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Bible Adventures

Bible Adventures is a collection of three platformer games in one. Each game is (very loosely) based on a story from the Bible. Gameplay itself has very little biblical connection.
  • Noah's Ark - Noah collects animals and food in preparation for the flood.
  • Baby Moses - Moses' mother must carry baby Moses past Egyptian guards, spiders, and birds to reach a safe place to put him in the Nile.
  • David & Goliath - David must first gather sheep that have wandered off, then he can go to battle against Goliath.

Why Bible Adventures?

While watching recorded videos from SGDQ 2014, I saw Brossentia do a run of the David & Goliath portion of this game. I remembered playing through this as a child and finding it quite difficult at the time. Playing through it again in preparation for this TAS I realized that the game's difficulty lied in its control system. Movement and actions are delayed multiple frames after button presses, so controller inputs must be performed further in advance of when it would seem to be intuitively necessary.
During Brossentia's run someone in the audience jokingly challenged him to run the Noah's Ark story. He laughed it off exclaiming Never Noah's Ark! That was challenge enough for me.
 
It did not take me long to realize that I'm probably not cut out for unassisted speedrunning of video games; my skills just aren't up to par. However the idea of tool-assistance intrigued me and I thought this game would be an ideal candidate. Seeing that there were no published videos of this I was ready to attack. Prior submissions have only covered the Baby Moses story and have been rejected essentially due to the Run Right for Justice gameplay of this segment; more on this later.
It is my hope that this submission will not only be more entertaining, but also be more apt to be published considering it contains all three stories in succession.

General Notes

  • A minor glitch resulting from throwing objects during a couple frame window of jumps is used at times to gain slightly extra height allowing the playable character to land on platforms that would normally be to high to reach with a normal jump. This can appear at first to be sloppy play, but is intentional.

Story Specific Comments

Noah's Ark
  • GOAL = Get objects/animals into the ark.
  • Probably the most difficult of the three games due to length and complexity.
  • The jump glitch described above is used most here to speed up routes to goal objects/animals; especially in stage two.
  • The jump glitch results in much greater height when jumping off trees.
  • Jumping with large animals typically causes Noah to drop them. The item stack is rotated at times because keeping the large animals above smaller objects seems to sometimes prevent this drop.
  • During the third stage, Noah must wait for monkeys to throw him various fruits. I could not figure out how to manipulate luck to result in a specific fruit being thrown and thus was forced to have Noah dance to the music while waiting for the appropriate fruit.
    • If someone is able to deduce how to manipulate this in a future submission, many frames would be saved.
  • During the fourth stage, Noah is required to catch animals at night using a jar of lightning bugs for light. When it is lost, this the screen background goes black making only sprites visible except during random lightning flashes. The jar itself is used as an object to knock out certain animals making them easier to obtain. The last portion of this stage is performed in the blackness without the jar for added difficulty and entertainment value.
Baby Moses
  • GOAL = Get baby Moses to the right side of the level.
  • A glitch exists where picking up an object from the edge of the tiles by the Nile as you are falling into the river allows you to jump over the Nile river to the far side where no enemies can get you.
  • As this story is very Run Right for Justice based, I chose to sacrifice time slightly to demonstrate that this Nile Jump glitch can be performed in any of the story's six stages.
  • This is the least entertaining portion of the run, but is included for completeness of having all three stories in one video. Sorry.
David & Goliath
  • GOALS
  1. Collect the sheep scattered about the stage for the first four stages.
  2. Climb the mountain and Kill Goliath.
  • The glitch jump/throw described above is used to reach platforms with sheep for faster routing.
  • Frame perfect use of the slingshot prevents damage from falling boulders.
  • The TAS video final input to kill Goliath actually occurs before he is even on the screen.

'I hope you enjoy the video!'


Samsara 4:20 - "And they peered upon the Bible Game, and so it shall be judged."
Samsara 3:16 - "Lo, for the Bible Game had too much information within its name and branch, and thus the Judge brought down the hammer."
Samsara 3:17 - "And the Judge looked upon their words. And it was middling at best. And probably offensive in some way. The Judge wept."
Samsara: Yea, for I dropped this gimmick because I ran out of material before I'd even started it. Also, that gimmick would be ridiculously hard to keep up for the amount of information I have to dole out to explain my decision.
There are three issues with this submission, and I'll start with the most obvious one: There's a bit of issue with optimization, with Baby Moses being something like 2-3 seconds slower than an optimized version. Personally... It's three seconds over a movie of 1095 seconds, so I wouldn't consider the entire movie suboptimal by any stretch, especially since some of that time lost is a minor speed/entertainment tradeoff. "But Samsara," you ask, and immediately I regret ever asking to become a Judge, "This is a Vault movie, so shouldn't it be rejected for using speed/entertainment tradeoffs?" It's maybe a second or two, it's essentially meaningless in regards to rejection over it being done.
Overall, I think the level of optimization in the movie is just fine. There was a lot of thought put into the weird movement physics, routing, glitch/exploit usage, and for a first publication, that counts more for me than being a few frames late in reaching the end of the level.
That leaves two other weird issues, the first of which being: Is it worth having this run as a "100%" run alongside, potentially, 3 separate runs of the individual stories? If it's either this or the 3 individual runs, which option would fit in better? My gut's leaning toward all stories in one file, personally. It's not a long movie by any stretch, even with the bulk of it being taken up by Big Noah's Animal Sho-ah, and having the single movie also makes more sense for Vault purposes, giving 1 movie more overall meaning than 3 individual movies.
That just leaves the last issue: What do we do with the Genesis run of Baby Moses? Well... I'm not entirely sure, myself. It feels a little strange to obsolete it, considering it's a purely Vault-oriented optimized run whereas this is a more entertainment-based (and slightly slower) run, but this run does have more overall content with the other stories included. Huh. Leave it to me to pick up a Bible game submission and have it turn into two weird publication precedents.
I think overall it's safe to leave the Genesis run published for now. If an improvement to this run comes along, whether it be on the Nintendo Exodus System or the Sega Deuteronomy, then we can discuss the obsoletion of the standalone Baby Moses run further.
I admittedly feel a bit iffy about this decision, but I'm accepting it to Vault.
Samsara: Further thoughts explained in this post in the submission thread.
feos: Pub.

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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #5223: DrD2k9's NES Bible Adventures in 18:15.03
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oh my god yes
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"Previous:" [1826] Genesis Bible Adventures "Baby Moses" by Aglar in 02:00.37 Tompa: 1:59.20 - Baby Moses
Samsara wrote:
Missing TASeditor's improvement: User movie #17133429435466638
Link to video This does raise a flag on the other two stories and the possibilities of them being suboptimal as well.
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Spikestuff wrote:
"Previous:" [1826] Genesis Bible Adventures "Baby Moses" by Aglar in 02:00.37 Tompa: 1:59.20 - Baby Moses
Missing TASeditor's improvement: User movie #17133429435466638 (really just putting that there for my own personal reference when I get around to judging)
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warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
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Spikestuff wrote:
This does raise a flag on the other two stories and the possibilities of them being suboptimal as well.
I figured he was trying to pull a speed/entertainment tradeoff here.
    A glitch exists where picking up an object from the edge of the tiles by the Nile as you are falling into the river allows you to "jump" over the Nile river to the far side where no enemies can get you. As this story is very Run Right for Justice based, I chose to sacrifice time slightly to demonstrate that this "Nile Jump" glitch can be performed in any of the story's six stages.
True, there's not much entertainment gained, but you have to admit, carrying a bad guy who is carrying Moses on the last stage is pretty surprising. I have yet to see the entire run, though, so I haven't decided how to vote.
Post subject: A mild defense & some general thoughts on optimal runs.
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Other than the speed trade-off to demonstrate the Nile glitch in Baby Moses, this is as optimal as I can get with my understanding of the game. But I don't claim to be the worlds greatest TASer either. As mentioned in the description, someone may be able to figure out luck manipulation during Noah's Ark and better my time. But isn't that's the point of this website and TASing in general? To continually try to improve on what others have already accomplished? Given that there are no other submissions containing either Noah's Ark or David & Goliath, let alone all three stories in succession; I would argue that this is the most optimal run currently known (again, aside from the Nile thing which is explained in the description). Could it be faster if I had just run right on Baby Moses? Sure, but that would not increase its entertainment value any more than doing the glitch as a demonstration lessens the entertainment value. I welcome others to try and best this time and/or figure out the luck manipulation. I have minimal programming background and couldn't follow the debugger code well enough to deduce the RNG; nor could I discover it by trial and error. I'd be open to collaboration on this aspect if that interests anyone. In my opinion (and this applies to any game, not just the one I did), if no other submission exists, the first video submitted is by default the most optimal run known. When that first submission is bested, then it is no longer the most optimal known. I, for one, would welcome improvements on any of my game times. I would feel a sense of accomplishment just knowing that my own work had at least some part in producing the fastest record (even if that's just as a starting point or as a challenge for others raise the bar).
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Let me actually congratulate you on one thing, compared to a lot of first timers. YOU ENDED YOUR INPUT ON FINAL INPUT INSTEAD OF LETTING IT DRAGGED OUT! AND YOU ACTUALLY DID DO EVERYTHING USING TASEDITOR INSTEAD OF HAND INPUT. THANK YOU
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For future reference, the "v1.3" is not necessary for the game name, and the branch could be condensed down to "all stories" instead of listing all three games in succession. I've made these changes.
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warmCabin wrote:
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Samsara: Thanks for the naming tips. I tend to err on the side of too much information than too little, so I apologize in advance if it happens again. I'll get more efficient as I learn and do more. Spikestuff: Thanks for the compliment as well as the earlier criticism, its a good learning tool. It's unlikely I'll ever do a hand input based video; using TASeditor input and frame advance just makes more sense to my brain when it comes to optimization.
Post subject: temp encode, yo
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warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
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I can't believe you delayed saving baby Moses just to demonstrate some stupid glitch. You mean to tell me the fabled heroes Aglar, Aqfaq, nitrogenesis and Wak017 fought and died in the great Baby Moses Frame War of 2011 for this? Tompa and TASEditor, under the unimaginable time pressure of the 2014 Speed TAS Compo, persevered and eliminated yet more frames, for this!? Voting Absolutely Not until baby Moses's life is no longer being needlessly jeopardized by unnecessary braggadocio. For shame.
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44f faster after picking up the first ox: User movie #33807378356127076
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Frame war, I demand a frame war!
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andypanther wrote:
Frame war, I demand a frame war!
Done. :V
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Samsara wrote:
It's three seconds over a movie of 1095 seconds, so I wouldn't consider the entire movie suboptimal by any stretch
It's at least a minute slower due to poor optimisation. The author missed a lot of bizarre physics abuse and lag reduction. This game is difficult to optimize thus a new version wont come anytime soon.
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TASeditor wrote:
This game is difficult to optimize thus a new version wont come anytime soon.
Safe to accept for now, then. Got it. Thanks for reaffirming my decision.
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warmCabin wrote:
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So, I haven't had the opportunity to check this in a couple days. I feel like I missed some discussion that is no longer displayed. Can someone fill me in (even if it's by private message)? EDIT: Nevermind, I realized that the initial post was edited.
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Er, bit late to the party but I'm giving this a mild Meh. It ain't the best run around, but I certainly don't see why this can't be accepted to Vault. On the topic of optimization, the fact that it's extremely difficult to optimize kind of confirms that accepting this is more the route to go, right? I mean, y'all didn't reject http://tasvideos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16486 even when optimization was a tad iffy. Heck, y'all didn't reject http://tasvideos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15236 either even though it had some clear improvements. (I could go on) My point is that I think this run is perfectly fine to be a basework towards any potential future improvements.
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The bulk of the optimization in this run seems to be entirely based on a trick that exploits how god-awful the movement physics are. Figuring this out required a fair amount of outside-the-box thinking: The trick is rapid-firing left or right in order to reach max speed/turn around faster, which would in fact save a substantial amount of time over the course of the run. A full minute seems high to me, but I'm sure I'll be proven wrong about that whenever someone actually feels like improving this. It sounds like something that could be easily stumbled upon, but really, it seems like multiple people missed it, starting with Rolanmen1's old WIP, continuing into the site-only Speed TAS Competition where only TASeditor picked up on it out of a crowd of entrants that included Tompa and MESHUGGAH, and up to today where DrD2k9 completed a full run without figuring it out and I completely missed it as well while knowing full well there was a improvement based on the movement physics. You could say that the speed TASing aspect was what caused them to miss it... But, well, it's a very simplistic game and the 2 hour time limit was pretty generous in terms of giving time to research and TAS. One person still figured it out, yes, but that leaves 7 others in that competition alone. As for there being a known faster record: To further expand on that, it's one game out of three. If it were being submitted by itself, that would warrant an easy rejection, but this is a different category altogether, where almost 90% of the run is two other games that are as fast as I can find. Sure, they can be improved, but the method of doing so is overly complicated and optimizing it would probably take weeks longer than this run took to make. "Rapid-fire L or R" sounds easy, yeah, but from my experimenting with it, it's horribly inconsistent, and it needs to be applied in a huge number of places, even at times when you're unable to move. "But it would've been found with the proper research!" The research... That exists... In the Sites category of the forums, from a thread that hasn't had a post in 2 years with a title that doesn't imply anything about the actual game itself. Even if you wrangled the forum's Search function into working, which I wouldn't expect someone brand new to the site to be able to do, you likely still wouldn't figure out that the Speed TAS thread contains the only real information on Bible Adventures TASing. I'm pretty sure the only reason anyone even remembered that thread existed in the first place was because it was brought up by Spikestuff, who participated in the competition. Take this like my first Umihara Kawase Shun run, where there were indeed known improvements and faster times out there that were somewhere I and others had no logical way of finding. Even the person who brought it up said it was a OneDrive link that was only shared on Twitter to a small group of people primarily consisting of non-TASVideos members. Yes, this is different in that the information is on the site itself, but there's no logical way of knowing that the information is in fact there without doing some counter-intuitive digging. So, honestly? I think I'll let my decision stand.
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Samsara wrote:
For future reference, the "v1.3" is not necessary for the game name, and the branch could be condensed down to "all stories" instead of listing all three games in succession. I've made these changes.
Is it actually any%?
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Might as well be. I don't see any reason to have individual runs of all three stories, save for the Genesis run at the moment.
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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. ---- [3230] NES Bible Adventures by DrD2k9 in 18:15.03