#6377: TiKevin83's GB Pokémon: Blue Version in 1:29:53.19

Submission Text Full Submission Page
This is a thorough explanation of the strategy behind a Pokemon Blue Any% Glitchless TAS in 1:29:53 which you can watch at the following link.

Important Credits

Stringflow and Sudotrainer need a big thanks for assisting with getting me set up to bot my own encounter RNG manips for this TAS. Until that setup this TAS would not have been possible. Gifvex needs a big thanks as always for getting the emulator set up in BizHawk to be accurate enough for these TASes to sync on console. Extrems's work on Game Boy Interface also enabled the console playback of this TAS through his Game Boy Interface software.

Setup:

The TAS was created using BizHawk 2.3.1. As in the Yellow Glitchless and NSC TASes, the use of GBC mode, a gbc_bios.bin firmware, and CGB in GBA "true" mode allows the TAS to sync on the Game Boy Player console which can be seen in my initial video. This pastebin explains the pipeline we use for verifying the TASes.
An important update to the capture quality of the console feed was obtained with this TAS. Andersama with OBS-Studio development helped me learn HLSL shader language to write a video filter which corrects an error in the GameCube's video output and enables pixel-exact captures of GB, GBC, and GBA games over GBI-HF. This results in image fidelity equal to emulator. The filter was recently featured on RetroRGB: https://www.retrorgb.com/obtaining-pixel-exact-gbi-hf-output.html

Legend:

Frame = The smallest unit of time that can be observed realistically in emulation. The game accepts some inputs on every frame (for example in nickname menus), some (in the overworld) every other frame, and some (primarily in textboxes) every 3 frames. GB/GBC games play back at approximately 59.7275 Frames Per Second.
PrintLetterDelay = The use of mashing during textboxes to cause differences in frame and CPU cycle counts and in turn advance the RNG or manipulate the timing of an input window.
Red Bar = The sound effect and HP bar color change caused if ((Current HP * 48 / Max HP) < 10). Being in red bar cancels level up jingles when in trainer battles (worth 2.5 seconds per level up) cancels death cries (40 frames per death) and cancels text box clear jingles (timesave unknown, around a frame per clear). In Pokemon Blue it has the additional benefit of canceling pokemon cries when sent into battle, which changes many routing decisions including the Gastly fight after the heal pad.
Gen 1 Miss = An oversight in the code for the accuracy check causes moves with 100% accuracy to still have a 1 in 256 chance to miss/fail. This means that we can cause an enemy to miss even if they're locked into using a theoretically deadly move, or miss our own moves if we need to.
DSUM = A label for the predictable outcomes caused by deterministic behavior of the random number generator. This behavior leads to an encounter cycle which constantly loops through the ten encounter slots in order.
Consecutive Input Delay = In Gen 1 Pokemon, if you press a button it needs to be released for a frame in order for it to be pressed again, otherwise the game will just see the button as being held the whole time. This can be counteracted via a trick to reapply the relevant button press. The key is to press a different button (typically a directional button) on the same frame that you want to press the initial button again, it will register a 2nd press of the initial button and not a hold of the initial button. This is done when a directional input is used to reapply B while exiting shops (which can be done in RTA) and to reapply up/down in the item bag. The Fly menu does not have this trick available as it does in Yellow. The trick is also useful when B reapplies A to get on the Bike (also used in RTA), to deposit pokemon (not useful in RTA), and to throw a poke ball from slot 1 (used in RTA). In general it could be used to select any slot 1 bag item in the overworld or in battle, but the relevant ones are the poke ball throws and the bike. In Blue unlike in Yellow, some A presses to use items can be applied the same frame as an up or down press.
Ranges = The damage formula in Pokemon Gen 1 is modified by a random number, rerolled until it lands between 217 and 255 inclusive. The move is multiplied by this number and divided by 255 to obtain a range of possible damage between ~85% and 100%. Because we manipulate random number generation, we can manipulate these damage ranges to our liking. Also, because of the way much of the 8 bit math rounds down calculations, the full calculated damage is only a 1/39 chance (217 to 255 inclusive is 39 possible rolls).
Glitchless = the category this TAS was written for. I followed the RTA Pokemon Speedrunning community's ruleset for Glitchless, so while arbitrary code execution glitches like Brock Through Walls and Trainer Fly are disallowed, certain glitches that are not avoidable in RTA such as Gen 1 Misses are allowed, as well as oversights such as using Poke Doll on the Marowak ghost in Lavender Tower. The Instant Text obtained from talking to the Bike Shop owner without a Bike Voucher falls under the allowed oversight category. This ruleset is uncontroversial in the RTA community at this point.
Note: There are no known previous TASes of Blue ENG Glitchless in any ruleset. There is a somewhat improvable TAS of the JPN release, whose times are not easily comparable due to the text differences and the major route changes from not using instant text or the poke doll on Marowak. As there were no TASes of the ENG game prior to this, the main goal was to establish a very competitive baseline for TASes of this game and category, so there are some known optimizations possible in the early game.
Here's a link to the old JPN cart TAS in 4 parts: https://youtu.be/_flV070jIEY

Route:

Set options in game (Fast Off Set) using A and B holds to have text roll at the fastest speed while text speed is still on medium in the intro.
Squirtle DVs: 12/14 attack, 8+Special, 7+ speed, not both speed+special odd for specific HP requirements

Rival 1

Tail Whip->1/39 non-crit Tackle, 1/39 non-crit Tackle, any normal Tackle roll (growl fails from Bulba)
Buy 4 Poke Balls (Nido, Cut slave, Flyer, bag slot)
Catch L3 Nido on Route 22 - DVS 15 Attack, 0-8 Defense (must be even), 14 Speed, 15 Special
Kill L5 pika while using it to get hit to 1 HP (Pika needs to be 0-4 HP 0-9 Defense for 3x 1/39 normal tackle hits)
The previous 2 encounter manips were found using the RNG manip bot developed by Stringflow and amended for this TAS by Sudotrainer and me. The Nido takes a little less than 2 seconds of delay for a near perfect F6EF stat line, and the Pika takes only 8 frames of delay mainly because there are so many encounter tiles available to sync up the DSUM without losing time.
Weedle can spam string shot miss, hit 3 1/39 crits and one normal crit (alternate strat used here, Tail whip and 4 tackles. Avoids delays necessary for 3 1/39 crits and the 4 crit text boxes in exchange for the tail whip turn)

Brock

Geodude can't die to Bubble crit, instead 2x Bubble with a Tackle miss from Geodude
Cause Onix to miss turn 1, crit him to 1, die, get Nido hit to 1 (Nido needs 0-8 defense DV), finish Onix and level to 8. This fight is why the Nido on Route 22 needs to be level 3, otherwise L4 Nido jumps past L8 to L9 and can't learn Horn Attack.
Crits with specific damage range needs are hard to manipulate with Squirtle and Nidoran as they have low base speed. I spent 6000 rerecords each alone just to find a way through the Brock Onix fight and the Route 3 3rd trainer caterpie. A revised TAS would spend even more time searching for battle RNG, hopefully with a botting setup to find the minimal delay necessary.
Sell Bide, Buy 7 Escape Ropes (needed for Bill's house without walking to the moon escape rope, also faster than teaching Dig)

Route 3

Caterpie: Leer+2x HA (take 2 non-crit 5 damage tackles to 1 HP)
Weedle: HA crit+HA
Caterpie: HA+HA crit (take a 1/39 5 damage Tackle to 1 HP out of 31)
Rattata: HA+HA crit
Ekans: HA+HA crit
Weedle: HA Crit
Kakuna: Tackle+HA crit
Caterpie: 1/39 HA crit
Metapod: HA Crit+Tackle non-crit
Caterpie: 2x HA (take 4 damage)
Metapod: HA+HA crit

Mt Moon

Grab Moon Stone
Rattata: PS+HA Crit
Zubat: HA Crit+Supersonic Fail+Tackle
Grimer: HA+HA crit
Voltorb: HA crit+PS
Koffing: HA 1/39+HA 1/39 crit (optimal strat, this TAS crits both turns)
Catch Sandshrew after Mt Moon

Cerulean

Center to set the escape rope waypoint
IT is slightly faster for Misty's gym but makes the zany RNG manip too difficult because PrintLetterDelay cannot be used while IT is on
Inside Misty Gym, swap Nidoking with Squirtle, evolve to Nidoking
Misty's Trainer: HA crit x2

Misty

Staryu: HA crit+PS (1/39 both) (This TAS did not find the optimal fight here, uses 2 HAs)
Starmie: BB non crit, HA Crit high roll, Gen 1 Miss into HA 1/39 crit x2
Teach Bubblebeam
Get IT
Pidgeotto: Swap up and use BB, get hit to 1, BB crit
Abra: PS crit (Not found due to IT lack of PrintLetterDelay, used HA instead)
Rattata: BB crit
Bulbasaur: HA crit
Caterpie: PS crit
Weedle: BB
Pidgey: BB crit
NidoF: BB crit
Rattata: BB
Ekans: BB crit
Zubat: BB crit
Pidgey: BB crit
NidoF: BB crit
Mankey: BB crit
Ekans: BB crit
Zubat: BB crit
Onix: BB
NidoM: BB crit
NidoF: BB crit
Rattata: BB, teach Thrash over Poison Sting
Ekans: BB
Oddish: Swap up Thrash, Thrash non-crit x3
Escape Rope back to Cerulean in Bill's house after getting the SS Ticket
Dig Rocket: Thrash non-crit x2
Pidgeys: Thrash non-crit x3
Spearow+Raticate: Thrash
Boat Rival
Pidgetto: Get hit back to 1 from QA crit, Thrash crit
Raticate: Thrash
Kadabra: Thrash
Ivysaur: Thrash crit
Manip the 1st can on exiting the boat as the cans are selected when you enter Vermillion.
Teach Cut, use Cut, Manip can 2 after choosing the 1st can

Surge

Voltorb: Thrash
Pikachu: Thrash
Raichu: Thrash crit
4 Turn Thrash: Thrash
Venonat Trainer: Thrash
Cubone: BB
Slowpoke: TB
Slowpoke: TB
Oddish+Bulbasaur: Thrash
Geodude+Geodude+Graveler: TB->Selfdestruct Gen 1 Miss
Meowth+Oddish+Pidgey: Thrash (used Pidgey for red bar maintenance)
Growlithe: Swap TB and Thrash, TB crit
Vulpix: TB crit
Get Underground Elixer

Celadon Mart

Shop: 2 TM07, 2 Poke Doll, Fresh Water, 3 X Speed
Grab Doduo while heading to Fly House
Fly Menu: Swap up Poke Doll, teach TM07 HD in 3, teach Fly

Tower Rival

Pidgeotto: TB
Gyarados: TB (may be able to Thrash Crit in a revised TAS, needs more investigation)
Growlithe: Thrash
Kadabra: Thrash
Ivysaur: Thrash crit
Gastly: TB crit
Gastly: TB crit
Gastly: Thrash->Night Shade x4, TB crit
Gastly: TB crit
Zubat: Thrash
Zubat: Thrash
Golbat: Thrash crit
Koffing+Drowzee: Thrash crits
Zubat: Thrash
Rattata: Thrash
Raticate: Thrash
Zubat: Thrash
Snorlax Menu: Swap up Elixer
Get Max Elixer on cycling road after biking down the left side
Drowzee: Thrash crit
Drowzee: Thrash crit
Kadabra: Thrash
Drowzee: Thrash crit
Drowzee: HD
Hypno: HD

Koga

Koffing: TB x2 (a revised TAS would probably want to HD here and a find a gen 1 miss selfdestruct from Weezing, his experience is needed to hit L36 for candying to 37, hitting a speed mark for Silph Rival's Alakazam in combo with Koga's speed badge boost)
Muk: HD
Koffing: HD
Weezing: HD
Pallet menu: Elixer, Swap up X Speed, HM03, Rare Candy to get back to the top of the menu for escape rope in Mansion.
Get Silph Elixer
Arbok: HD

Silph Rival

Pidgeot: TB crit
Gyarados: TB
Growlithe: TB crit
Alakazam: HD
Venusaur: HD
Cubone: BB
Drowzee: HD
Marowak: BB
Silph Gio
Nidorino: TB crit
Kangaskhan: TB crit
Rhyhorn: BB
Nidoqueen: HD
Use an Elixer

Blaine

Growlithe: BB crit
Ponyta: BB crit
Rapidash: HD
Arcanine: HD
Exeggcute: HD

Erika

Victreebel: Thrash crit
Tangela: Thrash crit
Vileplume: Thrash crit

Sabrina

Kadabra: Thrash
Mr. Mime: Thrash crit
Venomoth: Thrash crit
Alakazam: Maintain red bar with Psywave, Thrash crit
I'm very proud of the Alakazam fight here. The fight requires manipulating a 4 turn thrash on Kadabra (1 in 2), 2 crits on Mr Mime and Venemoth (1 in 6 each), Psywave use from Alakazam (1 in 4), Psywave exact damage (1 in 64 because damage is from 0 to 1.5x level), and then another thrash crit (1 in 6). Getting all this means you never need to take damage again for red bar through the rest of the run.
Rhyhorn: BB
Machoke: TB crit
Machop: TB crit
Machoke: TB crit

Gio Gym

Rhyhorn: BB
Dugtrio: BB
Nidoqueen: HD
Nidoking: HD
Rhydon: BB
Swap up Max Elixer, Teach HM04, Teach Fissure in 2

Viridian Rival

Pidgeot: X Speed, TB crit
Rhyhorn: BB
Gyarados: TB
Growlithe: TB crit
Alakazam: Fissure
Venusaur: Fissure
Use an Elixer

Lorelei

Dewgong: Fissure
Cloyster: Fissure
Slowbro: HD
Jynx: HD
Lapras: HD

Bruno

Onix: BB
Hitmonchan: TB crit
Hitmonlee: TB crit
Onix: BB
Machamp: HD

Agatha

Gengar: X Speed, Fissure
Golbat: TB crit
Haunter: Fissure
Arbok: HD
Gengar: Fissure
Use Max Elixer

Lance

Gyarados: TB crit
Dragonair: Fissure
Dragonair: Fissure
Aerodactyl: TB crit
Dragonite: HD

Champion

Pidgeot: X Speed, HD
Alakazam: Fissure
Rhydon: BB
Gyarados: HD
Arcanine: HD
Venusaur: HD
Bag Slot notes to manip a full bag of 20 items for Gyms 4-7:
Poke Ball
TM34->Escape Rope->TM27
Helix Fossil
Nugget
SS Ticket
TM28
Full Restore
HM01
Bicycle
Elixer
TM07
Poke Doll
Fresh Water->Card Key
X Speed
HM02
Rare Candy->Secret Key
Poke Flute
Max Elixer
HM03
Gold Teeth->HM04

Notes:

The frame count of this TAS will make it appear to be a 1:30:03. When played back on console you can see in the commentary video that this is not quite accurate, the TAS actually runs at 1:29:53 from bootup to last input. How is this possible without the TAS desyncing? It turns out that frames do not actually exist on the game boy while the LCD is disabled, and the emulator's counted frames during this time can last a shorter than usual number of CPU cycles. For console playback we sync the inputs by CPU cycle count, and using the total executed cycle count obtained from the emulator instead of frame count we get the same time as the console playback at 1:29:53.
I'll also make a quick note due to inevitable comparison to the similar Yellow Glitchless TAS. The difference in the nature of red bar and the lack of instant text in yellow make for some route differences that to me are uniquely interesting, including the trips to the bike shop and the Gastly Thrash strategy. Instant Text requires delaying flyer from Pidgey on the way to Vermillion (the optimal Yellow strategy and the strat used in Blue JPN Glitchless) to Doduo on the way to the Fly house. The different starters between Pikachu and Squirtle and different Brock opponent levels lead to unique strategies for getting exp before Brock. The different location of Male Nidoran and different starting levels also lead to different strategies to get to Misty with Nidoking. Blue also does not have color lag, so move use order and critical hit timing have differences. The mid to late game ends up looking quite different as a lot of the gym leaders have different AI and different Pokemon, usually at lower levels than in Yellow. The lower levels enable a lot of strategies with using Bubblebeam and Thrash in the lategame where Yellow needs to refill PP more often and use Horn Drill.
Thanks for watching and reading the explanation!

ThunderAxe31: Judging.
ThunderAxe31: Regarding the technical quality of this TAS, I found no issues. The run itself is very optimized and well-crafted overall, and the goal chosen is clear and sensible. Usage of Instant Text and Poké Doll on Marowak's ghost can't be objectively considered as glitch exploits, as it's simply how the game works, regardless of which was the developers' original intent.
Regarding the entertaining part, I found no issues either, as I consider this movie more or less as much entertaining as the Pokémon Yellow movie that was published last year. It's undoubtedly within our Moons tier entertaining requirements.
The major problem I've encountered was about branching, as it's preferred to avoid the introduction of additional branches if there is already a similar published movie, or if the entertaining is not considered particularly high (more details in this post). For a long time, Pokémon Gen I glitchless TASes have not been considered much entertaining, and it was initially requested to the authors to avoid exploiting Red Bar, as some users found its continuous sound to be annoying. However, last year we've seen a sudden change of trend, when the first Pokémon Yellow glitchless movie was submitted. I consider it perfectly understandable that the opinions of a mass may change over time, especially if it's after a whopping 10 years timespan. I personally also consider the unprecedented optimization to be a factor, as the care for details and showcasing of technical quality can affect the interest of people.
While I don't consider Pokémon Blue/Red to be much different from Pokémon Yellow as games in themselves, I have to acknowledge that their differences are intrinsic, and it results much evident when comparing glitchless movies made with the respective games. So I've come to the conclusion that it's worth to have separate branches for this goal. Still, it's necessary to have a solid approval from the community, as we want to create additional branches only when the community does appreciate them enough, especially if we already have something similar. While the audience reception for this submission wasn't particularly vast or diversified, I have to note that on the other hand there was literally no one objecting against the idea of having a new branch. I was also unable to find any reason that could make me think that the community in general could be against it. It's true that in the past it could have been different, yet I found nothing suggesting that these conditions present 10 years ago could still be relevant today, while I also believe that a judgment shouldn't base on hypothesis.
With all that said, accepting this movie as a new Moons branch.
Note for the admins/seniors (as they are the only ones with privilege to edit obsoletion chains): as we already have some old obsoleted Blue/Red glitchless movies in an existing branch, these should be moved under the obsoletion chain of this submitted movie, after that it's published, since their movie goal matches. This includes movies 548, 504, 428. (edit: see my note below)
Spikestuff: Publishing.
Mothrayas: Updated movie time per request to correctly correspond to cycle count (previously listed time was 1:30:03.69).
ThunderAxe31: Thanks to a report from a forum user, I've noticed a mistake I've made about my judgment note: the submitted movie should obsolete movie 428, while movies 548 and 504 should be put in the obsoletion chain under 950. I apologize for the inconvenience.

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #6377: TiKevin83's GB Pokémon: Blue Version in 1:29:53.19
CoolHandMike
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Great run! Hilarious to see how powerful NidoKing is in this setting. I think my favorite part was the three rock pokemon all using self destruct and missing. That made me lol. Also found the bot use to be interesting as well.
discord: CoolHandMike#0352
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As I said in the userfile comments, we'll just set the accurate movie time in the database for this submission (and publication if it happens). It will have to be verified of course.
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!
TiKevin83
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I can provide my lua script if needed for independent verification - it outputs emu.totalexecutedcycles() for each movie.getinput(), we usually use this to transform GBI timestamps for console verification but I stripped out the GBI transform to get the raw cycle count at last input: 2A225FA40 (11,310,332,480 GBC m-cycles in decimal) Now this number needs some elaboration. The game boy has roughly 4mhz T-cycles, but is effectively memory bound to operate every 4 cycles (1 M-cycle, roughly 1mhz). The GBC has a double speed mode, so to capture every possible GBC m-cycle Gambatte operates at 2mhz internally. We'll want to compare instead using the canonical ~4mhz GB T-cycle count, so we double to 22,620,664,960 GB t-cycles. Divided by the GB t-cycle clock rate of the Game Boy observed by Gekkio of 4.194304Mhz (t-cycles/second) http://gbdev.gg8.se/wiki/articles/Game_Boy_Technical_Data We get a final time of 5,393.187 seconds (1:29:53.187), which corresponds quite nicely to the time observed during console verification.
Alyosha
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It's cool to see how robust console verification has become for pokemon games now. Do you guys plan to push this in any new directions with other games or other pokemon gens TiKevin83?
TiKevin83
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Hey Alyosha, I have some tests to run this weekend to see whether Crystal's RTC is even deterministic enough for a Crystal Glitchless TAS to be feasible. Regardless of that outcome, we will probably look at that for TASing, possibly to obsolete the existing Gold TAS as I have been told by many sources that it is severely outdated and the Gen 2 TASes would see more repeat content if both optimized thoroughly.
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Now where did I place it. Ah there it is. Shotgun to the Pubs. Great movie TiKevin. Just unfortunate that it's not sub 1:30 yet. :^)
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+fsvgm777 never censoring anything.
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Should activating glitched instant text boxes be valid in a Glitchless run? I know the RTA mods decided this was cool with them but I'd like to see what TASVideos thinks.
ThunderAxe31
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Fishaman P wrote:
Should activating glitched instant text boxes be valid in a Glitchless run? I know the RTA mods decided this was cool with them but I'd like to see what TASVideos thinks.
I'm not "TASVideos", I'm not even a Senior, but I think that the instant text should be allowed for this branch, as it's not exactly a glitch: it's just how the game works. We may debate that it's an unintended game mechanic, but the game is still using it, and it doesn't require any kind of precise timing or complex action to achieve, as you simply need to talk to the bike shopkeeper in order to trigger this behaviour. It's kind of similar to the Poké Doll usage to Marowak's ghost or the 1/256 Gen I misses. So in my opinion it would be much more arbitrary to forbid these. Also, these game mechanics add more diversity and challenge to the route planning, so I think that it would be a loss to exclude these, on both the entertaining and the technical side.
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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ThunderAxe31, when judging this movie, please verify the cyclecount and suggested movie time that originates from it. Also there's another movie that needs to be verified on the same subject, I think it'd be handy to do check both at once.
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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I've got an uncommentated encode of this available now in 4k60! The other console Pokemon TASes are in the works as well. https://youtu.be/xHE41xxppKo
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Just a heads up, the Yellow Glitchless TAS that is console verifiable (submission 6023) is 1:36:34.31 by the more accurate timing method.
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Great Gen 1 TAS once again, TiKevin, I loved it! Suggested screenshot: The moment when the Graveler in rock tunnel uses Selfdestruct
http://nerdybynerds.ch/ Current project: Gex 3 any% Paused: Gex 64 any% There are no N64 emulators. Just SM64 emulators with hacky support for all the other games.
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To lend some credibility to the whole timing discussion, I took TiKevin83's Yellow glitchless run and converted it to using equal frame lengths. The result is exactly as long as TiKevin83 claims, and plays back perfectly on BizHawk 2.3. Just to be super clear, this is not an improvement to TiKevin83's run, this is TiKevin83's run, the CPU executes exactly the same operations in the same order, it's just BizHawk that changes when a frame starts and ends, ending up with a lower count. I'd love to also present such a version for this submission, but it's literally impossible due to BizHawk's limitations of only allowing one input per frame. My magic conversion tool tells me that on frame 32344 (EFL timing) this submission would require multiple inputs (a neutral and an A input), which is not representable in BizHawk's input format. A real console has no problems with this of course. I guess you could try to convert it to lsnes which doesn't have this restriction, but it's probably not worth the effort.
TiKevin83
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Much appreciated Wint! I'd love to do more with botting for this run if you ever want to look at it together. There are a few insane RNG sequences missing due to hand-TASing the battles (such as 6 gen 1 miss rock tunnel hiker with Leer fails, more gen 1 misses at Misty especially if using IT, etc). Also there's an obvious 3 seconds available with 2 gen 1 misses on Koga's Weezing to avoid 2 turns on the earlier Koffing.
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MrWint wrote:
I'd love to also present such a version for this submission, but it's literally impossible due to BizHawk's limitations of only allowing one input per frame. My magic conversion tool tells me that on frame 32344 (EFL timing) this submission would require multiple inputs (a neutral and an A input), which is not representable in BizHawk's input format. A real console has no problems with this of course. I guess you could try to convert it to lsnes which doesn't have this restriction, but it's probably not worth the effort.
Eventually I'll make a SubGBHawk variant like I did for NES which will accept sub frame inputs. It just needs a little more thought given all the debouncing stuff and possibility to have button press interrupts.
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I know that there are many people that wish for this submission to be accepted as a new branch, instead of obsoleting the current Yellow publication. The author gave good arguments at the bottom of his submission text, however I want to see more people telling their thoughts and feelings about these two TASes and, more importantly, giving opinions that are more about the visual differences between the two movies, and less about the technical differences that are too much hard to notice for people that are not into high level speedrunning.
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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I think Pokémon Red/Blue and Yellow are clearly different games. Even if the approach to beat it as fast as possible in these constraints is similar for both (with both runs primarily using Nidoking), it still presents a slightly different storyline with different challenges and opponents. On that basis, I think these runs should not obsolete each other.
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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My question was specifically about movie contents. However, I have to acknowledge that difference about the games themselves should also be discussed, so here you go. I'll premise that last year I've gone through a period during which I myself also used to be in favor of having separate branches between Blue/Red and Yellow TASes, as I expressed in these posts. However, I was aware that my opinion was partially biased, which is the reason why I decided to not judge TiKevin's first Yellow "game end glitch" submission (AKA NSC). And in light of that audience reception and Memory's overview, I couldn't disagree with the decision of obsoleting the previous Blue "warp glitch" publication. Now, getting back to this submission. You say that Blue/Red and Yellow presents a slightly different storyline with different challenges and opponents, but I'm not sure how much you mean with the term "slightly". For me there needs to be heavy and obvious differences scattered through most of the run, in order to warrant a separate branch, like it can be seen between Ruby/Sapphire and Emerald. So let's take a look at Pokémon Yellow and see what did it introduce compared to its predecessors, along with my remarks:
  • Instead of choosing a starter, you get a Pikachu, while your rival gets an Eevee. Seeing this game difference displayed on the cover of the game, some people could feel that it's major, but if we look at a typical full run, it's actually not, may it be a speedrun or a casual play. The player is not forced to use Pikachu for progressing through the fights. Actually, the game is pretty much forcing you to pick a different Pokémon soon, otherwise the Brock fight is almost impossible. And on the other hand, you're soon going to get all the traditional starters you want, so it really doesn't affect the game challenge much in the end.
  • Some mandatory battles are different, including: rival fights, 6 gym leaders, and some Team Rocket. Even if some Pokémon used by these trainers are different, the Parties end up being overall similar to the ones featured in Blue/Red, so from the perspective of casual gaming, the challenge and the gaming experience is almost the same. The only exception are the last 4 gym leaders, that feature clearly higher levels. Still, the Elite Four parties are the very same. The final fight with the rival features different Pokémon, but these are still covering all the major types, and the overall levels are still there.
  • Minor differences in game behaviors. As I said, we can't consider few minor game mechanics as worthy of a separate branch. In fact, we don't allow separate branches for each revision or localization of each game. We still have to consider each on a case-by-case basis.
For the sake of argument, let's have a look to an example for which I instead consider separate branches to be good: Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire and Emerald. I took my time watching the current glitchless TASes of Ruby and Emerald respectively, and I easily noticed many game differences through the whole of each movie:
  • In Emerald there are some different and some additional mandatory events and battles, most notably around the awakening of Groudon and Kyogre, which is the main reason why the relative TAS is about 40% longer.
  • Many trainers and gym leaders used different Pokémon through the whole run.
  • There are many differences in routing, more than the route differences between Blue/Red and Yellow.
  • Emerald re-implemented a phone functionality that allows to have rematches with many trainers, including all gym leaders. This also introduced some new mandatory dialogues.
  • The game interface and features of Emerald are updated with the looks and functionalities of Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen, which makes it feel a bit more modern.
Now, getting back to Yellow, let's take a look at how many things are the same as Blue/Red:
  • Almost all fights with common trainers are unchanged.
  • All events are unchanged. (except getting your starter/s)
  • Doesn't introduce any difference in maps. (except for Cerulean Cave, which was also different for Japan Green/Red; in any case, it's not visited in glitchless run)
  • Doesn't introduce any new or different game feature. (except talking to Pikachu and the Pikachu Surf minigame)
Also note that it doesn't help that Nidoking was used for both movies. But more than that, it doesn't help that the current Yellow labelless publication has an average rating of just 6.6, while there are 2 other active branches with higher ratings for Yellow alone; 4 branches if we also count Blue and Red, for a grand total of 5. Accepting this submission as a separate branch would mean to end up with 6 separate branches for Gen I in total, which would be way too much in my opinion, even if the ratings were better. And I'm not even counting the Blue & Red coop diploma. Lastly, as a side node, I want to add that Yellow is not that much original as a game. Some people may think that it's inspired to the Pokémon anime, but if you look at that anime closer, you will see that Yellow is just faintly hinting to it. You get a Pikachu as a starter and you can walk and talk to it, and that's it. The rest isn't even that accurate to the anime. Oak doesn't catch Pikachu in front of Ash. Gary doesn't steal Eevee before Ash could grab it. And the traditional starters Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle, are just given away to you without showing much plot behind it at all. Then you fight Jessy and James just 4 times through the whole game (3 if you use Poké Doll on Marowak's ghost), while instead in the anime they appear every single day, often fighting with unlikely giant robots, making it a ripoff of Yatterman. There is really nothing else that makes Yellow's plot unique. Just for making an example: the anime featured more than 60 original characters just for the Kanto saga, and guess how many of these were included in Yellow? Zero.
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"
TiKevin83
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I'll start by addressing your point about more obvious visual differences: The initial rival fight in Yellow - the choice to lose causes Vaporeon in later battles, which should be visually distinctive both compared to winning in Blue and the resulting rival pokes The Pidgeotto and Pikachu battles in the forest. This one is interesting because while they accomplish similar technical goals (experience, red bar, 1% forest encounter) they look completely different to a casual viewer. The Brock fight is completely different. Different Pokemon use different moves against a geodude and onix. Mt Moon - The Jessie and James battle replaces a trainer Cerulean - Instant Text Rock Tunnel - less PP for Bubblebeam leads to the hiker gen 1 miss selfdestruct strat in Blue Lavender Tower - Gastly Thrash for red bar in Blue is a massive visual change from Yellow, which is done in part because of the 3 trainers fought on top of the tower. Koga - first Juggler 2 is completely different because of the different Lavender Tower strategies, then the optimal Koga fights look completely different, with Yellow using the standard Horn Drills and Blue needing to stall somewhere to save a Horn Drill. Blaine, Erika, and Sabrina are all quite different, but Sabrina most visually so because of the Thrash which helps setup an insane red bar play which is not possible in Yellow due to the different gym order. Yellow's Vaporeon play from the initial rival fight sets up the ability to use NineTales for red bar management between Silph and Viridian Rival. I will write separately to address what I think are the critical technical distinctions, but I'd like to also note that I'm working on improvements to Yellow which would cause even more visual distinctions, including the use of animations ON for the first rival fight because Tackle is faster with animations on. What would be the place for those improvements if Blue is deemed to "obsolete" Yellow? Would Yellow Glitchless become Vault status? Or would there be no place for such routing?
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TiKevin83 wrote:
What would be the place for those improvements if Blue is deemed to "obsolete" Yellow?
I don't think it's games getting obsolete once and for all, it's movies of those games competing if games are not too different. Whichever movie is considered better, it can obsolete another game's movie, and it can go back and forth depending on those movies' qualities.
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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Thanks for the insight, TiKevin. It's always intriguing for me to look at the aspects that feature Pokémon TASing. The problem is that I can't say for sure that it's the same for the community as a whole, hence the reason why I'm asking for more feedback, opinions, and feelings from the people. As there seem to be many people that hold dear this matter, I'm willing to try my best to not force my opinions into the judging process, so I'll try to make sure that everyone agrees or at least understands the reasons why I'm considering obsoletion. All I'm doing is just trying to adhere to the Movie Rules, Judge Guidelines, and the purpose of the site to the best of my abilities. So if there are any doubts or objections from anyone, I'm willing to hear and discuss about all of them. For the moment I've not much to add to the arguments I've already brought, but I'll make sure to discuss as many aspects as possible. I'll also add a better response to TiKevin's last post, later.
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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I appreciate your effort to adhere to the movie guidelines. I agree that different sections of the movie guidelines could certainly lead to different interpretations of how to handle Gen 1 Pokemon branches. My reading of the movie rules would lead to interpreting Red/Blue and Yellow as different games: In "Use the correct version" "If there are significant in-game differences between different versions of a game, movies which take advantage of such differences can be published side by side" I would suggest that the differences I list should be considered significant, at the very least because of Instant Text and the nature of Red Bar, if not for the various other visual differences mentioned. Then following general notes in that subsection, each point leads in a different direction. Blue is the earlier release, Yellow Glitchless TAS has 15x as many views on my channel as Blue, and Yellow has graphical improvements like color. So some of the points that would go in favor of Yellow could lead to obsoleting the "faster" movie in Blue Glitchless. Between the varied options there and the differences I was able to list, I think it becomes reasonable to treat R/B and Y as different games as opposed to versions of the same game.
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TD;DR: If anyone there is not interested about the details, please at least read the bottom of this post.
All right, regarding your other post... You pretty much listed all the major movie differences that can be noticed the most. These are indeed objective points. My issue is that, on the other hand, there are too many similarities; however this is instead debatable, and that's why I insist that there is need for more response from the audience. Actually, if I start considering to accept as a new branch, it becomes even harder for me to come up with a verdict without first having a clearer opinion from the community. Let's start with exaplaining why I'm trying so hard to test against a new branch. The main purpose of the site is to showcase what tool-assisted play can do. For this reason, there is interest in giving priority to quality, entertainment, and diversity. There is also space for record-keeping and competition, but these are less prominent; in fact, there are limitations in Vault for the game choice and the goal choice; competition is encouraged if it's constructive and friendly, but we also encourage collaboration and sharing game knowledge. The main purpose of the site is why we have rules and guidelines for regulating the amount of branches:
Movie Rules wrote:
Arbitrary goal choices need to offer new TAS material to be accepted. Choices which have no goal other than to create a new game branch are rejected.
Movie Guidelines wrote:
Please note that we do not accept an indefinite number of variants for any given game. Any more than 3 for a game is very uncommon. Most games have only one movie, simply going as fast as possible with any means. A handful of games also have a movie which shows more of the game, such as no warps, or 100% items, or without a glitch that takes you straight to the end.
Judge Guidelines wrote:
Keep the number of different branches per game minimal. A run for a proposed new branch for a game should offer compelling differences relative to previously published runs of that game.
We could argue that the issue we're discussing here it's not about difference between branches, but difference between games. However, there is no rigid rule saying that if we deem two games to be different, then they should deserve separate branches for all goals, otherwise that would mean that Pokémon Blue/Red and Yellow should have each one their independent branch for the "save glitch" goal, which would be ridiculous, as the movie contents are basically the same. So the most meaningful thing to do is to consider separate branching not just on the overall game differences in general, but in relation of the game differences that end up being showcased for that specific movie goal. In fact, game differences between different versions of a game don't necessarily result in having all possible branches available for each of these versions. Most of the time it's just one extra branch that showcases a glitch unique of a specific game revision or regional localization. This does actually lead me more towards the idea of accepting for a new branch, as the glitchless constraint allows for showcasing the most differences available between Blue/Red and Yellow. Which also means that the decision of obsoleting Blue "warp glitch" with Yellow "game end glitch" can't be considered as a relevant precedent for this discussion anymore. Quoting in full the rule that you mentioned in your last post:
Movie Rules wrote:
If there are significant in-game differences between different versions of a game, movies which take advantage of such differences can be published side by side. This can include things like different weapons or routes available to the player, different levels being present, or different bosses fought. If a particular version introduces a mechanic which can alter how the game is played, such as where players re-spawn when they die, and this mechanic can significantly alter how the game is played, movies which utilize these changes can be published side by side.
And from the way I can see it, the examples mentioned there can be applied to this case. Different starters ("weapons"), different major fights ("bosses"), Instant Text and Red Bar ("mechanic which can alter how the game is played"). Still, this doesn't mean that I'm convinced. Even if the situation seems to reflect what is usually allowed for separate branching, I still consider this as a very nasty case of borderline situation. In particular, there are some aspects that, in my opinion, can't be overcomed:
  • Much of the contents in the two movies is still similar (more or less half of the movie, though it's debatable)
  • Average entertaining ratings for the current Yellow publication are just 6.6, which is relatively low
  • We currently have 6 active Gen I publications already (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), which is a lot.

Too long, didn't read. At this point making a decision is really impossible for me, unless I get more inputs and reception. I just need as many people as possible to answer to just these two questions:
  1. Did you find this submission entertaining? Why?
  2. Did you find this submission different than this Yellow publication? Why?
And Please, base your response just on what you feel from just watching the TAS.
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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1. I did find this movie entertaining. Do I really need to explain this for a Pokemon glitchless run? :P 2. I think this movie is different from the Yellow publication. The fact that R/B is on Gameboy while international Yellow releases are on Gameboy Color makes these two movies visually different. Then there are the gameplay differences explained earlier by others.