#5601: Noxxa's Uzebox B.C. Dash in 01:09.75

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Uzebox B.C. Dash in 01:09.75 by Noxxa

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 2.0.1 git interim (syncs on BizHawk 2.1.0)
  • Any% (reach the finish line; the game starts looping on from this point)
  • Aims for fastest realtime rather than in-game time
  • Aims for fastest input end

About the system and game

The Uzebox has a wiki, describing what it is:
"The Uzebox is a retro-minimalist homebrew game console. It is based on an AVR 8-bit general purpose microcontroller made by Atmel. The particularity of the system is that it's based on an interrupt driven kernel and has no frame buffer. Functions such as video sync generation, tile rendering and music mixing is done realtime by a background task so games can easily be developed in C. The design goal was to be as simple as possible yet have good enough sound and graphics while leaving enough resources to implement interesting games. Emphasis was put on making it easy and fun to assemble and program for any hobbyists. The final design contains only two chips: an ATmega644 and an AD725 RGB-to-NTSC converter."
The Uzebox wiki also has a page for this game.
B.C. Dash is a platformer game for the Uzebox, developed by Paul McPhee and released on October 25th, 2009. The goal is to pass through a single long hazardous stage, filled with tricky jumps, awkard terrain, and many different artifacts and powerups along the way. After reaching the finish line, your fastest time is recorded and the stage loops again for another run.
Your default form in this game is that of a fast-running panther, but with a powerup it is also possible to transform into a dragonfly, and entering the water transforms you into a turtle. Other powerups include one to walk on water, one to freeze the timer, coins that can be spent on powerups, and - of course relevant to this run - Reeboks that give a temporary speed boost. On the flipside, there are obstacles such as bombs which destroy terrain, fire which burns through the in-game timer, icicles that do the same, and potions with random negative effects.

Run notes

  • Five coins can be spent (in the same way as using a powerup) to grant a walk-on-water powerup, dragonfly powerup, and speed powerup. Obviously the last one is very helpful (and so is the dragonfly powerup), so getting coins is important. There are 20 coins in the level, although a few of them are notably out of the way; so 16 coins are collected, good for three speed boosts.
  • A dragonfly powerup lasts for about 4 seconds.
  • A speed powerup lasts for about 5 seconds. Using a speed powerup when one is still active will extend the length of the current one; this is used throughout the run to maintain full super speed, without having to accelerate up to it for more than once.
  • The panther's jump arc cannot be controlled. It is always a fixed height.
  • There are a few moving platforms; it's important to walk along them to save frames if they go to the right, or jump past them if they move left.
  • Right before the underwater section about a third into the run, a negative powerup potion gets in the way; it reverses directional controls for 3 seconds. This is not visible in the TAS itself, but you can see the difference with input display.
  • The underwater section is forced to be done with the turtle. The turtle has quite weird movement physics, being controlled with slow, long lasting swimming motions that last about a second at a time. The turtle's horizontal acceleration and velocity depend entirely on its movement cycle - walls can be used to make it turn, but otherwise don't affect acceleration. There's slightly more control over vertical acceleration, but it is really slow and tough to offset momentum with. Combined with the nature of the moving platforms, this sometimes makes some movements seem slow, but it really is as fast as the turtle can change his momentum to navigate through the area.
  • A bit after the underwater section, I activate the first speed boost. From here on, I can use four of them in a row, which is almost enough to reach the end of the stage. Because of how deceleration works after super speed ends (it's an immediate slowdown), it does not exactly matter when it is used, as long as no super speed time is wasted after reaching the finish.
  • Around the time I start super speed I also grab a pogo stick powerup which allows higher jumping for a few seconds. This is used to grab some coins.
  • A while later, I use a dragonfly transformation in order to grab a few more coins. The panther's jumping movement would not have allowed sufficient control to grab all the coins here, so that's why the dragonfly is used.
  • Later on still, another dragonfly transformation is used to skip a platforming section that would have required going to a stop to get on a moving platform.
  • Near the end, there are a pair of floating platforms going up and down; with very precise movement it's possible to jump right through them without losing any speed.
  • I jump and end input before reaching the finish line; the jump will go just far enough to pass the finish line.

Final notes

Thanks to natt for screwing around with an UZEM core in BizHawk, resulting in this.
Screenshot:
Thanks for watching!

Fog: Judging.
Fog: As per usual, the technical aspects of this run are solid.
The run was also surprisingly entertaining for me, with audience reception also being generally positive.
Accepting for Moons.
fsvgm777: Processing.

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #5601: Noxxa's Uzebox B.C. Dash in 01:09.75
adelikat
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I got a sneak preview of this before it was submitted. So I'll go ahead and throw my Yes vote on this. Surprisingly entertaining. I didn't expect that to be true of a Uzebox game!
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Challenger
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I'm agree with adelikat! Surprisingly entertaining! Yes vote. I've never heard about Uzebox until now. Also this run is now a good candidate to Speedy TAS of 2017 (I think).
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Speedy TAS of 2015
Short and interesting. Thanks for the writeup!
mklip2001
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How did you jump on fire in the screenshot without any ill effects? The run looks pretty good. I'd never heard of an Uzebox before, so that was cool to discover as well.
Used to be a frequent submissions commenter. My new computer has had some issues running emulators, so I've been here more sporadically. Still haven't gotten around to actually TASing yet... I was going to improve Kid Dracula for GB. It seems I was beaten to it, though, with a recent awesome run by Hetfield90 and StarvinStruthers. (http://tasvideos.org/2928M.html.) Thanks to goofydylan8 for running Gargoyle's Quest 2 because I mentioned the game! (http://tasvideos.org/2001M.html) Thanks to feos and MESHUGGAH for taking up runs of Duck Tales 2 because of my old signature! Thanks also to Samsara for finishing a Treasure Master run. From the submission comments:
Shoutouts and thanks to mklip2001 for arguably being the nicest and most supportive person on the forums.
Noxxa
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mklip2001 wrote:
How did you jump on fire in the screenshot without any ill effects?
It's "fire that burns your time". It accelerates the in-game timer (you can see it skip a few in-game seconds during this sequence) but does not harm or impede the character. If I aimed for in-game time, I would have used the dragonfly form to pass this part (or skip it altogether and take the bottom route for a time-stopping item), but for a real-time oriented run I like the jumping action better.
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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For that screenshot, it looks like this game would be more accurately portrayed with a 240px wide screenshot. Uzebox software can choose its own pixel width in pure software, so Uzem just outputs 720px and calls it a day...
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. ---- [3476] Uzebox B.C. Dash by Noxxa in 01:09.75