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Description
Orb-3D is a puzzle game in the style of Pong where you must complete 30 levels of varying challenges. While the gameplay is very simple, determining the most efficient course to take can be time consuming. There's a few levels where I can see easy improvements but splicing inputs together from different runs is very time consuming due to de-synchs. It will take many hours just to save a few seconds in my opinion. This is also one of the few NES games that works with 3D glasses.

Objectives
  • Emulator used: BizHawk 1.9.1
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time

Clone Ships
Proper use of a clone ship can save a ton of time by being able to juggle two ships simultaneously. Since more than one clone can be uncovered on the same level, it's good to keep it alive as you can't hit targets for a few frames when one does appear. You just can't have more than one clone active at a time.
Speed Boost
When the ship misses a paddle, it loses some fuel and immediately enters full speed from the right at the same vertical position. Exploiting this behavior becomes a time-saving technique.
Speed Loss
I believe paddle movement and/or the presence of a clone ship slightly may affect ship speed every few frames. This can help when you need to make a tighter depth transition than normal.
Exit Stage Left
You can save well over 100 frames by setting up your ship to exit the left side of the screen right as you complete the level.
Bowling
I manipulate a strike by first hitting two specific pins to set up what I assume is an ideal RNG. I'm guessing it may be possible to set up this shot in one go by changing how earlier levels are played, but I have yet to figure out how.
Chess
I manipulate the opponent's final placement of the Queen to my advantage by bumping the piece with my ship before their turn.
Bonus Points
During the later levels, the count down of remaining bonus points really starts to drag on. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to reduce these points any quicker than running out the time which is slower either way.
Vern's Gas Station
You can refuel gas by pressing B to go to Vern's. There's no reason to waste time going here in a speed run.

Level Summary
  • Level 01 "Bubbles" Pop all of the bubbles
  • Level 02 "Bowlling" Knock down all pins within 2 moves
  • Level 03 "Shields" Destroy all shields
  • Level 04 "Metamorphosis" Help caterpillars change into butterflies
  • Level 05 "Cheshire Cat" Hit the Chesire Cat before he disappears
  • Level 06 "Dice" Get 24 points
  • Level 07 "Tic-Tac-Toe" Beat the CPU at Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Level 08 "Connect 5" Connect 5 dots in any direction
  • Level 09 "Billiards" Sink all balls in the order specified
  • Level 10 "Skulls" Destroy the skulls in the order specified
  • Level 11 "Fireworks" Destroy all of the fireworks
  • Level 12 "8-puzzle" Simple slider puzzle
  • Level 13 "Mask Flip" Destroy all masks
  • Level 14 "Animals" Choose the active animal's adversary
  • Level 15 "Ducks" Align the ducks in a row
  • Level 16 "Magnets" Destroy all magnets
  • Level 17 "Bombs" Defuse all bombs
  • Level 18 "Eyeballs" Poke out all of the eyeballs
  • Level 19 "Spelling" Spell the word shown
  • Level 20 "Arrows" Destroy all arrows
  • Level 21 "Bingo" Collect a Bingo
  • Level 22 "Balloons" Burst all balloons
  • Level 23 "Targets" Destroy all targets
  • Level 24 "Bunnies" Fill the screen with bunnies
  • Level 25 "Ring Toss" Get each ring around the pole
  • Level 26 "Chess" Defeat the CPU at Chess
  • Level 27 "Race" Have the blue car win
  • Level 28 "Slot Machine" Match 3 of a kind
  • Level 29 "Ball Maze" Get the ball out of the maze
  • Level 30 "Match Game" Match up all sets of cards
  • End Boss "Krohn" Defeat the boss

RAM Addresses
  • 03FA: Flipper Y Position
  • 03EB: Ship X Position
  • 03E0: Ship Y Position
  • 03F3: Ship Depth
  • 03EF: Ship Speed
  • 03EC: Clone X Position
  • 03EE: Clone Y Position
  • 03F4: Clone Depth
  • 03F0: Clone Speed
  • 03D6: Gas Counter
  • 03FD: Gas Level
  • 046C: Gas Level (Duplicate?)
  • 04A0: Speed again? (It's slightly off sometimes)

I chose to work on this game since I played it for quite awhile as a child and I have many fond memories trying to beat it. I'm also surprised at how little this game appears across the internet so I guess I'm trying to bring attention to it in case others may find it enjoyable.
Temp Encode (loud, sorry):
Suggested Screenshots:

Scepheo: Judging.
Scepheo: Although hard to tell due to the movement mechanics, this movie is pretty fast. Accepting this for the vault.
feos: Pubbing...

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #4588: AndyDick's NES Orb 3D in 21:10.86
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That first recommended image of the face would probably work for creeping people out, as indeed I had no idea what it was until I checked through the video, even then it's kind of unsettling.
Enjoys speedruns but hasn't actually tried making any yet.
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WTF... I mean I've played and enjoyed bad games... but this was just... No. Not entertaining at all... I got ridiculously bored soon after Level 6 and only fast forwarded to the end to understand that screenshot... and it still makes no sense other than to have traumatized children for life. One of the few times I have to offer a no vote. Mr. Kelly R. Flewin
Mr. Kelly R. Flewin Just another random gamer ---- <OmnipotentEntity> How do you people get bored in the span of 10 seconds? Worst ADD ever.
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Mr. Kelly R. Flewin wrote:
fast forwarded to the end to understand that screenshot... and it still makes no sense other than to have traumatized children for life.
Voted yes for the basis of traumatizing children.
WebNations/Sabih wrote:
+fsvgm777 never censoring anything.
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Anybody remember that one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that involved that bizarre video game involving getting these tuba like things to eat these discs? Remember how inexplicable the whole thing was? This game is giving me the same vibes as that episode? What the devil is this? What's going on? What are the rules? All I'm seeing are a couple of random balls floating around while things disappear, then suddenly, level over! I guess what I'm saying is I'd appreciate an explanation of how the heck the game is played.
A hundred years from now, they will gaze upon my work and marvel at my skills but never know my name. And that will be good enough for me.
AndyDick
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Ferret Warlord wrote:
Anybody remember that one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that involved that bizarre video game involving getting these tuba like things to eat these discs? Remember how inexplicable the whole thing was? This game is giving me the same vibes as that episode? What the devil is this? What's going on? What are the rules? All I'm seeing are a couple of random balls floating around while things disappear, then suddenly, level over! I guess what I'm saying is I'd appreciate an explanation of how the heck the game is played.
The player can only move the paddles up & down to deflect the orb, or hit the A button to turn the orb mid-flight. So what you're actually doing is just using your ship to manipulate the objects on-screen. Also, each level has a different solution that you must complete before running out of gas which is slowly running out. While it's possible to refuel by pressing the B button to go to Vern's, it takes a lot of time and sometimes you even have to battle a spiky monster guy which I can only assume is a disgruntled gas station attendant. EDIT: I found the long-winded back story here:
You are an Explorer First Class, on assignment in a remote corner of the
universe. Space stations, Colonial Cruisers and whole solar systems have
mysteriously disappeared in this region. A nearby planet is buzzing with rumors
of an evil space wizard, Krohn. He controls an enormous Black hole which has
already begun to double in size.

Your ship, the Millennium Orb, is the only space craft capable of withstanding
the energy forces of Krohn's Black Hole. There are 30 Enigma Chambers
separating you from Krohn. Each chamber will test your wits, skill, cunning and
courage. You must keep the Millennium Orb in position by manipulating force
shields at the top and bottom of each chamber in Krohn's domain. You must keep
within the plane and deal with the dangers hurled at you by the malicious
wizard.

As you bounce off the force shields in each chamber, you will notice your Orb
travels on an orbital path around the center plane of each chamber. You can
alter this path by diving into and out of the center plane. You can also put
some "English" on your Orb by cleverly moving your force shields. Use these
techniques to hit the targets in each Enigma Chamber.

As you conquer each chamber, you encounter a staggering diversity of targets
and puzzles, the inventions of Krohn's twisted sense of humor. You find
yourself battling Eye Spy, Balloonacy, Roamin' Numerals and the Cheshire Cat,
not to mention other wily opponents. Remember, keep within the force shields,
conserve fuel and complete all the chambers. You MUST defeat Krohn.

Refuel at Vern's Orb-O-Rama when necessary. Vern and his service station/
restaurant are, like yourself, now trapped in the vacuum of the Black Hole.
Once at Vern's, navigate your Orb through as many fuel bays as possible to fuel
up. Note that Vern's has a strong gravitational pull - your force shields are
unnecessary here. Steer your Orb and dive from the front and rear of Vern's
Orb-O-Rama to fuel up.

Although his life depends on the success of your mission, Vern is still a
businessman, and prefers payments in credits. You gather these credits by
solving Enigma Chambers. If you're low on credits, you'll notice Vern's fuel
bays are closed when you arrive. You can obtain credit by hitting the "$" icon
on the right side of Vern's. You must pay for credit immediately with your next
1000 points. If you haven't paid for your fuel, the next time you go to Vern's
you'll be out of luck.

Other creatures may hamper your Orb's progress. In particular, be aware of
"Chasers". These space pirates save gas money by chasing down hard-working,
interstellar travelers like yourself and robbing their fuel tanks. Chasers can
also hit targets on the center plane... be careful, this may do you more harm
than good.

One last word of caution... Remember to navigate Krohn's corridors
courageously, conserve fuel and refuel wisely, battle the wizard's evil brood
and, finally, defeat Krohn. The fate of the entire Universe is in your hands.
Herbal Jazz sold separately.
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Nice work on this. I just played through the full game today, partly inspired by the TAS. Level 29 (aka Enigma Chamber 29) is a freakin' nightmare, and it's revealing that the TAS of the level still takes a good while (by TAS standards). Getting the ball in the maze to move downward is incredibly finicky for no clear reason -- every other direction is more responsive.
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This looks good, and I have only one question: in level 29, why did you take the leftmost route (17 moves) instead of going down the middle (15 moves)?
AndyDick
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Scepheo wrote:
This looks good, and I have only one question: in level 29, why did you take the leftmost route (17 moves) instead of going down the middle (15 moves)?
Like goldenband mentions, it's pretty difficult to line up your orb at the correct angle to shift the ball down. But this is a TAS so you'd think even the hardest moves are still possible given enough time. Yet the case with the shorter path like you describe actually appears impossible when you reach a certain point. I'm on a train so I can't pull up an image of that level, but I think it was getting into the middle square two squares from the bottom that I completely hit a roadblock. The downward movement would just not work from that position no matter the angle or direction you setup. I don't even know how much time I spent on that one spot, but if someone pulls it off then I'd really like to know how it's done! EDIT: Here's the move I can't seem to accomplish for whatever reason:
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feos y Then again, at least I don't have to write the description :U
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NES TAS of 2011
Did I miss something?
Warning: When making decisions, I try to collect as much data as possible before actually deciding. I try to abstract away and see the principles behind real world events and people's opinions. I try to generalize them and turn into something clear and reusable. I hate depending on unpredictable and having to make lottery guesses. Any problem can be solved by systems thinking and acting. If TASing is meta-play, TASVideos Movie Rules are meta-meta-play!
AntyMew
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feos wrote:
Did I miss something?
Nah. It's just this is the second run in a row where I've planned on encoding it, then you ninja'd.
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NES TAS of 2011
Post such plans in the threads to be safe.
Warning: When making decisions, I try to collect as much data as possible before actually deciding. I try to abstract away and see the principles behind real world events and people's opinions. I try to generalize them and turn into something clear and reusable. I hate depending on unpredictable and having to make lottery guesses. Any problem can be solved by systems thinking and acting. If TASing is meta-play, TASVideos Movie Rules are meta-meta-play!
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AndyDick wrote:
Like goldenband mentions, it's pretty difficult to line up your orb at the correct angle to shift the ball down. But this is a TAS so you'd think even the hardest moves are still possible given enough time. Yet the case with the shorter path like you describe actually appears impossible when you reach a certain point. I'm on a train so I can't pull up an image of that level, but I think it was getting into the middle square two squares from the bottom that I completely hit a roadblock. The downward movement would just not work from that position no matter the angle or direction you setup. I don't even know how much time I spent on that one spot, but if someone pulls it off then I'd really like to know how it's done!
Wow, that'd be a trip if it turns out that path is literally impossible. That's the way I kept trying to go on my playthrough, but I don't think I ever made it through that doorway, and ultimately I went around to the right (via the bottom-right corner). Some walkthroughs online recommend the upper path, but I wasn't able to get it working. I wonder if it's a coding error in the game? That's the only place with an opening between two free-standing parallel pieces -- every other junction (where you'd need to turn) includes at least one piece going perpendicular to the opening.
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. ---- [2805] NES Orb-3D by AndyDick in 21:10.86