Canyon Cruiser (Compute's Gazette)
This was a classic that was rewritten from the older, Commodore PET. This was during a time when there wasn't much to choose from and this magazine series was able to deliver those hard to find, or obtain, games.
The article for this game can be found on page 96 of Compute's Gazette Issue 7 (January 1984)
Why TAS This Game?
The continuation of TASing games from my all-time favorite magazine, Compute's Gazette. This makes my 42nd TAS from this series.
This was a game that I was interested in typing in; however, I didn't have a Commodore 64. On the other hand, I did have a Vic-20...which I don't have any memory of play that particular version. I would have to wait a few years later, until my parents were finally able to get me that beloved Commodore 64...which then, I got quickly to typing this in.
Previous Compute's Gazette submissions include (In order of submission):
Game Difficulty and Ending
This was a strange way to play a game back then. This difficulty of this game, was to navigate a corridor until you couldn't go any further. the further you got, the better your ranking would be. Since I was never good at getting far (due to horrible mechanics and collision detection), I only saw that TASing would help me to see the end of this game. I was surprised to find that this game had an odd way of ending...going until the corridor is too narrow for a ship to pass. Usually, at this point, you would achieve the best ranking of "Han Solo". Well, I finally have seen it and proven that this game is not a continuous scrolling game, as the goal is to find out your piloting skills.
Effort In TASing
During the TASing of this game, I found that RNG changes occurred in a similar fashion as other BASIC written games. Like a few others, the RND command was used to alter the "seed" and provided a new course for me to traverse. I so happened, that my first attempt was the best...as I was able to travel the further than any other seed. In my experimentation, I tried multiple seeds before I finally gave up.
DrD2k9: Claiming for judging.
DrD2k9: As this is essentially an auto-scroller, optimization from a time standpoint is mostly moot except for considering where to stop input.
Since there doesn't appear to be an "official" ending, my thoughts on the endpoint of this game are split between two primary goals:
- Farthest Travel (as in this submission): Essentially reaching a type of kill-screen where progress cannot be surpassed (regardless of input) with the given starting RNG.
- There is no guarantee that any other starting RNG would yield a run that can travel further in to the corridor. Every possible RNG value would need tested (with a complete run) to confirm that this submission is, in fact, the farthest possible travel. This degree of testing is far beyond what we would require of our TAS authors.
- Highest Rank: Only traveling as far as necessary to achieve the highest rank of "Han Solo"
- It can be argued that doing the minimum necessary to achieve the "Han Solo" rank is sufficient to consider the game "beaten" as there is no higher rank to achieve. This happens when the ship turns grey, not the walls.
- From this perspective, this run could be ended with the "R" input at frame 6166.
- It's possible that different RNG could yield an opportunity to stop input even earlier and still achieve the "Han Solo" rank. Again, this would require complete testing of every RNG possibility to confirm and is not required.
So, in theory, we could argue this game has both an any% approach in simply reaching the Highest Rank and a Full Completion approach in achieving Furthest Travel (in which a longer run that travels farther would obsolete a shorter).
I don't currently want to be the one to make the decision on whether or not we'd accept both runs--Though I wouldn't argue against it--so I'm just going to accept this submission as a baseline run. If nymx (or someone else) wants to also submit a run that only aims at reaching the "Han Solo" rank as fast as possible, judgment of that run can then drive a decision (likely after some staff discussion) on whether to publish both approaches.