Submission Text Full Submission Page
Chack'n Pop (ちゃっくんぽっぷ) is often considered as the classic predecessor of the very popular Bubble Bobble series. Originally an arcade game, it features a small yellow creature named Chack'n who can walk on the floor and ceiling, climb steps, and drop bombs.
This run improves the currently published [2128]NES Chack'n Pop by GeminiSaint in 06:55.63 by 4375 frames as well as the TAS uploaded by ぺろったー on nicovideo by 24 frames.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: FCEUX 2.2.2
  • Aims for fastest input time.
  • Allows deaths to save time.
  • Manipulates luck.

Comments

Death warp

This is a big time-saver. It warps the character to the starting point and all released hearts directly to the goal with the corresponding blocking "wall" removed.

Invincibility Powerup

This is a second big time-saver. This powerup morphs from a bomb after two or more Monstas are eliminated at the same time if and only if the amount of bombs exploded in the current stage is equal to a magical number, which is the digit of Pi indexed with the number of the stage.
It makes the character move faster, jump higher and become invincible to enemies, but the effects only last before the changed tune ends.

AI Manipulation

This game has a very chaotic PRNG. Still enemies are manipulated to move in the ways as favorable as theoretically possible according to the study on the AI. Sometimes waiting is still inevitable.

Stage by Stage Comments

The TAS made by ぺろったー was highly optimized.

Stage 6

The Magical Digit for the powerup is 9. Fortunately there is plenty of time to spam enough bombs to get the powerup in time.
I thought up a strategy to arrive a the right wing of the the map earlier, but it didn't work. Compared to ぺろったー's TAS, the right wing was actually 1 frame faster, but the 16-frame rule of the heart movement nullified that.

Stage 7

The Magical Digit for the powerup is 2. Too small to be practical.
Anyways, I found that the bomb could blow up from midair the Monsta Egg on the right side of the map near the goal. Hence this makes the first steady improvement in this run compared to the previous TAS record.
I destroyed the Monsta guarding the heart on the left along with the cage. It's infeasible to drop a bomb from the left side to break through the floor because the AI algorithm wouldn't leave room for Chack'n to survive between the Monsta and the blast.

Stage 9

The Magical Digit for the powerup is 5. Quite a strain on bomb usage as there are a lot of walls to break, but it's still manageable.
The enemy manipulation to get the powerup is however the most difficult part in this run. And another improvement is acquired here.
mtvf1 suggested an alternative strategy to get the powerup but the AI unfortunately doesn't allow that to happen.

Other comments

Thanks to all previous players! Additionally thanks to mtfv1 for the encode!

ThunderAxe31: Judging.
ThunderAxe31: Unlike the versions for Arcade and SG-1000, the game used for this submission doesn't feature any kind of ending, as it just endlessly repeats the 9 level layouts available. For this kind of game, our Movie Rules require to complete all available game contents, which includes beating the game after reaching the highest level of difficulty, if applicable. In this game, the difficulty reaches the maximum from Maze 9 and onwards, by making the hatching time of the Monsta eggs faster. For this reason, from Maze 10 to Maze 17, the game provides a harder challenge that inevitably results in different TASing contents compared to the Mazes beaten during the first loop. However, it must be noted that Maze 18, which is the last round of the second loop, features both same level layout and same difficulty setting used for Maze 9, and thus would result redundant, except that for RNG manipulation.
Since the movie in this submission does stop before beating Maze 17, it can't be considered as beating the game, according to our rules. While we already have a published movie that stops after beating Maze 9, it must be noted that our Movie Rules are applied even if there are published movies that break them. Rejecting for not completing all game contents.

ThunderAxe31: Due to some recent changes to the rule for endless games, I un-reject this submission and judge it again.
ThunderAxe31: Two years ago, the rule that regulates ending for looped games was more strict than now, as it used to require to beat the hardest loop. This could be hard to apply sometimes (no pun intended), as checking the difficulty can be very unintuitive, depending on the game. This is the case for this game, as the previous movie was accepted despite technically breaking the relative rule, probably because the increase of difficulty in this game wasn't easy to notice.
Even though the requirement seemed a bit excessive, I still wanted to apply the rules rigorously, as I think that it would be unfair to raise an exception. However, that doesn't mean that I couldn't ask for that rule to be revised and changed, yet I didn't do that because at the time I didn't consider the idea that the rule could and should have been changed, as in fact happened recently. Now I think that I shouldn't have followed that rule blindly. There is essentially one reason why we recently considered that rule as faulty: it contradicted the fact that we normally allow an author to choose the difficulty mode they prefer (given that it includes all game contents), as in fact expressed in the difficulty guidelines.
Apart from that, I also have two personal remarks about how that rule used to work previously. First and foremost, confirming changes of difficulty in looped games can be really complicated, sometimes almost impossible, and in the end we can't be completely sure about what were the original intentions of the game developers. The second remark that I personally have with how that rule was, is that sometimes it led to including loops of gameplay that resulted almost redundant, which is the reason why the discussion started inside the staff.
Now, getting about the movie itself: it's very optimized and beats all known records, from the time it was originally submitted and still today. It introduced some interesting strategies for saving time, and the audience response was relatively good. The previous publication is in Vault, however the entertaining ratings for that movie are few and old, so I think I can give enough credit to this new movie for giving an upgrade to Moons.
I also have to note that, according to the recently revised rule for endless games, a movie that beats the second loop could potentially obsolete this movie, given that optimization quality is on par or superior.
With all that said, accepting for Moons as improved over [2128]NES Chack'n Pop by GeminiSaint in 06:55.63.
fsvgm777: Processing. Samsara is handling the encodes for this one.

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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #5995: klmz's NES Chack'n Pop in 05:42.84
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Cool! It always kind of bothered me that the nico video tas was there while TASvideos had something over 1 minute slower, but I didn't think it could be improved. Nice work finding those 24 frames. Yes vote!
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the digit of Pi indexed with the number of the stage.
3.1415926535... (Digits mentioned in the submission text are underlined) I wonder if you dig into the game code there will be a listing of pi to an arbitrary digit length somewhere... :P
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Yes, standard runs are needed and very appreciated here too
Dylon Stejakoski wrote:
Me and the boys starting over our games of choice for the infinityieth time in a row because of just-found optimizations
<- Why I don't have any submissions despite being on the forums for years now...
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Invincibility Powerup
It's the first time I see this power-up.
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It looks to me that this game does increase difficulty after the first loop. From maze 10 onwards, the game will hatch 3 Monsta eggs at the same time, then two and then three. The game will repeat endlessly the same difficulty setting used for the second loop (mazes 10-18). klmz, do you comfirm this? Do you have more info?
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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Most arcade games released for NES have been removed ending. As I know: [3101] NES Mappy by Spikestuff in 06:03.09 [2127] NES Front Line by illayaya in 02:38.97
ThunderAxe31 wrote:
It looks to me that this game does increase difficulty after the first loop.
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Yep, Chack'n Pop has an ending in the arcade and on the SG-1000, but the Famicom version just loops with increased difficulty. A real shame. (I made it to Maze 12 or so earlier this year, but had no interest in going any further to investigate the second loop -- the first one was hard enough.)
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Yep, that's quite the improvement, all right. Good job!
Post subject: Re: Uh-oh.
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ThunderAxe31 wrote:
It looks to me that this game does increase difficulty after the first loop. From maze 10 onwards, the game will hatch 3 Monsta eggs at the same time, then two and then three. The game will repeat endlessly the same difficulty setting used for the second loop (mazes 10-18). klmz, do you comfirm this? Do you have more info?
As goldenband said. The NES port of the game lacks the ending that was present on other platforms probably due to size limitation or something.
mtvf1 wrote:
As I know: [3101] NES Mappy by Spikestuff in 06:03.09 [2127] NES Front Line by illayaya in 02:38.97
The speed of hatching of the Monstas in Maze 9 is already maximized AFAIK. Regardless of the missing ending during the porting, [3101] NES Mappy by Spikestuff in 06:03.09 and [2963] NES Ice Climber "2 players" by Alyosha in 18:26.39 would be similar in that the difficulty is maximized before the first loop ends (correct me if I am wrong about this), but in [2127] NES Front Line by illayaya in 02:38.97 it isn't.
<klmz> it reminds me of that people used to keep quoting adelikat's IRC statements in the old good days <adelikat> no doubt <adelikat> klmz, they still do
Post subject: Re: Uh-oh.
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klmz wrote:
As goldenband said. The NES port of the game lacks the ending that was present on other platforms probably due to size limitation or something.
Yes, I'm aware that the game used for this submission lacks the ending. However, according to the Movie Rules: "Games that loop endlessly without some kind of ending can still have a defined ending point". In particular, ending point applicable for this game would be: "The game reaches a point where difficulty stops increasing and no new content is left to complete."
klmz wrote:
The speed of hatching of the Monstas in Maze 9 is already maximized AFAIK.
You're right about Maze 9, but all the other Mazes get maximum difficulty during the second loop: In the image above, you can see that Mazes 9 and 18 have the eggs hatching at the same speed, but the other Mazes get the eggs hatching faster in the second loop. This means that the last level that features new content is Maze 17.
klmz wrote:
Regardless of the missing ending during the porting, [3101] NES Mappy by Spikestuff in 06:03.09 and [2963] NES Ice Climber "2 players" by Alyosha in 18:26.39 would be similar in that the difficulty is maximized before the first loop ends (correct me if I am wrong about this), but in [2127] NES Front Line by illayaya in 02:38.97 it isn't.
Thanks for pointing out, I'll take a look at these too.
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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om, nom, nom... sweet!
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Great! We have broken this rule again and again, 1 2 3 4 5 6 times. Why do we make "mistake" all the times but this we begain choose the "right" way? Can I say it could be double standard? On the other side, Why could we still keep this rule? Even we have broken it too many times. Maybe this rule is a great weapon what we can fire that we want fire. edit:http://tasvideos.org/JudgeGuidelines.html#EndlessGames
If the author(s) chose an earlier ending point from the list we offer, and another which shows off more of the game is also reasonably viable (the movie won't go on for days), the judge should ask the author(s) if they'd like to play more and provide an updated movie.
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mtvf1 wrote:
Great! We have broken this rule again and again, 1 2 3 4 5 6 times.
Thank you again for pointing out these publications.
mtvf1 wrote:
Why do we make "mistake" all the times but this we begain choose the "right" way? Can I say it could be double standard? On the other side, Why could we still keep this rule? Even we have broken it too many times. Maybe this rule is a great weapon what we can fire that we want fire.
This is a serious accusation. I have no reason to give a special treatment to klmz. We value and respect all TASers, regardless of the mistakes that they make in good faith. The rule exists because we want movies to beat the game in its entirety, even if the game doesn't have a clear ending. In fact, the main reason why I consider this movie incomplete, is because the second loop would force the player into using different strategies from the ones used in the first loop, and thus resulting in different TASing contents.
mtvf1 wrote:
edit:http://tasvideos.org/JudgeGuidelines.html#EndlessGames
If the author(s) chose an earlier ending point from the list we offer, and another which shows off more of the game is also reasonably viable (the movie won't go on for days), the judge should ask the author(s) if they'd like to play more and provide an updated movie.
This guideline specifically refers to situations where there are multiple different ending points applicable for achieving game completion, for games like Waterworld. Also, note that the replacement of submission file is usually allowed when the updated movie would not result too much different from the original one, because that could potentially invalidate the feedback already given in the relative submission thread. There is nothing offensive in rejecting a submission, if it's done according to the rules. No one is blaming klmz for having submitted a movie that breaks our current rules, nor am I giving him any special treatment for whatever reason. We judge the movies, not the authors.
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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mtvf1 wrote:
http://tasvideos.org/3722M.html
Why are you ignoring all the explanations we provided? This doesn't help to have a meaningful discussion. As for the rest, less attention was payed to how endless games end before this happened. This link was already given in the DK3 thread. Wrong judgments can't serve as an example of applying the rules selectively. The rules about endless games were apparently just forgotten. The Waterworld submission uncovered all the flaws in these rules, and we tried to fix them. As klmz pointed out in the PM, the rules are still worded poorly! They ask to reach the hardest difficulty, and complete unique content. But the original intention was to require both of these to be completed. This particular submission does what the current rules ask. I acknowledged the poor wording of the rule and apologized to him.
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This decision is one more reason why speedrun.com needs to add a tool-assisted category in their leaderboards.
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p4wn3r wrote:
This decision is one more reason why speedrun.com needs to add a tool-assisted category in their leaderboards.
Yes please.
Warning: When making decisions, I try to collect as much data as possible before actually deciding. I try to abstract away and see the principles behind real world events and people's opinions. I try to generalize them and turn into something clear and reusable. I hate depending on unpredictable and having to make lottery guesses. Any problem can be solved by systems thinking and acting. If TASing is meta-play, TASVideos Movie Rules are meta-meta-play!
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p4wn3r wrote:
This decision is one more reason why speedrun.com needs to add a tool-assisted category in their leaderboards.
I never visited that, so can someone please explain how would that make things better?
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jlun2 wrote:
p4wn3r wrote:
This decision is one more reason why speedrun.com needs to add a tool-assisted category in their leaderboards.
I never visited that, so can someone please explain how would that make things better?
I've visited the site plenty of times and I have no idea how it relates to this submission tbh.
[16:36:31] <Mothrayas> I have to say this argument about robot drug usage is a lot more fun than whatever else we have been doing in the past two+ hours
[16:08:10] <BenLubar> a TAS is just the limit of a segmented speedrun as the segment length approaches zero
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jlun2 wrote:
p4wn3r wrote:
This decision is one more reason why speedrun.com needs to add a tool-assisted category in their leaderboards.
I never visited that, so can someone please explain how would that make things better?
The site has game-specific moderators to filter the content. Nowadays it's the place I visit most of the time to check new speedrun tricks. For this submission, it seems from klmz's text that people are interested in the runs of this game. There's a nicovideo run that he managed to improve. Since the site rules forbid the acceptance of this run, it would be nice if this movie could find a home in another place.
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Grue Delight is certainly a place. Furthermore, I still feel this submission should be linked to by the current publication. Don't add TAS categories to speedrun.com. That site doesn't want them and removes them rather frequently when its staff encounters them.
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The Case of Mappy. The game has 4 Bonuses, 12 Rounds before loops. Up in all that's 16 levels. I'm pointing this out so I can ignore the bonuses as all you have to do is just go and die quickly. So after doing the 12 Rounds it loops back round to the first round. All you have to do is lightly modify my input by trimming the input to adjust for Mappy's speed increase and interject for whenever the Bonus shows up. That's all. Heck you can straight avoid any RNG changes that the game would throw at you if you know what you're doing (This was found out thanks in part to dwangoAC and attempting to resync the game for console). There is nothing major for the game to actually consider a re-TAS or an update as it's already done what the purpose was done for. For all that matters for when the TAS was created it did the loop. There are videos on YouTube that do more than 16 levels that can back my claim of 12 Rounds and loop. If you want to point at actual cases. The TASes for MSX & SG1000 Galaga covers it for you by not actually hitting loop like I've pointed out on both of them post publication. Bonus: Mario Bros. (if it gets brought up) I did more Phases than I should've and realized the game was looping the same phases and was basically dependent on RNG for positioning. (which you can control location on where the enemies spawn) So it too did the loop.
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Disables Comments and Ratings for the YouTube account. These colours are pretty neato, and also these.
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feos wrote:
mtvf1 wrote:
http://tasvideos.org/3722M.html
Why are you ignoring all the explanations we provided? This doesn't help to have a meaningful discussion.
I stop discussing,it's not mean I agree it. The only main difference of each stage is platforms, and the different number of platforms is far more than 6. So why complete 6 stages? Because of this game have only 6 back screens? I still said why not 2? This game have only 2 back musics. Why do they think completing 6 stages is ok, and Takanawa's warp run which comlpete 4 stages is not(it complete Tokoy, too)? Even 6 and 4 are all incomplete. (Even compare the fornt of 4 stages, Takanawa's warp run is still faster than the published run, so I suggested add the "warpless" as the branch) I never thought the City Connection's run shouldn't be accepted, And I think Tokoy as the end flag is applicable for both warp and warpless run. I don't care the endless rule at that time, even I think it broke the rule, but I dislike the double standard.
Spikestuff wrote:
All you have to do is lightly modify my input by trimming the input to adjust for Mappy's speed increase and interject for whenever the Bonus shows up. That's all. Heck you can straight avoid any RNG changes that the game would throw at you if you know what you're doing (This was found out thanks in part to dwangoAC and attempting to resync the game for console). There is nothing major for the game to actually consider a re-TAS or an update as it's already done what the purpose was done for. It did the loop. There are videos on YouTube that do more than 16 levels that can back my claim of 12 Rounds and loop.
It's similar to Multiple games in one movie. I think most loop games(include the games with ending) what lack of RNG can do like this, too.
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mtvf1 wrote:
I stop discussing,it's not mean I agree it. The only main difference of each stage is platforms, and the different number of platforms is far more than 6. So why complete 6 stages? Because of this game have only 6 back screens? I still said why not 2? This game have only 2 back musics. Why do they think completing 6 stages is ok, and Takanawa's warp run which comlpete 4 stages is not(it complete Tokoy, too)? Even 6 and 4 are all incomplete. (Even compare the fornt of 4 stages, Takanawa's warp run is still faster than the published run, so I suggested add the "warpless" as the branch) I never thought the City Connection's run shouldn't be accepted, And I think Tokoy as the end flag is applicable for both warp and warpless run. I don't care the endless rule at that time, even I think it broke the rule, but I dislike the double standard.
City Connection did not break the rule. If you paid attention to my text, you'd see that any stages past 6 were procedurally generated alterations of these initial 6 stages. This sort of procedurally generated alteration to unique content is not considered unique content. There is no double standard in play. If we need to clarify that such procedurally generated alterations do not qualify as unique content in the rules, we can do that. But there is no double standard.
[16:36:31] <Mothrayas> I have to say this argument about robot drug usage is a lot more fun than whatever else we have been doing in the past two+ hours
[16:08:10] <BenLubar> a TAS is just the limit of a segmented speedrun as the segment length approaches zero
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Memory wrote:
City Connection did not break the rule. If you paid attention to my text, you'd see that any stages past 6 were procedurally generated alterations of these initial 6 stages. This sort of procedurally generated alteration to unique content is not considered unique content. There is no double standard in play. If we need to clarify that such procedurally generated alterations do not qualify as unique content in the rules, we can do that. But there is no double standard.
But different is still different, even it can be found the function of change. These small change may catch the different way, some stages are more difficult, some stages are easier, just like the initial 6 stages.
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klmz, I hope this rejection didn't demotivate you. If you want, I will help you in making a TAS that beats Maze 17. Sorry for not proposing this earlier.
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"