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This is a playthrough of Adventure Mode in Super Smash Bros. Melee using Samus. The last frame necessary to beat the game is 31,364 (8 min 42.73 sec), but for entertainment purposes I played through the credits as well.

Game Objectives:

  • Emulator used: Dolphin r7719
  • Plays on the hardest difficulty (Very Hard)
  • Contains speed/entertainment tradeoffs
  • Takes damage to save time

Goals:

  • Make a run that is entertaining to both the TAS crowd (who value creative optimization strategies) and the Smash crowd (who value style).
  • The run must be acceptable for publication on this site (that is: beats all existing records, contains no obvious optimization flaws, etc).
  • KOs should involve a high degree of variety. Use items and stage hazards whenever possible.
  • Entertainment tradeoffs are only acceptable if the optimum solution is boring. Nobody wants to watch Samus down tilt everything in a team battle.
  • Optimal play. That is, if I'm going to perform a certain combo, it should not be possible to do it faster.
This run was made on Dolphin r7719, so that is the only version of Dolphin which plays it correctly. The only setting that should matter is the memory card. Dolphin defaults to a memory card in Slot A, so to run this you'll need to go to Config -> Gamecube and set Slot A to <Nothing>.

Techniques used in this run

Competitive players will likely already know all of this. This section is for everybody else, although it helps to at least be familiar with the game.

L-canceling

Pressing L just before landing after using an aerial attack will half the landing lag, allowing you to act earlier.

Waveland / Wavedash

If you air dodge into the ground at an angle, you get a useful slide. Waveland refers to the technique in general, and Wavedash refers to the specific case when used immediately after a jump. Samus is one of the few characters whose wavedash speed is actually faster than her run speed on average, so this is used quite a bit. Wavelanding also speeds up the process of jumping onto platforms, especially when ledge canceled.

Ledge Cancel

If you slide into the ledge (for example after a wavedash or landing after an aerial), any remaining lag will be immediately canceled and you'll either fall off the edge or enter the topple animation depending on your direction and input. This is extremely useful as is allows for movement and combos that would otherwise be impossible. Frame precise ledge canceling can often allow for combos that aren't possible in real time.

Directional Influence (DI) / Smash DI (SDI)

After getting hit and sent flying, DI allows you to slightly alter your trajectory by holding the control stick perpendicular to the path. During the frames where the character is frozen after getting hit (the freeze frames are most noticeable on electric moves like Samus' charge shot), SDI gives you a small teleport by tapping the control stick. Precise DI and SDI can be used to abuse getting hit, but I only got 3 chances to use it in this run (once on the Mushroom Kingdom stage and twice in the Grand Prix stage).

Pivoting

The turnaround animation can be canceled by any attack.

Samus specific techniques

Grapple Cancel

Samus can break a grapple if something gets between her and the point where the grapple connects to the wall. This lets her keep her momentum. This is mostly used in the Escape from Brinstar stage.

Extended Grapple

During the opening frames of a grab or a Z-air, Samus can change her grab to use the extended version. The extended grab is 3x as long as the normal grab and homes in on enemies if you hold L, but requires you to press A to actually grab something.

Bomb dash aka Daughter Dash

After using a bomb, Samus enters Morph Bomb mode. While on the ground, pressing one direction then immediately pressing the other will give her a momentary speed boost that lasts a single frame. This can be repeated several times, and is generally the fastest way to move while in Morph Bomb mode. More importantly, it leads to a pair of glitches called the Super Wavedash and Aerial Super Wavedash which give Samus the fastest horizontal movement in the game over long distances.

Super Wavedash

This is caused by performing a Bomb dash on the very last frame of the attack. The momentary speed boost is only supposed to last a single frame, but since Samus is no longer in morph bomb mode on the next frame, she gets to keep it. This gives her a massive speed boost that lets her quickly cover long distances.
To maximize average moving speed from a Super Wavedash, Samus should jump immediately before bombing so that she gets to the ground faster. Once on the ground, Samus can use Bomb dashes to get some extra distance before the actual Super Wavedash. Samus can get even more distance out of a the technique by grabbing on the earliest possible frame. Unfortunately her grab is laggy, so this is only used when doing so would get her to the end of the level.

Aerial Super Wavedash

This is similar to the normal Super Wavedash, except instead of performing the Bomb dash on the last frame of the move, you do it while next to a ledge. Similar to the way Samus gets to keep the boost if she transitions to normal standing physics, she also gets to keep the boost if she transitions to aerial morph bomb physics. Unfortunately Samus can only keep the boost while she's in morph bomb mode, so it's important to do this as early as possible in the attack.
Of course if she gets to the ground before she leaves bomb mode, there's nothing stopping her from doing a normal Super Wavedash as well.

Stage Comments

Kongo Jungle

Pt 2: There are 4 characters that can make Giant DK suicide without ever having to move. Samus is not one of them. There's a 3 frame window to wavedash towards him that will cause him to aerial before he jumps.

Underground Maze

Pt 1: Luck manipulating this was frustrating because the first 30 or so frames give the same result.

Green Greens

Pt 3: There's more AI manipulation in the Giant Kirby segment than you might expect. There's 4 points where being off by 1 or 2 frames will cause him to make a different decision. All in all there's maybe 5 total frames of allowable error to get this to work.

Corneria

Pt 1: Good times trying to get the laser to hit Fox and not Samus.
Pt 2: Normally it's not possible to powershield that quickly, but I get around that by jump canceling the shield and wavedashing into the ledge. That makes it possible to powershield two things within 8 frames. Also got a nice frame to end the fight on.

Pokemon Stadium

Pikachus everywhere. Got 6 kills off that Moltres, which is more than I could have gotten off of a Lugia.

Grand Prix

Pt 1: Mathematically optimized the timing between Super Wavedashes.

Onett

The combo on the first Ness doesn't work if you end the Captain Falcon battle 1 frame later. Thanks to the RNG elements of AI decision making, he ends up doing an aerial before he gets hit, which positions him to get out of the 2nd forward air too early. Go figure.

Icicle Mountain

This was fun to make. And yes, both Popos are hit on the same frame and die on the same frame.

Battlefield

Pt 1: The floaty physics here made it difficult to move around the platforms, given that Samus is already a floaty character. I got around this by using ledge canceled Z-airs.
Pt 2: This method to take out Metal Mario was borrowed from brasterd073's TAS, except he also had to deal with Luigi so props to him.

Final Destination

Pt 2: Giga Bowser was nightmarish thanks to his obnoxious super armor. I was able to use it against him by bombing him at the end of his rolls. I ended up redoing this battle a couple times to get a version I was happy with.

Credits

This was done by a program directly on the input file (Dolphin doesn't have Lua support). As such this segment accounts for approximately 0 rerecords. If you think it's hard to see the target moving, just know that once upon a time it was even harder to see. I spent a decent chunk of time trying to adjust it to be easier to see. At one point I gave up and just did a version that got all the names on high speed, but thankfully people told me they liked the slower version better.
Note: The post-Giga Bowser cutscenes and slow credits don't affect the time of the run. The last frame of input required to beat the game is the frame I press Start after the Giga Bowser stage (frame 31,364). I could have ended the input file there, but for entertainment purposes I did the credits as well.
Special thanks to the guys at the RIT Smash club, for getting me back into competitive smash. This run wouldn't have happened otherwise.

Nahoc: claimed for judging!
Ilari: Changed length 08:38.3 -> 10:23.483
Nahoc: This TAS is awesome. It's a great compromise between "pure speed" and only a play-around. It makes Samus look like a very speedy character and entertains the viewer to the maximum. Like the published N64 TAS, if one would like to obsolete this movie, they would need to create a more entertaining TAS while keeping it fast paced, using any character.
Anyway, I'm glad to accept this movie for publication. Viewers' response has been really positive. Congratulations, numerics!
RGamma: Publishing...
Nach: Promoting to star tier.

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I truly enjoyed this run. I actually found myself laughing at times and being quite amused. It's not often I really enjoy a TAS but this is one time I did.
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Loved the run!
ALAKTORN
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I really don’t believe the primary goal was “time” I’m sure that there are loads of situations where spamming the exact same move will result in faster times, but this TAS is extremely varied and clearly trying for entertainment, not speed shouldn’t speed be the secondary goal?
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ALAKTORN wrote:
I really don’t believe the primary goal was “time” I’m sure that there are loads of situations where spamming the exact same move will result in faster times, but this TAS is extremely varied and clearly trying for entertainment, not speed shouldn’t speed be the secondary goal?
I'm glad you brought this up, because this is something that bugged me when I wrote up the submission info. I considered both "time" and "entertainment" primary goals, but at the end of the day I went with "time" because I would have considered the TAS a failure if it didn't beat every existing run. Based on other submissions and the default prefill text, I interpreted "Game Objectives" as "what kind of categories would the run fall under." If I were to write them based on what I had intended the run to be, it would look like this:
    - Make a run that is entertaining to both the TAS crowd (who value creative optimization strategies) and the Smash crowd (who value style). - The run must be acceptable for publication on this site (that is: beats all existing records, contains no obvious optimization flaws, etc). - KOs should involve a high degree of variety. Use items and stage hazards whenever possible. - Entertainment tradeoffs are only acceptable if the optimum solution is boring. Nobody wants to watch Samus down tilt everything in a team battle. - Optimal play. That is, if I'm going to perform a certain combo, it should not be possible to do it faster.
I'd rather have this as the Game Objectives section because I think it's more descriptive of my actual objectives. I wouldn't be surprised if it was too late in the submission process to change it though. I'd also like to change the branch to "Adventure Mode", but again, probably too late. Unrelated: I noticed the time was changed to 10:23.48. I really don't think the post-Giga Bowser content should count towards the official time. None of it is necessary to beat the game (the game finishes by itself after you press Start after beating him), and since I didn't skip anything there would be a solid 2 minutes of wasted time at the end. If you need a trimmed version of the input file for official timing purposes I can get you one.
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numerics wrote:
Unrelated: I noticed the time was changed to 10:23.48. I really don't think the post-Giga Bowser content should count towards the official time. None of it is necessary to beat the game (the game finishes by itself after you press Start after beating him), and since I didn't skip anything there would be a solid 2 minutes of wasted time at the end. If you need a trimmed version of the input file for official timing purposes I can get you one.
Timing always goes from first input to last input. No exceptions. A note can easily be made of the time taken to actually finish. If it bothers you that much, replace the movie with one that ends before the credits.
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If you are concerned that casual viewers may see the time and believe that the movie is not in fact a record, you can put a message in the publication to that effect. Here's an example of a movie that does this: http://tasvideos.org/2379M.html
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Even if the post Giga Bowser-input isn't in the official movie file, the longer encode could still be included.
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numerics wrote:
Unrelated: I noticed the time was changed to 10:23.48. I really don't think the post-Giga Bowser content should count towards the official time. None of it is necessary to beat the game (the game finishes by itself after you press Start after beating him), and since I didn't skip anything there would be a solid 2 minutes of wasted time at the end.
For purposes of judging improvements, the time spent in ending doesn't count. So it is not really wasted time. And on topic of notes, sometimes publication encodes contain extra hard subtitles for some important notes.
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Oh okay, no worries then. I was under the assumption that Time displayed == Time to finish.
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The time displayed is simply the length of the input file; it's automatically determined. The "actual play time" is something that should be included in the movie description for ease of comparison with SDA and the like.
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DRybes wrote:
As a guy who has seen way too many ssbm videos using fox, this is a refreshing change. This movie has huge value even if you can do the whole thing faster with other characters.
Is that so? Is there proof? (remember: characters may not be changed mid-game, one faster level with another character can not be considered proof; see Post #359864) Then this movie would be suboptimal regardless of character (might still be optimal with Samus). That'd mean "use of suboptimal character" as goal choice.
All syllogisms have three parts, therefore this is not a syllogism.
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numerics wrote:
I'd rather have this as the Game Objectives section because I think it's more descriptive of my actual objectives. I wouldn't be surprised if it was too late in the submission process to change it though. I'd also like to change the branch to "Adventure Mode", but again, probably too late.
It's never too late to edit your own submission. Go to your original submission page and look on the right side of the page for a link called "Edit". Clicking it will take you back to the page you saw when you first submitted the movie, and there you can edit your wording and add a branch name (and more).
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this is freaking amazing, big yes vote!! well done sir
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RGamma wrote:
DRybes wrote:
As a guy who has seen way too many ssbm videos using fox, this is a refreshing change. This movie has huge value even if you can do the whole thing faster with other characters.
Is that so? Is there proof? (remember: characters may not be changed mid-game, one faster level with another character can not be considered proof; see Post #359864) Then this movie would be suboptimal regardless of character (might still be optimal with Samus). That'd mean "use of suboptimal character" as goal choice.
Don't believe so... I didn't see proof either way that this is or is not the fastest character choice. The author's comments about the speed-increasing glitches only suggest it's one of the fastest characters for adventure mode. Sorry, I'm aware you can't change characters. I should have said 'the run' instead of 'the whole thing'. I meant, this has huge entertainment value based on the character choice and the implementation of that choice. (I did say this primarily because most of the SSBM footage I've ever seen used Fox or Falco. I've watched a lot of competition footage and the like.) Usually here's where someone brings up entertainment being the primary goal in a fighting game. I admire the run because it appears to be speed-optimal at what it does. The description shows a firm goal that a variety of moves and types of KOs be used. Right away you know there are speed/entertainment tradeoffs. You should expect that the character choice took this into account. Your considerations are valid... I think it's vault-y logic being applied to a moons tier tas.
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RGamma wrote:
Then this movie would be suboptimal regardless of character (might still be optimal with Samus). That'd mean "use of suboptimal character" as goal choice.
Yeah, in my eyes this qualifies as "speed/entertainment trade-offs". These apply when the movie is not obviously suboptimal from the viewpoint of a casual observer (ie one who doesn't already know that Fox is faster), and when it is indeed more entertaining than the alternative (and by the sounds of it, this is MUCH more entertaining than any Fox run). Or put it this way: if the aim of this run is to entertain (which it delivered in spades) and not just be fast (though it's fast too, of course), then it is Fox who is the suboptimal character, because he is boring.
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I thought that "suboptimal character" *always* referred only to speed, choosing a more entertaining character at the cost of speed. In that way, Fox might be the optimal character, but since he is boring, Samus (a slower and therefore suboptimal character) was chosen for increased entertainment.
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I tend to find modern fighting games in general to be confusing, as things simply fly everywhere at high speed and it is extremely hard for a casual watcher to follow. That being said, I like this TAS. It is clearly a playaround TAS on an insanely popular game aiming for entertainment above all else. For that, I throw my vote into the ring like everyone else has done.
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Wow, there's some tricks here here that I've never seen! :o Great job! This is no question a Yes from me. :)
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SigmaKitteh wrote:
Wow, there's some tricks here here that I've never seen! :o Great job! This is no question a Yes from me. :)
Post one more time then you can actually vote.
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Sorry to complain, but what is taking so long with this movie being published?
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thatguy wrote:
Sorry to complain, but what is taking so long with this movie being published?
Probably making the official encode. Gamecube and Wii games are notoriously hard to make encodes of due to Dolphin's a/v sync and avi dumping issues, for example often leaving gaps in audio that have to be fixed.
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Post subject: Movie published
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This movie has been published. The posts before this message apply to the submission, and posts after this message apply to the published movie. ---- [2505] GC Super Smash Bros. Melee "Adventure Mode" by numerics in 10:23.48
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It looks like Ilari's fix to the displayed length of the movie file in the submission didn't carry over into the publication as it did with the Tails's story TAS. Is there a way to set the timing of the publication to the correct time?
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CoolKirby wrote:
It looks like Ilari's fix to the displayed length of the movie file in the submission didn't carry over into the publication as it did with the Tails's story TAS. Is there a way to set the timing of the publication to the correct time?
Same thing with the encode as well.