#5321: Noxxa's GB We're Back! - A Dinosaur's Story in 16:47.44

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GB We're Back! - A Dinosaur's Story in 16:47.44 by Noxxa

(initial time: 17:29.37)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 1.11.8.2
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time

About the game

This game was developed by Beam Software Pty., Ltd. and released in 1993. Interestingly, the same game was released in various forms, with four editions released in separate regions: the game was released as We're Back in the USA, Baby T-Rex in Europe, Agro Soar in Australia, and Bamse in Sweden. The games are all sprite hacks of each other, but are otherwise almost completely identical (which speaks volumes about the quality of licensed games and respect to their source material). For the sake of normality, I'm going with the USA release, so We're Back it is.
We're Back adapts a movie that was produced by Steven Spielberg and released in 1993, and in that sense it is basically Jurassic Park's animated stupid cousin. The plot of the game basically involves something about Dr. Screweye kidnapping dinosaurs or something, and Rex the T-Rex (not related to Radical Rex) platforms through a bunch of levels and throws blocks at enemies to save them all and to throw blocks at Dr. Screweye. Or something.
While there are no other runs of We're Back that I've seen, some exist of its counterparts: a TAS WIP of Baby T-Rex by Exonym, going up to Crystal Caves 1 (which this WIP beats by 820 frames, mainly due to avoiding the bonus level requirements, but also some seconds saved throughout the stages), and a real-time run of Bamse on SpeedDemosArchive (which this run beats by about two minutes (exactly 2:00 in-game time)).

Tricks

L+R movement

Holding left and right while moving to the right will fix Rex' speed at 256 subpx/frame, as opposed to oscillating between 256/236 on the ground or 256/244 in the air. This only works when moving to the right; moving to the left this way will fix speed at 236 instead, which is slower than normal walking/jumping. So this is used to move to the right in normal cases, whereas leftward movement spends all the time jumping.

Skateboard tricks

Skateboards generally are beneficial for faster movement, but using them can be sped up a bit by repeatedly jumping off them and landing in front of the skateboard. This will clip the skateboard forward to below Rex' feet if he is close enough, providing a little boost to the skateboard which can be used further.

Acceleration tricks

During movement that's faster than 256 subpx/f and is not fixed (like jumping from skateboards, or running down slopes), acceleration sometimes results to different top speeds, which can be manipulated by reducing your speed until you get past a certain point that it can accelerate again to a higher value. The gains of this are usually minimal, and sometimes the speed reduction is not worth it (however minimal), but it helps extending some skateboard jumps or slope jumps here and there.

Stage by stage comments

The Jungle 1

  • The first level already starts with a few nice slopes that make Rex run really fast. These slopes add some nice pace to the run.

The Jungle 2

  • There's a glitch with the pterodactyl nests where if you land on their leftmost pixel, you drop down the left side of it, which confuses the pterodactyl that spawns and makes it drop Rex at a different location than intended. In this case, it puts Rex in a wall, but this is escapable and does still save a little bit of time.

The Jungle 3

  • This stage provides a few interesting instances where I need to fall down a slope and start moving down a slope in the opposite direction. In one case, with precise movement, I could clip Rex into the floor where he gets stuck decelerating; in another, the steeper floor causes a deceleration immediately. Overall, this stage has a lot of variety in slope action.

The Jungle Boss

  • All bosses in this game, except the final boss, have 10 hit points (the final boss has two phases with 15 hit points). After depleting these, most bosses still have a frame rule which makes it take some time before they actually start exploding and allowing the player to progress. That is the case with this boss, but fortunately beating the boss as fast as possible still makes him start blowing up relatively quickly. The actual blowing up itself takes an annoyingly long time, though.

Crystal Caves 1

  • This stage introduces skateboards, their utility in destroying enemies, and jumping on them to increase their gain.

Crystal Caves 2

  • This stage introduces bowling balls. When touched, Rex automatically grabs them. Releasing with the attack button causes him to throw the bowling ball forward, which keeps on rolling and destroying enemies until it hits a wall or ceiling.

Crystal Caves 3

  • Stages start getting quite long at this point.

Crystal Caves Boss

  • This is one of the bosses in this game that does not have a frame rule, so the objective is simply to defeat it as fast as possible and reach the exit as soon as possible after that. The fastest way turned out to be to hit it with two blocks in five jumps. It's possible to start hitting it earlier by jumping and hitting with a single block at the start, but that turned out 20 frames slower in the end.

Castle Dungeons 1

  • A well-timed and accelerated skateboard jump allows me to skip the hydra sequence in this stage. You'll see what this is in the next few stages.

Castle Dungeons 2

  • This is the second-longest stage in the game.

Castle Dungeons 3

  • This is the longest stage in the game. Ugh.

Castle Dungeons Boss

  • This boss obeys the frame rule again, but nevertheless, an optimal defeating pattern comes quite close to the frame rule, and doesn't really add much leeway. With a precise pair of jumps, it's possible to jump over the boss' spikes while the boss is exploding (the boss' hitbox is removed at this point, but the spikes aren't, and getting hit by them flings Rex to the left side of the screen) - this way, I can go to the exit even when the boss is not done exploding yet.

Screweye's Tower 1

  • It's the return of the speed slopes! Missed these for quite a while.

Screweye's Tower 2

  • Unlike the left side of a pterodactyl's nest, the right side cannot be glitched.

Screweye's Tower 3

  • I do a small bit of luck manipulation here with the flames coming out of the lava in one of the corridors. A worse movement pattern would've forced me to get hit sooner, which would cause me to run into damage issues by the end of the stage.

Screweye's Tower Boss

  • The first phase of the final boss is a snake-esque machine, which acts much like the first boss. There's a safe spot standing right in front of it, which I utilize mostly for simplicity but also for hitting it quickly without causing more lag than necessary. After 15 hitpoints and a bit of frame rule, it goes down.
  • Screweye himself also has 15 hit points, and fights by dropping bombs from the air. He floats just high enough that it is not possible to hit him with two projectiles per jump, but I use a different strategy instead - make it an air-to-air battle, staying up by colliding into him repeatedly (which, like other bosses, bumps Rex upwards and to the left). I do this until I reach the point where I can go to the right for the end-of-stage marker while still pelting him with projectiles while going right. The movement looks a bit awkward, but that's mostly just up to the motion physics of this game, and the strategy with four jumps+projectiles is still faster than other strategies I tried.

Other comments

Screenshot suggestion: TODO
Thanks for watching!

Tompa: Oh yeah, I'll judge this one!
Tompa: Movie replaced with a 2504 frames faster version.
Tompa: It's a nice little platformer that was optimised enough for a publication! Accepting for the Vault.
fsvgm777: Processing.

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #5321: Noxxa's GB We're Back! - A Dinosaur's Story in 16:47.44
Joe
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More entertaining than the movie, but that's not saying much. Thankfully, it's short and well optimized, so it gets a yes from me
throws blocks at enemies to save them all and to throw blocks at Dr. Screweye. Or something.
I'm ashamed to know this, but they aren't "blocks" but "Brain Grain" cereal that Rex throws at enemy dinosoars to cure them of their feral nature, so they are not really being "hit" so much as being force-fed by Rex. Now how this works against the robot final boss and Dr Screweyes himself is questionable to say the least.
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Oh wow, I didn't expect anyone to ever pick this game up! It's good to see some improvements over the test I did. I actually have a quick test run of the whole game somewhere that I never actually uploaded to the site. Nice clip into the slope for faster acceleration, I hadn't noticed that was possible. I also see various other minor improvements over mine. However I notice that you aren't using the graphical glitch that I mentioned. I didn't state that it was useful in the thread, but later on I found out that you can use it to drop below those moving platforms which I believe saved a small amount of time. That being said; I don't know whether it applies to this version of the game, though they appear to be almost identical. I guess I can just upload my full test just in case you're curious. Your run is still faster by about 30-40s. (Bizhawk 1.8.1 Was used btw) http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/35586142804728513 Great run though, it's good to see some obscure games getting attention!
Current thoughts: Hachiemon (J) for GBA.
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You say he's not related to Radical Rex, but what about Rex Ready? http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/11/07 :p
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Submission wrote:
We're Back adapts a movie that was produced by Steven Spielberg and released in 1993, and in that sense it is basically Jurassic Park's animated stupid cousin.
Considering that Spielberg was also an executive producer on The Land Before Time, I was half-expecting you to mention that film as well. WBADS seems like one of those animated features that tried to jump on the "dark but still meant for kids" bandwagon piloted by Don Bluth, but failed miserably. Regarding the TAS itself, I found it quite amusing that a Game Boy game could implement SMB3-esque slope physics, but not have the best ceiling/wall collision detection... but as usual, it's a Yes from me.
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Noxxa
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Tompa pointed out to me a zipping trick that allows Rex clip into a wall and zip upwards (this was used in a Bamse speedrun I wasn't aware of). This saves time on a few places in Castle 2, Castle 3 and Tower 2. So I've redone the stages from Castle 2 on, saving 2504 frames (00:41.92s) in total. (Besides the zips, there's also a 2 second improvement in Castle-Boss because I found out the boss starts its destroy animation after 8 hits rather than 10, allowing more time to set up a jump over the boss and its spikes while it gets destroyed). New movie file: Pie
Exonym wrote:
Oh wow, I didn't expect anyone to ever pick this game up! It's good to see some improvements over the test I did. I actually have a quick test run of the whole game somewhere that I never actually uploaded to the site. Nice clip into the slope for faster acceleration, I hadn't noticed that was possible. I also see various other minor improvements over mine. However I notice that you aren't using the graphical glitch that I mentioned. I didn't state that it was useful in the thread, but later on I found out that you can use it to drop below those moving platforms which I believe saved a small amount of time. That being said; I don't know whether it applies to this version of the game, though they appear to be almost identical. I guess I can just upload my full test just in case you're curious. Your run is still faster by about 30-40s. (Bizhawk 1.8.1 Was used btw) http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/35586142804728513 Great run though, it's good to see some obscure games getting attention!
I was aware of the graphical glitch, but never used it because it adds a lot of lag. I tried doing it for the moving platforms, but wasn't able to reproduce falling through one. Not sure how much effect the extra lag would have in the long run.
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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I'm sorry but I really don't understand the decision to put the run in the Vault. From my point of view is an astonishing run, done on a good game. There isn't a single part that looks sloppy or boring and the time record it's already far over human speedrunning skills. In other words, it clearly looks to me as suitable for the Moon tier, given the Moon tier requirements and comparison to most GB Moon TASes.
my personal page - my YouTube channel - my GitHub - my Discord: ThunderAxe31#1512 <Masterjun> if you look at the "NES" in a weird angle, it actually clearly says "GBA"
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There isn't a whole lot of overly positive feedback: "More entertaining than the movie, but that's not saying much", "as usual, a Yes", et cetera. Even 8 Yes votes is low when there's been over a week since submission, meaning the general audience isn't interested in the run. Vault makes sense.
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Arcree2
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Samsara wrote:
There isn't a whole lot of overly positive feedback: "More entertaining than the movie, but that's not saying much", "as usual, a Yes", et cetera. Even 8 Yes votes is low when there's been over a week since submission, meaning the general audience isn't interested in the run. Vault makes sense.
I really don't understand. 8/0/0 can't be Vault, this 100%.
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ThunderAxe31
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Arcree2 wrote:
Samsara wrote:
There isn't a whole lot of overly positive feedback: "More entertaining than the movie, but that's not saying much", "as usual, a Yes", et cetera. Even 8 Yes votes is low when there's been over a week since submission, meaning the general audience isn't interested in the run. Vault makes sense.
I really don't understand. 8/0/0 can't be Vault, this 100%.
What Samsara said, is that too few people have given a vote.
my personal page - my YouTube channel - my GitHub - my Discord: ThunderAxe31#1512 <Masterjun> if you look at the "NES" in a weird angle, it actually clearly says "GBA"
Samsara
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Arcree2 wrote:
I really don't understand. 8/0/0 can't be Vault, this 100%.
Lack of interest is also a factor in Vault tiering, even if a run gets 100% Yes votes. This got less than one vote a day over 10 days, despite being a short-ish movie done by a site admin that had an encode immediately available upon submission. That's pretty telling in terms of the site not having much interest over it, not to mention what I already wrote about the thread feedback being particularly weak as well. Trust me, there have been plenty of laughable mistiers recently. This one was pretty sound, in my opinion.
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Arcree2
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Samsara wrote:
Arcree2 wrote:
I really don't understand. 8/0/0 can't be Vault, this 100%.
Lack of interest is also a factor in Vault tiering, even if a run gets 100% Yes votes. This got less than one vote a day over 10 days, despite being a short-ish movie done by a site admin that had an encode immediately available upon submission. That's pretty telling in terms of the site not having much interest over it, not to mention what I already wrote about the thread feedback being particularly weak as well. Trust me, there have been plenty of laughable mistiers recently. This one was pretty sound, in my opinion.
Oh ok
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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. ---- [3295] GB We're Back! - A Dinosaur's Story by Noxxa in 16:47.44
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yo mothrayas this is an awesome tas lots of awesome strats and momentum abuse you did a bunch of zips i didn't even know of lol i was never very good at it but i used to rta this game i feel obligated to point out that in castle2 you missed 2 zips also in castle3 there is 1 zip that can make up for the 2 bigger zips that you do but i am not at all sure if that 1 zip would be faster than the 2 aside from that, i will repeat that this tas is awesome very glad someone took the time to tas this video game did a great job