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Attributes

  • Forgoes major game breaking glitches
  • Forgoes out of bounds
  • Aims for lowest real time / frame count
  • Abuses minor glitches and exploits
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates luck
  • Speed-Entertainment tradeoffs

Terminology

  • Energy Tank = E-Tank
  • Reserve Tank = R-Tank
  • Power Bomb = PB
  • Gravity Suit = Grav
  • Speed Booster = Speed
  • Charge Beam = Charge
  • Ice Beam = Ice
  • Wave Beam = Wave
  • Hi-Jump Boots = HJB
  • Mother Brain = MB
  • Corner Boost = C-Boost
  • Damage Boost = D-Boost
  • Shinespark = Spark
  • Crystal Flash = CF
  • RNG = Random Number Generation

Tools Used


Overview

This is a new classic Any% TAS of Super Metroid. It beats both the real time and game time of the previous Any% records by Taco & Kriole (2009) and Saturn (2011). The real time improvement is 3522 frames (58.7 seconds) whereas the game time improvement is 2 seconds, resulting in a real time of 37:39.1 and a game time of 22:36.
Many fresh optimizations were found during this run, and the run is the first to include exploits found last year such as Draygon underflow to obtain over 65k Missiles / Supers, and "bowling skip" to skip the cutscene involving the Chozo statue in Wrecked Ship before Grav.
As was the case with 13%, this was created on Lsnes, a more accurate emulator compared to snes9x v1.43 which the previous runs were created on. As a result, I lose 2-3 frames per door transition and have more lag to deal with in comparison.

Route Outline

For the purpose of performing Draygon underflow, the best boss order ended up being Phantoon -> Draygon -> Ridley -> Kraid, an order not seen before in runs. A handful of major items were able to be skipped as a result, including ones previously-thought-mandatory such as Wave and even Charge.
Similar to 13%, I grab the Brinstar R-Tank as it is required for performing bowling skip, and it serves as a replacement to one E-Tank for surviving MB's rainbow beam. The ammo choices before Wrecked Ship are the standard and obvious ones. I need two packs of each ammo type in order to perform underflow later.

Details & Improvements Per Area

Ceres -> Blue Brinstar

The same improvements that were recently made to the Any% ACE run exist here - the 1 frame improvement to the tile room of Ceres escape and the 4 frame improvement to the Construction Zone revisit.
Although not an improvement, I found a way to fall down the right side of Parlor that matches the speed of the standard left side descent.

Awakened Crateria

By having one of the rocks produced by a Skree strike Samus, thus causing Samus to blink, 1 frame of lag was removed in the door to Flyway. In this case, even though the Skree produces rocks both when it perishes and when it burrows, I had to slay it on a specific frame before it burrowed in order for one of its rocks to strike Samus in a location where c-boosts would not be missed.
Upon returning to Parlor after Bomb Torizo, the "ball pump" technique was applied to the Alcatraz tunnel and saved 2 frames, and I was able to open the door to Terminator a frame earlier.
The last pirate in Green Pirate Shaft was disposed of in order to save 20 energy.
Two Kago bugs were farmed right before the Brinstar elevator. It's surprising that this option went unnoticed for all these years, considering it only cost 12 frames to perform.

Green & Pink Brinstar

Applied a new method for collecting the R-Tank by farming enough ammo in the Main Shaft to open both red doors in succession.
A few enemies were farmed along the way to Red Brinstar to afford performing the bowling skip later.

Red Brinstar

The first d-boost in Hellway was optimized just enough to gain previously-thought-impossible subpixels, and barely reach the right door a frame earlier.
A frame was saved by perfectly centering the door leading to the first PB pack, and two more were saved by reaching it 2 frames earlier.
More impossible subpixels were obtained by optimizing the jump and d-boost right after collecting the first PB pack, thus saving a frame.

Wrecked Ship

Phantoon was dispatched 1-2 frames faster than the published Any% runs, all the while collecting more drops during the fight.
Phantoon's drops were in much more favorable locations than in previous runs, saving a whopping ~70 frames.
In the Attic, some lag was reduced during the PB explosion, and 1-2 frames were saved by performing a lower jump while double-striking the Kihunter and Atomic from below.
Slopekiller was performed above the West Ocean, but the result was equal in speed. Ball pumping in those tunnels saved 2 frames, its usual amount.
Despite all the farming and pausing involved to perform it, bowling skip saved 8-10 real time seconds. The third pause was performed to return brightness to the screen so that the audience could witness it in action (since otherwise, brightness would not have returned until obtaining Grav), which is the primary speed-entertainment trade-off of this run, costing 2-3 seconds.

Norfair

The Ice path was approached more efficiently by falling off of the elevator's edge, shooting the door open earlier, and centering the door.
A few frames were saved in the Ice section compared to Saturn's 14% Ice run.

Maridia

Better room optimizations than previous runs led to a handful of frames being saved.

Norfair

Clever strategies such as c-boosting / walljumping off of frozen enemies were implemented to save frames.

Lower Norfair

Even more spark strategies than before were used here - a spark was performed in every room from Pillars to Kihunter staircase, and a spark was performed after the steel pirates encounter to fly all the way to Ridley's Gadora instead of dealing with the enemies and acid.

Norfair Escape

The spark through the exit pillars and knockback from the Multiviola to reach the ledge barely worked without HJB.

Kraid's Lair

It turns out that it's faster to use a regular bomb instead of a PB in the first room by 2-3 frames, an improvement over Taco's Any% WIP in that regard.
Kraid's lag was reduced majorly by firing Missiles at the rocks from point-blank range, resulting in a fight that is 20-30 frames faster than the one in my 13% run.

To Tourian

The spark suit gained at Kraid was used to reach the platform below the door, high above Mt. Everest.

Tourian

All (or almost all?) of the rooms were improved compared to previous runs.
Skipping the Super Metroid with a spark was barely able to work in these conditions (Speed, no HJB, no Wave). Unfortunately, this skip was still 13 frames slower than 13%'s method (coincidental numbers), but was the only option given the conditions.

Escape

2 frames were saved compared to my 13% run.

Additional

As you would expect, the never-ending ammo obtained through Draygon underflow saved time throughout the remainder of the run.

New Techniques

Bowling Skip

By allowing the R-Tank to trigger automatically while in the Chozo statue's grasp, Samus will be freed and allowed to move freely during the cutscene (after being teleported backwards a few times).

Maridia Green Gate Mock Clip

This gate is possible to open by mockballing into a frozen enemy at low height by using the peak momentum value (3.49152) - which is present for only 1 frame - combined with a dash value of at least 1.20480. Not only is this route faster, but also conserves a Super Missile, since that is what green gates normally require.

Botwoon Skip

What happens if the game has to decide whether Samus should collide with a wall or a frozen enemy? Surprise! The frozen enemy has priority, making it possible to clip inside solid objects. Properly positioning the Zoas for performing this skip is much more difficult with only Ice.

Draygon Underflow

The game uses the same memory address for reducing ammo via CF as it does for releasing Samus from Draygon's grasp via the directional pad. Therefore, through proper spamming of directional pad inputs upon initiating a CF while in Draygon's grasp, ammunition amounts underflow, and a spark suit is gained.

Boomerang C-Boost

Same as boomerang ledgegrab, except performed while c-boosting. Not sure if this saved frames anywhere.

Boomerang D-Boost

Same as boomerang ledgegrab, except performed right before making contact with a damage source. This causes the d-boost's momentum to begin from 1.57344 (or 1.61440 if Samus had a dash value of 0.04096 prior to the d-boost) instead of the usual 1.16384 (non-spinjump) or 1.24576 (spinjump). This technique saved a frame when Samus was struck by the Rinka in the last Metroid room in Tourian.

Missing Echoes

It sometimes reduces lag to prevent Samus from gaining speed echoes. (see Speed Booster Hall and Tourian Escape Room 3)

Known & Potential Improvements

When the run was ~80% complete, Reeve and I figured out that, despite the utilization of bowling skip, Draygon underflow, et cetera, a KRDP route would still be faster than this route, although the approximate amount by which it would be faster is currently unknown.
That being said, the route showcased in this run has very little potential improvement, but I'll try to list a few:
  • Somehow manipulating Kihunters in Lower Norfair into better positions so that rolling underneath them is not necessary?
  • MB2's rainbow had a delay of 45 frames, which I'm satisfied with since I think it's lower than the delay in all currently-published runs, but it could be lower.
  • It might be possible to improve steam RNG during Tourian escape by 5-10 frames if a brute force search was performed for some time (potentially weeks).

Special Thanks

Thanks to EternisedDragon, Overfiend, Reeve, Taco, Total, previous TASers, and the speedrunning community.

feos: As I promised 3 years ago, the option to obsolete the "in-game time" run is now available. That has already happened when [1368] SNES Super Metroid by Taco, Kriole in 38:41.52 obsoleted [1075] SNES Super Metroid "ingame time" by Cpadolf in 41:02.40 by simply beating it by the IGT, and that's the case now again. The community generally approves of that scenario as well, so there's no issue with this.
Some people feel uneasy about the new glitch this run uses though: the underflow glitch that grants you a ridiculous amount of ammo. The previous runs had to manage that resource heavily, that being a part of the challenge, and now it's taken away after the point when the glitch is performed. So some expressed the wish to have "underflow glitch" and "no underflow glitch" as separate branches instead of "real time" and "in-game time". But that doesn't seem to be justified at all, firstly, because it's not that common an impression, secondly, due to lack of real arguments advocating such decision.
When two runs are published alongside each other, they should have significant difference that can be easily seen and clearly defined/explained, and the percentage of content overlap between them should be minimal. None of that has been proven to be true for "underflowed" and "underflowless" branches, as the only serious con is that the former feels less entertaining in that exact aspect of ammo management, and it's still very entertaining on its own. All the other content is conceptually the same: one has to beat the game ASAP without game breaking glitches, no other restrictions set. Moreover, as pointed out by the author: "Majority of the time saved comes from significantly better optimization and especially realtime optimization. Underflow was just berry on top of the cake." It sums up the lack of conceptual difference between these 2 suggested branches, since the greatest difference right now is in time saved due to things unrelated to "underflow".
So while this run has so much content overlap with the IGT one, it has just as much content overlap with the previous "no major glitches" branch. And in a situation when there are permanently so many branches of Super Metroid published alongside each other (which by itself isn't bad, as I said already in the thread), it becomes harder and harder to clearly differentiate between branches, so cross-branch obsoletion becomes unavoidable.
Another point that was brought up, aside from "feeling less challenging", was "feeling like a GT code". It sounds silly when you look at the technical details, but I'll explain our official take. It doesn't matter how many "cheap" resources a certain glitch can grant you. It only matters which way you access them. If you access them by entering a cheat code, you get rejected. If you access them by performing some actions that were proven to be a debug mode combination, you get rejected. If you glitch the game and enter the debug mode by corrupting memory, it's legit. This run doesn't even enter the debug mode of any kind, it just glitches a certain counter, that's all. Comparison to GT code is also invalid.
Finally, there's an argument that if "underflow" is allowed here now, all other branches will automatically demand it too, as well as the applicable Super Metroid hacks. While this seems to be true, as separating the "underflow" category doesn't look justified, I won't be setting any policies here, because the final decision can only be made when such a run is submitted and reviewed by the users and the judge.
Spikestuff: Publishi- ...dual obsoletion... Mother Brain.

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #5403: Sniq's SNES Super Metroid in 37:39.10
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Such a beautiful run! So much new stuff, lots of outside-the-box strategies and rethought approach to old rooms, as well as Sniq's unyielding devotion to pushing that frame optimization envelope on RNG and lag. I also love the attention he put into entertainment choices; those were probably the best I've seen in this game since JXQ's 100% v2. So this is an honest, no-reservation yes vote. And now it's time for the "where should we put the missile underflow" debate! It's hard for me to say whether there will be a point when it becomes a liability with classic SM categories. For one, the 100% category is likely free from this forever because the trick setup takes time and none of the 100% routes really require extra ammo for major savings. The low% will not go below 13% unless something major is found, and although I wouldn't want that category to be marred by infinite ammo, it'll likely remain safe for years considering how well-optimized the latest TAS is. RBO is a likely candidate for an underflow, but its use there is so minor it'll barely change anything over the current published TAS. The glitched categories are too glitched to bother. So vanilla SM is certainly fine for the time being. What I'm worried about the most, however, are SM hack runs. Because if the underflow is institutionalized by accepting this run as the improvement to T&K's any%, it means it will be legit to use in every other SM or SM-engine run on the site. Including all of the prospective hacks submitted subsequently. Not using this glitch, similarly, will be counted against the runner. Although on one hand I feel like the community should move on with the times and do something new, on the other, this glitch does introduce a heavy bias upon route planning and, more so, cheapens a lot of ammo management which is one of the more exciting parts of TASing SM and is always a good venue for a proficient TASer to show their worth. So I'd be more inclined to ban this glitch from the classic (no-major-glitches) categories. To be more precise, about 66/33 in favor of the ban. That said, I'm glad this run got submitted and I hope it gets every bit of recognition it deserves. Thanks for doing it, Sniq!
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Incredibly elegant run, so many wonderful little details of optimization and strategy throughout. Potential future problems of "accepting" the missile glitch aside (I can't say I have much of a stake in that discussion either way) I think there's no doubt that it added significant entertainment value to this specific run, besides making it faster. Plans on taking on 100% next? That's an interesting/tricky category with what you allow and what you don't. Space/Time Beam would probably wreck a large part of the run if you allowed it (even besides skipping the entirety of Tourian), and might either be awesome or repetitive and boring. But even if foregoing it there seems to be a ton of new stuff to implement.
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On the one hand, I agree with Cpadolf that the new route in conjunction with the ammo rollover glitch was wonderfully entertaining. On the other hand, I share Moozooh's worry about the rollover glitch becoming standardized for every feasible branch and every hack.
Me from the Super Metroid thread wrote:
To a casual viewer, the ammo rollover is going to look impressive because it removes a large chunk of the run's luck manipulation because you have an arbitrarily large amount of ammo, which also speed up bosses because you can just spam Supers. But to a TASer, it's probably going to lose some entertainment value for the exact same reasons.
I don't do a lot of TASing myself, but I've watched enough that I can usually tell when the RNG is being made to serve the player. I love watching for it. Take that away and...I don't know, it's still a hell of a fun run, but it feels less like Super Metroid.
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I didn't think that a run of such a highly studied game could still yield so many surprises. All throughout the run, there were neat, new and unusual strategies, and the new route left me with my mouth open. There's something eerily beautiful about going through the Maridia the opposite way you normally do. I have to ask though: Does clipping through the door not count as out of bounds? Or is this considered a different glitch? I can't really say too much about the ammo underflow glitch. It was neat to finally see it in action, and while it does give Samus plenty of missiles to use during downtime, it honestly had less of an impact on the viewing experience for me than I would have anticipated. I guess I am sad to see the ammo management go, but for the purpose of an any% run, it's probably for the better. As it is, I'm voting yes enthusiastically. Finally, there's a new Super Metroid any% around.
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scrimpeh wrote:
I have to ask though: Does clipping through the door not count as out of bounds? Or is this considered a different glitch?
The same trick is used to trigger the Green Gate earlier in that session, but for door skip it's done continuously.
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Technically, if you only clip into solid objects, that's not considered out-of-bound. The term if for when you leave the physical boundaries of the level. Also, Aran;Jaeger/EternisedDragon promised me to post here a list of hacks the underflow may affect routes for.
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Well, I'm glad someone went through and updated the any% encodes of Super Metroid. Without them... something, something. Love the work. Voting Yes. Claiming for the Pub.
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Reeve wrote:
The same trick is used to trigger the Green Gate earlier in that session, but for door skip it's done continuously.
moozooh wrote:
Technically, if you only clip into solid objects, that's not considered out-of-bound. The term if for when you leave the physical boundaries of the level.
Alright, thanks for clarifying.
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I'm giving this a yes vote for the new tricks alone, especially the part where you skipped the Chozo Statue cutscene in the Wrecked Ship.
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Great run and I will watch it again later, easy Yes Vote!!!
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I want to vote Yes but I'm confused about the glitch used in Draygon fight. Is that a kind of ACE? Other than, the whole run is great.
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It can't be ACE, because once the player has ACE access they can always beat the game instantly.
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I liked this run! Good Underflow Glitch and new routes! Yes vote. NOTE: Why title 1, title 2 and title 3 on your submission?
My homepage --Currently not much motived for TASing as before...-- But I'm still working.
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Submission text is still a WIP. Cpadolf: Sure, if you team up with me to do it. My knowledge of 100% routing and stuff is limited.
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Excellent run Sniq! You have truly mastered the intricacies of this game. Clever new room strategies were really a joy to watch throughout. I will give it a yes vote, but I do have some concerns. The overall time saved between this run and the 2 published any% runs is much lower than I expected with this massive route change. I was even estimating that a cleaned up Taco/Kriole route would match or beat this time. A plus of that would be that no major game breaks would need to be included. If not using the old Taco/Kriokle route, then the route I had designed for Taco's new any% run would have been a great way to go. Unfortunately Taco has appeared to have abandoned the project, but the basic route idea that I provided to him was this: Crateria to Brinstar as normal. Get powerbombs. Kill kraid first and get the varia. This eliminates 2 elevator trips up and down doing Phantoon first. After varia, grab his etank and go straight to ridley and kill him using charged wave pb combos. after leaving norfair, go straight to the mardia backdoor (as showcased in this run). The benefit of the backdoor means that not having the gravity suit becomes much much less of a problem. The would be very little underwater travel. Saved shinesparks can get you through the tricky areas. After killing draygon, you can grab the plasma beam and backdoor it to wrecked ship. Obviously if you can get 6 etanks throughout the run, the gravity suit can be skipped entirely. Compared to Sniqs new route, this would eliminate a total of 4 elevator transitions and possibly the gravity suit, as well as any backtracking at all. Maybe I am wrong and this route isn't feasible due to the difficultly in draygon's room, but it is certainly worth discussing further.
They're off to find the hero of the day...
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Zowayix wrote:
It can't be ACE, because once the player has ACE access they can always beat the game instantly.
But it gives a large amount of missiles and super missiles (maybe infinite) like Space/Time glitch in a GT code run. Anyway, though it does not provide any warping things or such that skips something. Absolutely Yes vote.
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hero of the day wrote:
If not using the old Taco/Kriokle route, then the route I had designed for Taco's new any% run would have been a great way to go. Unfortunately Taco has appeared to have abandoned the project, but the basic route idea that I provided to him was this
Hey there, hero! Come visit us on Discord sometime, there might be some good/better news to share.
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Hero gravity can be skipped without 6 E-Tanks. Skipping Varia would need 6 to not die on Mother Brain. Also Taco and Kriole's old route even updated might be slower because it was done on SNES9x 1.43. Taco's new route however might be faster but, I'm not sure that would be sniq's next project.
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Sniq wrote:
Cpadolf: Sure, if you team up with me to do it. My knowledge of 100% routing and stuff is limited.
Sounds tempting but I honestly don't think I'd be able to find the time nowadays, much as I would like to. And besides routing was never my strong suit, I only really worked of the earlier runs by JXQ and research from hero, Reeve and others. If the route would be heavily worked over in a new run (which it might be depending on the tricks used) my knowledge would be limited. Maybe the community could come together to work that out someday.
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Question to Hero of the Day and Reeve, do you guys have any interest is helping Sniq plan a 100% route?
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I'm amazed that you finished this so quickly after the low% run. Fantastic work as always, Sniq. I especially liked all of the niche uses for missiles/supers that you don't normally get to see when you're operating under the constraints of limited ammo, like reducing lag on the Kraid fight for instance. I was also really impressed by the number of times you were able to route your health to end your shinesparks exactly where you needed them to. How is it that you are able to shinespark before obtaining speedboster? Is that also a side effect of the Draygon underflow glitch?
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Hetfield90 wrote:
How is it that you are able to shinespark before obtaining speedboster? Is that also a side effect of the Draygon underflow glitch?
It's a side effect of having a crystal flash interrupted. Being grabbed by Draygon is one way of doing that. The same thing happens in the currently published RBO.
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lxx4xNx6xxl wrote:
Question to Hero of the Day and Reeve, do you guys have any interest is helping Sniq plan a 100% route?
Hey, 4N6! In regards of routing, as long as we're talking about just minor glitches, I can't think of anything that would change from Cpadolf's run except realtime choices (assuming it would be a realtime oriented run), like not re-entering 1st Super Missile room, taking the low passage to Turtle room in Maridia, not going through the sand pit after Plasma, etc... Iirc Cpadolf said in his submission text or somewhere in SM thread that Early Charge and Wave are good enough to save time even for a realtime run, so you probably want to keep that intact. As for improvements, there are a few I've found, but I'm pretty sure most TASers interested in SM are aware of them by now, but if not, I'd be willing to share the smvs I did. Edit: And btw, great run, sniq! You always amaze me with your technical knowledge of this game which allows you to optimize it in a way that I never dreamed it would be possible!
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Thanks everyone for the positive feedback! The bulk of the notes will probably take around two weeks to produce due to sniq's schedule, but they shouldn't be quite as lengthy as Low%'s were due to less info to provide for certain sections such as "new techniques" this time around.
McBobX wrote:
I want to vote Yes but I'm confused about the glitch used in Draygon fight.
An explanation can be found here if you're interested in reading.