#4582: adelikat, Aglar, Anty-Lemon, Aqfaq, Cardboard, Masterjun, MESHUGGAH, MUGG, Noxxa, Scepheo, TehSeven, thelegendarymudkip & Truncated's NES Metal Force in 13:09.6

Submission Text Full Submission Page

Metal Force in 13:09.6 by adelikat, Aglar, Anty-Lemon, Aqfaq, Cardboard, Masterjun, MESHUGGAH, MUGG, Noxxa, Scepheo, TehSeven, thelegendarymudkip & Truncated

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: FCEUX 2.2.2
  • As fast as possible
  • Takes damage to save time

Comments

After the conclusion of Dream Team Contest 5, the best routes for each rooms amongst the competitors were combined and resynced (primarily by MESHUGGAH) to create the ultimate run of this game, saving 65 frames total over the DTC5 winner's (Team AAA's Aglar, Anty-Lemon, Aqfaq) submission.
yeah idk let's crowdsource this submission text

Movement

The game does not have any subpixels. All movements are done in whole pixels. For horizontal speed, the game keeps a counter which cycles seven values: 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2. This works out as 10 pixels over 7 frames or ~1.43 pixels per frame. (Why the designers didn't just make it alternate between 1 and 2 for a mean speed of 1.5 is anyone's guess, but everyone who participated in the DTC hated them for it.)
The speed counter advances for every frame the player walks, and every frame the player is in the air, regardless if moving horizontally or not. The speed counter also advances when pressing against a wall on the ground, even if no actual horizontal movement is made. The speed counter pauses when standing still or climbing a ladder. The speed counter resets every mission.
Small improvements are easily lost to the whims of the speed cycle god.
Other than this speed cycle the game is very hex edit friendly.

Tricks used in this run

Scrolling skip

If you pause on the frame you touch the trigger for a scrolling transition, the game will load the data associated with it (camera bounds, new transitions, etc) without actually starting the scrolling itself. This is only useful for one-way transitions, however, as two-way transitions actually consist of two transitions, and touching the last one will cause the old room exits to be loaded, preventing you from progressing any further in the game.

Speed cycle advancing

Similar to the scrolling skip, pausing when triggering a black transition has strange effects. In this case, pausing and immediately unpausing the game does not delay the next room load. It does, however, allow the game to advance one more frame before entering the next room. In the TAS, this is used to advance the speed cycle to a more favourable phase.

Corner boosting

Jumping or falling into a ceiling or floor corner whilst moving away from it allows you to slightly pass through said corner. If you let go of the direction key you were holding, the game will push you out of the block, advancing you a maximum of 4 pixels at a time. For ceiling boosts, a maximum of 8 pixels (over 2 frames) is possible, for floor boosts this is 6.

Ladder zipping

You can grab onto ladders when you're 16 pixels away from their centre. Due to this, it is often faster to grab onto a ladder and let go immediately, as this will move you forward ~16 pixels, at the cost of not moving a single frame.

Low ladder grabs

When approaching a ladder going down from the floor you are on, you can grab it a few pixels lower than you would by just walking up to it. To do this, jump before the ladder, and land on the ground on the same frame as you grab the ladder. The downward speed will be applied once before grabbing the ladder. It is better to be as close as possible (1 pixel above) the ground on the frame before grabbing. For this reason, some jump heights are better than others, and 8 and 11 are best when possible.
Jump heightPixels gained
no jump0
10
20
32
42
51
62
72
83
90
101
113
120
130
140

Wall jumps

When passing through a downward corner, instead of releasing forward to corner boost, you can press backward. Under some circumstances, depending on jump height and pixel position, you will enter the standing animation for one frame, and can jump again from this position. The possible applications are very limited. The combined movie only uses it for entertainment.

Stages detailed

For actual frame numbers, see this list or this timesheet.
  • MMM Mission 1+2 (Mission 2 contain's AAA's speed cycle, doesn't changes framecount)
  • MMM+AAA Mission 3 with all AAA improvements
  • SAC/TTT's jump @ Mission 3 Room 4 ~F21300
  • AAA Mission 4 route with MMM improvements
  • SAC Mission 5 Room 1-2 with improvements, Room 3 improvement by Exonym
  • TTT Mission 5 Room 3-4 with better speed cycles
  • AAA Mission 6 with MMM's Boss (4 frames)
  • AAA Mission 7

Other comments

<Explain here things the audience would probably like to see> <Explain also things that could be improved in your movie> <You may also suggest screenshots.>

Nach: Judging.
Noxxa: Submission file replaced with a 2 frame improvement.

Nach: So I let this run simmer a bit to see if anyone else had any more improvements, since so many people worked on this and were familiar with the game.
This run got good feedback, however, I feel that must be discounted, because so many people worked on this game, and see the quality compared to their own work. Just because people familiar with the game like it, it doesn't mean the run itself is good when compared to other TASs.
On reviewing the game itself, this game doesn't seem much different than some of the second tier NES games. The TAS of it also looks marvelous. This run contains many close calls, tricky yet precise movements, item management and more, that it's really a solid TAS on all accounts. The various teams and MESHUGGAH who put it all together did a terrific job, and I enjoyed watching it, even though my familiarity of the game is low. I wouldn't necessarily rank this run favorably against Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man, but I would against many of the lesser NES games that were well received in the past. Accepting to moons.
Guga: Processing...

TASVideoAgent
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Nice. Wish I could vote without having to wait for publication.
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This should be everyone who participated in DTC5.
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Samsara wrote:
This should be everyone who participated in DTC5.
Your reason being...?
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My reason being that, technically, every file was considered and pretty much every team had that same 11 frame improvement in Stage 3. The crediting is already arbitrary enough (why is Moth there?), why not go all out on it? Honestly, I think it's either credit the winning team and MESHUGGAH for compiling and optimizing everything, or credit everyone who participated in the competition. I feel it's arbitrary to credit some teams and not others when none of them actually had a hand in the creation of this movie aside from, technically, mere ideas.
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warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
AntyMew
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Samsara wrote:
(why is Moth there?)
<Mothrayas> Anty-Lemon: it was meshuggah's idea to put me in, for all the comparisons and frame timings so he had stuff to improve
Noxxa
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I went with adding the names of every team whose input was used for the final run, which seemed to be a pretty non-arbitrary solution to me. My own name is actually there at MESHUGGAH's suggestion for compiling all the run timings, frame data, comparisons, and the ghost encode which were instrumental in finding improvements in the first place.
http://www.youtube.com/Noxxa (formerly known as Mothrayas) <dwangoAC> This is a TAS (...). Not suitable for all audiences. May cause undesirable side-effects. May contain emulator abuse. Emulator may be abusive. This product contains glitches known to the state of California to cause egg defects. <Masterjun> I'm just a guy arranging bits in a sequence which could potentially amuse other people looking at these bits <adelikat> In Oregon Trail, I sacrificed my own family to save time. In Star trek, I killed helpless comrades in escape pods to save time. Here, I kill my allies to save time. I think I need help.
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On Moth as a co-author: That's fair, I suppose. On co-authorship: I still feel like this is more arbitrary than crediting everyone. It was explicitly mentioned that multiple teams had that Mission 3 jump, which should be enough for all of those teams to be credited as that's technically an input contribution to this file.
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I agree in principle with my teammate Samsara on this. Here's my perspective: By looking at the total co-authors, I'm noticing that teams 1, 3, 7 and Mothrayas are being credited. Now if going by terms of placement in the competition, the 1st place, 2nd place, 4th place, and last place teams are being credited with this submission. To me, that doesn't...seem right that our 3rd place team isn't getting any recognition here (especially going by Samsara's reasoning that multiple teams were credited with that Stage 3 improvement). Anyhow, that my two cents on it. Either way, I'm glad to see that combining the best inputs from everyone produced a better Metal Force run :)
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Just create a "TAS-Community" faux user if there are expected to be multiple runs like this in the future. He can be then link to a wiki page made up of the contests or users or whatever.
Noxxa
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ars4326 wrote:
Here's my perspective: By looking at the total co-authors, I'm noticing that teams 1, 3, 7 and Mothrayas are being credited. Now if going by terms of placement in the competition, the 1st place, 2nd place, 4th place, and last place teams are being credited with this submission. To me, that doesn't...seem right that our 3rd place team isn't getting any recognition here (especially going by Samsara's reasoning that multiple teams were credited with that Stage 3 improvement).
I can see that perspective, but the issue there is that it only looks at the runs as a whole, not individual parts. Team 3 was last, but had first time placings in a few stages, so it makes sense to implement its runs of those stages to the final run. Your run was quite good overall, but nowhere did it excel over another run, so it just happened to miss out. As for the stage 3 improvement, I felt it was already covered by the inclusion of teams SAC and TTT, and it didn't make sense to me to credit multiple other teams for just the same piece of input.
http://www.youtube.com/Noxxa (formerly known as Mothrayas) <dwangoAC> This is a TAS (...). Not suitable for all audiences. May cause undesirable side-effects. May contain emulator abuse. Emulator may be abusive. This product contains glitches known to the state of California to cause egg defects. <Masterjun> I'm just a guy arranging bits in a sequence which could potentially amuse other people looking at these bits <adelikat> In Oregon Trail, I sacrificed my own family to save time. In Star trek, I killed helpless comrades in escape pods to save time. Here, I kill my allies to save time. I think I need help.
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Technically everyone did the first boss fight optimally. HOW'S ABOUT WE ADD EVERYONE'S NAME AND ALL IS DONE AND WELL. HUH? I'm against this. Whosoever input is used, is used and that's that.
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Mothrayas wrote:
I can see that perspective, but the issue there is that it only looks at the runs as a whole, not individual parts. Team 3 was last, but had first time placings in a few stages, so it makes sense to implement its runs of those stages to the final run. Your run was quite good overall, but nowhere did it excel over or another run, so it just happened to miss out. As for the stage 3 improvement, I felt it was already covered by the inclusion of teams SAC and TTT, and it didn't make sense to me to credit multiple other teams for just the same piece of input.
That does make sense, Mothrayas. I just had to broadcast my thoughts on it and get it off my chest. There's no hard feelings :)
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." - 1 Corinthians 2:9
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Mothrayas wrote:
As for the stage 3 improvement, I felt it was already covered by the inclusion of teams SAC and TTT, and it didn't make sense to me to credit multiple other teams for just the same piece of input.
Conversely, it doesn't make sense to me to credit no one for that piece of input. You could argue that there were teams credited for it, sure, but they would have been credited regardless due to their other contributions, so in sort of an admittedly blind technical way, that contribution ends up being credited to no one in particular. It's basically saying "Well, you contributed to this file, but you didn't get lucky." It makes less sense that you're a co-author and the rest of the participants aren't. While I don't see a problem with you being credited (putting this all together and keeping it organized is worth credit on its own), it just feels really wrong that you're credited when you had no input/strategy contribution and people who worked for over two months and did technically have an input/strategy contribution don't get any credit. It feels like a punch in the gut, personally. Ultimately, though, as ars said: There's no hard feelings, just a lot of stuff I needed to get off my chest. I'll probably come back in a couple hours and heavily edit/delete these posts after I realize I'm making more of an ass of myself than I usually do.
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I agree with Spikestuff, Samsara, Tangent and ars>9000.
There are some published movies where I have contributed more than here without being included as an author. Feels a bit strange. It is good that many players are listed, which should be the case more often, because many times people have contributed very much without recording actual input. However, it feels like the authorship of this movie is already so fuzzy that adding or removing an author seems to make no difference. Feels a bit strange. Strange, stupid and uncontrolled things happen to the authorship in obsoletions too, where the latest run may have learned a lot from the multitude of previous runs, but does not include any of the previous authors as equal contributors, which they technically often are. Wouldn't it be much simpler to just put "TASVideos" or "TASVideos community" or "DTC5" or "DTC" as the author? Maybe use something like this from now on:
Author: DTC#
Winning team: XXX
All participants of the contest: x, y, z...
This would mean that anyone participating in a future contest would also automatically get recognised as a contributor. This would be fair, because even the most retarded piece of input contributes by testing an alternative strategy. I would not feel good being listed as an author, if everyone is not included. It is all teamwork masqueraded as a contest anyway.
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Oh good grief, we went one reply before we started debating credit.
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Neat movie, but a bit boring. Meh vote.
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YES vote. Is this legitly the submission with the most authors(other than the April Fools submission from last year)?
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Fortranm wrote:
YES vote. Is this legitly the submission with the most authors(other than the April Fools submission from last year)?
That'd be this one, afaik
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While the game is not exceptional (IMHO), I find the movie quite entertaining and optimal, showing what TAS is about. Yes vote.
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I want to get co-authorship for my hard, tedious work of constantly berating everyone involved on IRC.
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Sorry, but this run was boring as hell compared to the awesomely amazing Stage comparison encode!! Seriously, I found myself rooting for the various heroes, just like at a horse race. The only thing missing is the announcer over the loudspeaker. Great work everyone. Super yes vote!!;) Yep, that's what I think.
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I didn't know about any dream team competition of this game, but I found it to be a bit entertaining to watch. off-topic: There's something weird about Mission 7's tune; I swear I've heard it in The Legend of Zelda...
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In any case: This, DTC5, was easily one of the best TAS events ever (AGDQ tasbot sessions are arguably the best ones ever). All of you should be happy and proud of yourselves. Mothrayas did excellent job on every aspect of the contest. All teams did really well. The ghost comparison encode was best of its kind ever. This entity as a whole is remarkable. Everything else is just little details that don't matter much. Isn't there a wiki page that chronicles the history of tasing? The glorious tale of DTC5 is an obvious entry to be added to the canon.
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In my last post I was joking. But in all seriousness, the Stage Comparison (Ghosts) encode was way more entertaining than the straight optimized run. There ought to be a way that one can be hosted here on TASvideos, perhaps as a playaround or citing entertainment / speed tradeoffs or something. Also, the comparison run would be one that everyone would then get their names on. I hope it can be done.