
I set dash to manual in the options, which saved huge amounts of time by letting me start running anywhere in only a few frames, especially because the strongest attacks require running. I also change the control scheme so I get a separate button for the special attack, and turn off automatic back attacks so I can have better control over which way I'm facing when I perform an attack. And of course I set the difficulty to Hard.
Raphael has shorter attack range than Donatello, but the difference is not as much as it seems like it should be and wasn't a major problem. Raphael also walks much faster, which was fairly useful for up/down maneuvering even though all the turtles can run horizontally at the same speed.
Raphael's special does slightly more damage than Donatello's (16 instead of 14, which is just barely enough to kill purple clan guys in 1 hit). That includes run+special (the flying ground kick move), which is the same damage but doesn't eat away health to use. Raphel's peak air slash move only does 8 damage compared to Donatello's 14, so I lose several seconds on the Baxter battle when he's in the air. Donatello's specials are long enough that they can hit twice in a row. As Raphel, I use run+special for the same purpose, but since there's no running in surfboard levels I also lose a few seconds on the Super Krang battle because of having less special attacks available. (It might be faster to get killed to refill my life meter there, but I decided not to do that.)
Raphael's most damaging attack is his somersault-charge, which does 20 damage per hit and is how I beat Super-Shredder so fast (because I got it to hit him twice in a row each dash). Donatello's somersault charge only does 16 damage. For a frame of reference, each bar of boss life is 32 hit points. (I used the cheat finder feature of Snes9x to search for a value in the game's RAM that decreased when I hit the boss, and monitored that value to determine the damage of each attack and the remaining health of the boss (because the life bars aren't accurate enough), in case you're wondering.)
Raphael's regular attacks do damage in the sequence of 5, 4, 3, 8, so his combos start strong and get weaker until the final hit, whereas Donatello's attacks do damage in the sequence of 3, 4, 6, 8, starting out weak and getting stronger. (EDIT: Apparently it can also be 5, 4, 5, 8 depending on the timing, but this is not enough to make a difference in the overall strategy.) Super-Krang was by far the hardest part of this run, because to prevent him from doing his majorly time-wasting attack, it's necessary to bring him to a certain amount of health in a number of hits that's exactly a multiple of 6, which is why I used a normally-suboptimal sequence of attacks on him. (The hard part was figuring out what triggered him to do that attack based on trial and error and what Mazzaneko managed to do. It was easy once I figured out the rule (that he'll perform the attack if he has less than about 1/3 of his health at the end of every 6th time you hit him) and knew all the damage values.)
Luck was manipulated in several places:
- In the first battle with Shredder, the blocking guys appear at totally random locations nearby. It was a little difficult to get right because by the time I moved where a guy was going to appear, he'd already decided to spawn somewhere else instead.
- In the ship scene, I jump to manipulate that cannonball to fall exactly on the rock warrior to kill him.
- In the battle with Bebop and Rocksteady, they have many annoying time-wasting moves that are randomly triggered, which I avoided.
- In the final battle with Super-Shredder, he has 3 different attacks which are chosen very randomly. I had to manipulate him to do his ice attack each time, which required delaying the end of the previous level by 1 frame for his initial attack, and repeatedly redoing the running start toward him with slightly different timings for the two subsequent attacks.