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This movie:
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses programming errors
Smart Ball is a neat little action game about a boy and his blob... err, actually it's about a boy who gets turned into a blob, and goes through a bunch of crazy levels to reclaim his true form. I'm not really clear on the story, since their idea of translating it was to delete it entirely. But for some reason, this game reminds me of Super Mario Bros 2, especially the level design and the overall weirdness. Just look at the character lineup: the main character is a glowing blue blob, enemies consist of lots of mice, lunar rabbits, a naked guy with a torch, hopping mini-pigs, a chubby green penguin, various crazed birds, etc.
Jerry the blob can run, jump, stretch up, squish down, and stick to surfaces. He can also engulf and use various items: regular balls for throwing, re-usable but heavy iron balls, a beanstalk seed, and a high-jump powerup. I ended up using every item at least once in this run. I also used what I assume to be a programming error to allow me to gain extra height+distance when jumping if I try to stretch at the right frame during the jump, and another that lets me turn around from a midair running jump without losing speed,
Stretching and squishing damages enemies, but the animation takes longer than the attack can take, so a lot of times it looks like enemies just die when they touch me when I'm really attacking them without any animation having time to show up.
Other notes:
  • The bony-fish boss in the jungle level only takes 4 hits to kill, which I inflict immediately, but it takes a really long time to die which is why I jump around for a while and pick up/throw a ball afterward, just to kill time while it dies.
  • There is no way to jump while attached to a wall, the only movement you can do is to either slowly crawl up or to drop down.
  • When I hit the lava in the desert level and catch onto a wall... that's almost impossible, I mean it's exactly 1 frame away from impossibility, because if you hit the wall even 1 pixel lower than that it won't let you stick on it. (It saved about 60 frames.)
  • Moving is the same speed whether on the ground or in the air. The angle of the ground doesn't even matter at all.
  • On the moon level, the run button stops working, but it still makes me glow blue, so I use it to glow in time to the music.
  • Some of the music in this game is unexpectedly great. I especially like the music of the underwater level.
Emulator used: "Snes9x 1.43 improvement 3" found here: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/nesvideos/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1816 you can also play it back with Snes9x 1.43 WIP. Emulator settings: WIP1 timing ON, left+right OFF, Volume Height Envelope Reading OFF, Fake Mute OFF, Sync samples with sound CPU ON.
About the description of the movie: To describe the movie, I would just describe the game, somewhat like I have above.

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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #560: nitsuja's SNES Smart Ball in 15:55.43
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This has been on my want list for awhile, and I think it looks good. I think the quality later on is higher, as I don't see you hitting unnecessary enemies as you tend to in the level 1 stages. I was also wondering if you can ascend vertical corridors faster, by jumping like in ninja gaiden. This would especially come in handy on one of the last stages.
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Blechy wrote:
I think the quality later on is higher, as I don't see you hitting unnecessary enemies as you tend to in the level 1 stages.
I tried hitting a lot of enemies in all stages just to show off. I do lose a little time on the very first few I kill before I'd realized how to do it without slowing down at all, but I only lost a few frames to it.
Blechy wrote:
I was also wondering if you can ascend vertical corridors faster, by jumping like in ninja gaiden. This would especially come in handy on one of the last stages.
No, unfortunately there is no way to jump while attached to a wall.
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I really enjoyed this movie. I think what makes me enjoy it more is some of the more subtle things nitsuja does, which is something I wish more people did in their movies. For example, after beating a boss, s/he would just jump around and then before the screen would freeze, Jerry would be in an amusing pose somewhere on the screen. Not sure if this was intentional, but it made me smile and enjoy the movie more (not that it wasn't enjoyable to begin with ^_^)
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It was enjoyable to watch, but as usual I have an observation or two. -Was is REALLY required to wait for that ball to come down the waterfall against the fish boss? Could you not get some other ball SOMEWHERE else? Even if it was slightly off path? -That naked guy was pretty random
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BoltR wrote:
Was is REALLY required to wait for that ball to come down the waterfall against the fish boss? Could you not get some other ball SOMEWHERE else? Even if it was slightly off path?
I had already beaten the boss and was into its second phase which just requires that I survive for a certain amount of time before it dies. I was just fooling around during a mandatory waiting period by getting the ball and pretending to attack the fish's flying ribs.
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I've been working on a speed run of this game, and it drives me nuts not to be able to get your movie to work with any version of snes9x under Linux. Until someone smacks me in the head and tells me "You need to use the flags '--foobaria 3 -vbrsd 0 -x' to get movies to sync correctly," do you mind posting how long it took you for each level? I'm sure you beat me by a mile, but I'd at least like to see what I'd have to shoot for. I'm sure I'll be voting for this as soon as I can watch it. Edit: I got it to work after finding Bisqwit's howto page and after trying to compile the patched version on 3 different computers. I guess it's just coolness that only lets snes9x compile on my laptop. At any rate, I'm sure this is much better than I'd have come up with. The only thing I'd have done that you didn't was in 6A (the ice stage) right near the beginning on the hill with 6 penguins and a blue rock guy. There's a very tricky way to jump up the hill so that you kill the penguins, slide under the rock guy and go into the pipe without any delay. I've only been able to do it twice at full speed, although I haven't had the patched version to do it frame-by-frame. One other thing was that in 7B, there was a waterfall that you could have exited from earlier. It was the last one before the one that takes you to the boss. Overall, it'd probably save you a second or so. Also, there's a cool bug that wouldn't cost you anything to exploit. In 8A when you exit a pipe into a maze-like area with a pink flame and a flower where you land, you can kill both that flame and one that's to the off the right of the screen by squishing down at the edge of the flower. Finally, there's one strange bug I ran into, although it's only stylistic. For levels without a transition scene between the end of the level and the level select screen, if you toss a ball at just the right time as the level exits, you'll catch it on the level select screen. You don't appear to keep it when you start the next level, but it's a bug nonetheless. Overall, dead sexy. I enjoyed watching it.
ideamagnate| .seen aqfaq <nothing happens> DK64_MASTER| .seen nesvideoagent * DK64_MASTER slaps forehead
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Nice run. Good choice of a game to attack even though I had never heard of it. Fast paced, no text scrolling, difficult manuevers. Yes..
g,o,p,i=1e4,a[10001];main(x){for(;p?g=g/x*p+a[p]*i+2*!o: 53^(printf("%.4d",o+g/i),p=i,o=g%i);a[p--]=g%x)x=p*2-1;}
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. ---- [376] SNES Smart Ball by nitsuja in 15:55.43
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Could you PLEASE stop using that freaking mkv format, whoever is creating it? Or at least give a VERY good reason to use it? They don't work in my system with winamp nor even with windows media player. The core media player knows how to play them, but at least the previous video had bad problems with the sound. Why use this obscure format? It's not like the videos had three soundtracks and subtitles in ten different languages. I see no rational reason to use it and cause viewing problems to the vast majority of people.
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Hey, good run. One question, though. At 15:10, wouldn't it be a tiny bit faster to climb the left side instead of the right, and then jump from the ledge? Oh well, maybe in the next version. :)
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Warp wrote:
Could you PLEASE stop using that freaking mkv format, whoever is creating it? Or at least give a VERY good reason to use it? They don't work in my system with winamp nor even with windows media player. The core media player knows how to play them, but at least the previous video had bad problems with the sound. Why use this obscure format? It's not like the videos had three soundtracks and subtitles in ten different languages. I see no rational reason to use it and cause viewing problems to the vast majority of people.
Seconded - can't get anything to run the video, but the audio track plays just fine. Would definitely love to see this from the way it's referred to.
YtterbiJum, on SMB3: I've tried 20+ times and it always desyncs there. Unless, of course, Genisto meant to die, use a star on the map screen, go in a pipe, and jump around till time runs out.
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Jboy AAA wrote:
Warp wrote:
Could you PLEASE stop using that freaking mkv format, whoever is creating it? Or at least give a VERY good reason to use it? They don't work in my system with winamp nor even with windows media player. The core media player knows how to play them, but at least the previous video had bad problems with the sound. Why use this obscure format? It's not like the videos had three soundtracks and subtitles in ten different languages. I see no rational reason to use it and cause viewing problems to the vast majority of people.
Seconded - can't get anything to run the video, but the audio track plays just fine. Would definitely love to see this from the way it's referred to.
I double second this. I guess it's more than possible to watch this if one wants it enough. I however don't wan't to download loads of new stuff to watch a movie of a game I have never heard of, even though it might be a great game. I like the avi's ;)
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I wouldn't call it a obscure format, nor would I call it very difficult to play. Simply googling "mkv" brings you to the matroska homepage. At the homepage not only is there is there a download for the splitter which lets you view the files in any player, and a nice pack which contains the splitter and decoders to play all of those "obscure" codecs like xvid, divx, wmp7/8 and h.264, but it ALSO gives a list of players which will play mkv files without having to download anything else. These include: Mepia Player Classic Core Media Playerp mplayer VLC 3 of the 4 of those are actually recommended to users in the "Codec problems; sound problems; video problems; broken AVI file problems" section of the FAQ. Which I could have pointed you at anyways. Not only that, but the x264 homepage http://www.x264.nl, ALSO has the matroska splitter up to download. So if you can play x264 files, it's not much of a stretch to play mkv files too... it's on the same page...one line down...
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BoltR wrote:
3 of the 4 of those are actually recommended to users in the "Codec problems; sound problems; video problems; broken AVI file problems" section of the FAQ. Which I could have pointed you at anyways.
I figured this. Still I'm not a "download-everything-on-the-net-person" and thus I like the comfort with avi's only that only requires that you upgrade your player sometimes. Mkv might be good for reasons that I don't know about but until a movie of a game that I must see is released (with mkv) I skip the "trouble" of getting it to work.
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ยด Hahaha.. I dont know anything of this game but I can tell you that I laughed all the way through it. Never though a ball could be soo entertaining :) That Naked guy was also quite funny. Haha.. good work nitsuja :)
Wheeeehaaa.. Yaaayy..
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Uh, yeah. I did a quick search for "mkv format" when Rolling Thunder came out, downloaded the Matroska pack, and all was good. Is this download somehow strenuous? I still don't know the pros and cons versus avi files, so it's still a matter of, "what's the point?" to me. The two points on the Matroska front page that makes sense are fast seeking and error recovery, but how much better does it do these things and how relevant are they to these movies?
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Matroska is a container format superior to AVI. Matroska is *not* a video codec. Pros that come to mind when using matroska are for example: Less overhead than AVIs (ie. smaller file size), possibility to use wider range of Audio/Video codecs than those handled by AVI (Ogg Vorbis, AAC), possibility to add chapters to files (could be cool for longer RPG-runs) and embedding of subtitles (which could be used for comments etc.). Hassle of getting MKV's to split correctly isn't that big. A) Use a player which has MKV-splitter built in (ie. MPC) or B) Install the Matroska DirectShow Filters. Both available from http://www.matroska.org/downloads/windows.html I don't see that as a problem, you have to install XviD/DivX -codecs to view the older vids as well, but this doesn't seem to bother people.
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Tombad wrote:
Pros that come to mind when using matroska are for example: Less overhead than AVIs (ie. smaller file size), possibility to use wider range of Audio/Video codecs than those handled by AVI (Ogg Vorbis, AAC), possibility to add chapters to files (could be cool for longer RPG-runs) and embedding of subtitles (which could be used for comments etc.).
The videos published so far do not use any of those advantages. The videos don't need those advantages. What's the point? By the way, how much is your "smaller file size"? Some hundreds of bytes? Some... oooooh... kilobytes perhaps?!? I'm reaaaallllly impressed.
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Yes they do use some of the advantages, and I would say a few megabtyes would be more accurate. So far there none of the videos which have been published using mkv have had need for chapters, or subtitles. However both can be used in the future. An example would be if Jyzero added some explanation of the glitches in his FF6 to the video that can be toggled on, so people have a greater understanding of what is going on. It's extra work, but atleast it's possible now.