• Emulator used: Gens 11b, and the customized Gens 11b + Camhack + SolidityViewer + HitboxDisplay together with LUA HUD for Genesis Sonic games
  • Aims for fastest ingame time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Does not use zips
  • Manipulates luck
This is a run of Sonic the Hedgehog where no zipping mechanism is abused. It's by no means a glitchless run, mainly because defining what is a glitch and what is not a glitch isn't really trivial. By choosing to not use zipping it means (as defined by me) that what's not allowed to do is gaining a big speed boost (16-32 pixels per frame) from being inside terrains. Something which might seem similar to zipping and is allowed is terrain-ejection and sprite-ejection where the character doesn't gain any speed but instead gets directly shifted to a certain position.
By setting up a goal like this it pretty much forces you to actually play the game like the programmers intended, and you'll never see the screen scroll through the levels without Sonic on it (except when he's above the screen), which more and more have been the case with the Sonic games for Genesis. In this game zips have been found in 13 out of 19 levels (that sometimes basically skip entire levels) meaning that a run without zips looks very different as a whole, which was also a big reason why I made this run.

More details about why this goal was chosen

Normally improvements to Sonic games have been the result of slighty better precision added to the run but mainly by finding more places to zip through thus taking away more and more normal gameplay from the run. When reading through submission threads for many of these improvements it's clear that there's interest for a so called "glitchless" run without anyone really specifying what they mean by that. It might seem like a simple thing to do but if you spend some time with the game learning the physics and everything that comes with it, it'll be clear that it's not so simple - especially when you also need to consider everyone's own opinion of what a glitch is, what a zip is and what an ejection is. As I don't consider ejection a glitch (it's the result of normal collision detection) and pretty much all other things that could be interpreted as glitches besides zipping isn't really noticable by the eye and unintendedly happen frequently when playing the game unassisted. I thus went for only disallowing zipping.
Most criticism has been pointed towards the ejections that skips parts of the levels in the acts SBZ2 and SBZ3. Believe me, I'd be very glad myself if those maneuvers weren't possible as I always wanted to take the intended route. But if I'd disallowed those then the question would be why I didn't disallow other slighty less obvious ejections as well. And then if I'd ban those too, I'd be wondering whether I'd give up even less obvious ejections, and so on until I'd gotten to the kind of ejection that occurs when normally landing on ground which is impossible to not abuse. So rather than setting an arbitrary standard for how "big" the ejection can be in order to stay in the run I simply allowed them all. Of course, I probably just could've skipped using the ejections in SBZ2 and SBZ3 and Final Zone and not mentioning the ejections in the submission text at all, and almost nobody would've noticed the other ejections in the run even if they're there, if I'd just wanted to have this run published as easy as possible, lying is an easy way to get love from people. But then I'd end up with a run that doesn't follow my goals which not how I make my TASes.

Time table

ActMy timePrevious best non-zipped time
Green Hill 10:24:230:24:30
Green Hill 20:17:090:17:43
Green Hill 30:30:450:30:48
Marble Zone 10:42:370:44:26
Marble Zone 20:49:540:52:48
Marble Zone 31:11:331:12:56
Spring Yard 10:21:310:22:12
Spring Yard 20:26:120:28:00
Spring Yard 30:55:400:56:59
Labyrinth 10:39:310:40:45
Labyrinth 20:50:290:51:19
Labyrinth 31:03:421:07:31
Star Light 10:21:230:21:43
Star Light 20:15:130:15:58
Star Light 30:35:260:42:49
Scrap Brain 10:37:51N/A
Scrap Brain 20:33:580:41:18
Scrap Brain 30:15:380:18:26
Final Zone1:12:011:13:20

Level-by-level comments

Green Hill 1

Took use of lots of down-slopes to speed up the jumps, attacked enemies to minimize air drag(1) and jumped an extra time in the loop.

Green Hill 2

Executed the ejection process better and again minimizing air drag.

Green Hill 3

Faster boss fight

Marble Zone 1

I got under the first frame rule based obstacle one frame rule earlier, but then I had to wait to get it right with the platform that goes in and out of the wall.

Marble Zone 2

Just better execution for every situation

Marble Zone 3

Only optimizations

Spring Yard 1

Took the speed shoes in a faster way and using a different route in the middle part of the act.

Spring Yard 2

I gained 3 frames before the second spike ball in the tunnel which just allowed me to pass under it for a big improvement.

Spring Yard 3

Optimizations and a new boss strategy

Labyrinth 1

Optimizations and strategy changes

Labyrinth 2

Took the invincibility to not have to stop and wait for obstacles under the water.

Labyrinth 3

Just lots of optimizations and strategy changes

Star Light 1

Gained more speed pretty much everywhere.

Star Light 2

Gained much more speed and tackled the end better.

Star Light 3

Major shortcut and route change together with a new boss strategy

Scrap Brain 1

Took the only route that doesn't force you to wait for the blocks that go in and out of the wall.

Scrap Brain 2

Used the, by now, famous trick to skip down a level plus a much more optimized last room.

Scrap Brain 3

Optimizations and the other famous trick.

Final Zone

Pausing in the beginning will increase the counter for when the boss fight will start, while not costing any ingame time.
(1) Air drag occurs when your jumping velocity is between -1024 and 0, and takes away 1/32th of your speed per frame.

Thanks to

marzojr for all the help during the making of this run. And thanks to all the previous TASers and contributors to this game, I won't mention any names since I'll probably miss out quite a few, but you know who you are.
Enjoy!

feos: HD Encode.
adelikat: Judging.
adelikat: Accepting for publication as a new category for this game. See this post for my comments.
OmnipotentEntity: Encoding underway.

Joined: 7/2/2007
Posts: 3960
Having now watched the run, I found it quite enjoyable. Voting yes. Great job, Aglar! I do think that ais523's proposal, if implemented well, should be able to obsolete this run though.
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Joined: 8/4/2009
Posts: 6
Skipping most of Scrap Brain 3 really killed the entertainment value of this for me, especially given the description of "like the programmers intended." Also, I agree with some of the early comments that this would have been better if you'd collected all the emeralds for the best ending.
Patryk1023
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What to say... Well, nvm that. All Sonic are good but I didn't even seen any TAS nonzipping that game! Well, watched it last day and I must to say that, YES!
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Joined: 11/27/2011
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I'm far from being TASer-elitist but I enjoyed this run much more that the current published one. However, I agree with some forum members that "low-glitch" version without glitches in GHZ2, LZ1, SBZ2 and SBZ3 would be even better. I really hope it'll be published. Now I want glitchless S3&K as well. That would be so awesome.
Joined: 2/26/2007
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Call it arbitrary, but I mind the Scrap Brain skips and not the Final Zone glitching. I feel that skipping large parts of SB2 and SB3 does not fit in a run of this type. Up until those two levels, it seemed that a God was playing the perfect Sonic game. I think those two glitches are completely out of place in, what appeared to be, a full run through of this game. They seemed to come out of left field, and really ruined the flow of the run. I vote yes for the goal of being able to see Sonic, because I love seeing a God play the game. I have to vote no on the movie, due to how those two glitches being visually out of place in the movie. They ruin the entertainment.
adelikat wrote:
I very much agree with this post.
Bobmario511 wrote:
Forget party hats, Christmas tree hats all the way man.
Sir_VG
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I don't feel this really adds anything new. The run was well done, but I don't think it's necessary. Voting MEH.
Taking over the world, one game at a time. Currently TASing: Nothing
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Joined: 8/5/2007
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For what it's worth, I think "no glitch" runs should be reserved for games that are well and truly broken. This run is less than 2 minutes slower than the published run, a difference of just 15% or so. That's not earth-shattering to me, even when you consider the extra time spent tallying the score at the end of each level. I checked the published run for the zips it used. Of the 18 levels, 12 used zips. Of those 12 zips, three of them were relatively minor (skipping only a portion of the level and not zipping straight to the end, such as in Scrap Brain 2) and one of them is in this submission (Scrap Brain 3). That leaves one-third of the levels with no noticeable changes, plus another one-sixth with minor changes to the route. If this had been, say, a Chrono Trigger "no save corruption" run, a Mega Man "zipless" run, or a Donkey Kong Country "warpless" run, I might be more open to it, but it just doesn't strike me as setting itself apart from the published run as much as it should. And consider this: all the games I just mentioned have glitchless versions that were obsoleted! Put another way, if we were working in the opposite direction-- if your run were published first and then a zipped run were produced-- I'm confident yours would be obsoleted. I checked the list of runs for the phrase "glitched" (quotes included) and found 19 games with that label. Eight of those games had no alternate runs. For the 11 remaining games, the percent difference between their glitched and non-glitched versions were 46% 94%, 95%, 88%, 75%, 77% 90%, 56%, 77%, 47%, and 52%, for an average difference of 72%. Additionally, there are just eight runs with either the "Forgoes time-saving glitches" and "Foregoes save data corruption" labels (though there is probably some overlap with the runs I already searched for). This is not a ringing endorsement of your run. I don't vote and I'm not about to change my ways, but if I did, I think you can see how I would.
marzojr
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Bobo the King wrote:
I checked the published run for the zips it used. Of the 18 levels, 12 used zips.
For what is worth, one of the reasons Aglar has decided to do a non-zip run is that there are several new zips which will be added to the normal run: the 3 Marble zone levels basically are all skipped due to new zips, there is a new zip/shortcut in Spring Yard 3 and Star Light 1 is basically skipped also due to a new zip.
Marzo Junior
adelikat
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marzojr wrote:
Bobo the King wrote:
I checked the published run for the zips it used. Of the 18 levels, 12 used zips.
For what is worth, one of the reasons Aglar has decided to do a non-zip run is that there are several new zips which will be added to the normal run: the 3 Marble zone levels basically are all skipped due to new zips, there is a new zip/shortcut in Spring Yard 3 and Star Light 1 is basically skipped also due to a new zip.
That certainly pushes the percentage that Bobo calculated up to a more favorable number.
It's hard to look this good. My TAS projects
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Personally I liked the movie, even with the sprite ejections. It's a nice break away from the zipping (though I love those runs too). Pretty soon though the whole game will be zipping anyway, so it's nice to have something like this alongside it. I'll vote yes.
Current thoughts: Hachiemon (J) for GBA.
adelikat
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Firstly, I think many people here have made some really solid points. More importantly, I don't think anyone has definitely proved their point. Probably because with a 'low glitch' type goal choice, there is generally some unavoidable gray area. In general, I prefer to respect the subjective choices by the author, whether it be entertainment choices or goal choices. This is a well made movie, of high entertainment value, a goal choice that has a solid place on TASVideos, and has voter support. The only thing up for debate is the the author's decisions in regards to major level skips (particularly in SB2 and SB3) and/or the rational behind a no zips run. I think the author's choice is well thought out and sufficient. As such I will accept this run. However, I think a future run COULD be done with slightly different goals (such as proposed by moozooh, and others) and still obsolete this one. To be absolutely clear, I'm not saying those are definitely better goal choices. I'm saying that they are possibly valid as well, and publication of this run does not necessarily restrict them. I don't want the publication of this movie to mean that a future improvement blindly follow these goals because "they have to". If a run was technically superior but was "respecting solidity" or "low glitch", I'm saying we could accept it as an improvement despite the completion time being LONGER (presumably).
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And with that.... Hey, how about that crazy Sonic 3 and Knuckles huh?
Twisted_Eye
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Ick. Ick ick ick. I know the decision to publish has already been made, and I can respect the decision and understand the reasoning, but I personally disagree. I actually stopped watching after the zip (screw semantics. That's what that was.) in Scrap Brain 2. You broke your own rule for the run. You went through a wall, altered your x-y, broke the game. What's the point in a low-glitch run that still features that kind of a glitch? The run would have been just as entertaining and high-quality without stooping to that. That said, the run is obviously really high quality, and you did a really good job. The only exception is during the post-level screens--I felt like half the time, Sonic just rolled off screen and stayed there, and much of the rest of the time he was just standing around. Kinda felt like a lack of effort to not give the viewers something interesting to watch. So, the publishing is fine with me; I just hope someone comes along and obsoletes this with a more pure (by my definition alone, of course) run through the offending sections and with better time-filling in the score counting moments.
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Twisted Eye wrote:
I actually stopped watching after the zip (screw semantics. That's what that was.) in Scrap Brain 2. You broke your own rule for the run. You went through a wall, altered your x-y, broke the game. What's the point in a low-glitch run that still features that kind of a glitch? The run would have been just as entertaining and high-quality without stooping to that.
Link to video Played to death, but it seems so appropriate for this run. (Honestly, I don't care much about the "zip" he used. What's far more important to me is the relatively small difference between this run and the published run in about half of its levels.)
Jungon
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moozooh wrote:
ais523 wrote:
In order to create a good "low-glitch" category for the game, I'd suggest banning zips, but also sprite ejections that eject Sonic out a different side of the sprite from which he entered (unless the sprite is destroyed in the process).
Yes! This is exactly what I had in mind with my proposal of respecting solidity.
I'm fine with a "zip through a Robotnik's device" that doesn't change the screen position at all ... =P
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marzojr wrote:
For what is worth, one of the reasons Aglar has decided to do a non-zip run is that there are several new zips which will be added to the normal run: the 3 Marble zone levels basically are all skipped due to new zips, there is a new zip/shortcut in Spring Yard 3 and Star Light 1 is basically skipped also due to a new zip.
I'm really excited about these new zips.
#3201
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I'm floored by the improvements you managed to find. I can't figure out how to zip in a useful way in SY3.
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Thanks for accepting it adelikat! I like the idea of still leaving a door open for a run with less "game breaking" ejections if in the future the game will get more and more broken even without zips, or if someone just feels like doing it. Me and marzojr have also started working on the "zipped" run, so that it's up to date and so the differences between the two categories will be even more distinguishable.
feos wrote:
Only Aglar can improve this now.
Joined: 5/14/2007
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Location: Pisces-Cetus filament
Aglarsome! I would like to suggest this screenshot: ^They see me zippin', they hatin'.
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Joined: 6/16/2011
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There's something I HAVE to say. Recent sonic encodes, such as the last updated version of the S3K run and the one I saw of this on youtube have incorrect sound. The way to fix this is to go into the gens menu and disable the "high quality" settings for different channels. Otherwise it's missing a few sounds (listen to Sonic's jump) and it bugs the shit out of me. Great run, though.
Joined: 9/12/2010
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High quality FM: Acceptable, sounds correct. High quality PSG: Interpolates square waves into sine waves, kill with fire.
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Whatever version the Model 1 Genesis uses for it's sound system, use that. It's MUCH better then Model 2.
When TAS does Quake 1, SDA will declare war. The Prince doth arrive he doth please.
marzojr
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FuzZerd wrote:
I can't figure out how to zip in a useful way in SY3.
Aglar found the zip while doing this run; he was unsure if/how it might be useful, and asked me. After some poking, I did find a way to put it to use, and it turns out to be a ~10-second shortcut. But I won't spoil the surprise just yet :-)
Marzo Junior
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Alright, encoding + publishing this. If you have some screeshot suggestions, feel free to post them.
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I agree with Zeupar's screenshot suggestion so I used PNGOUT on it: