Plok is a platformer for the SNES in which the titular main character can throw arms and limbs. The game is known for its difficulty but also for its soundtrack composed by Tim Follin. Also Plok absolutely hates fleas. Like extremely. Like it's kinda disturbing how much he hates them.
- Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.5.2
- Takes damage to save time
- Uses death to save time
- Uses warps
- Heavy glitch abuse
Memory: I've been looking at doing this game for a while and here it finally is. I knew about the Plokontinue glitch and while aspects of the published run by partyboy1a were impressive, various segments looked kinda awkward to me, similar to Ninja Five-O. We ended up ironing out pretty much all of these segments.
fsvgm777: I joined on the project early on, and proved myself to be a valuable asset throughout.
Plok has 3 methods of jumping, the heights of all of which can be reduced by holding down:
- Regular Jump: uses b button
- Somersault: Has higher vertical speed than regular jump, uses A
- Legless hop: automatically performed when pressing left or right on the ground without legs.
It is worth noting that a legless hop without holding down is higher than a regular jump while holding down.
Sliding: builds up speed over time, how much speed you get per frame is related to the steepness of the slope. Speed is best maintained by either holding down and jumping or by doing a legless hop, the latter of which it isn’t necessary to hold down. Due to the fact that the latter is higher, it is sometimes better to intentionally lose legs. However, if you need to walk along the ground or need to perform a somersault shortly after, you need to keep legs. Somersaulting quickly kills your speed, and holding down will not impact that rate.
Slide speed is totally separate from walking, so it will add on top of the speed from holding left/right. However, unless you are in the air, this will quickly kill your slide speed.
Left+Right can allow you to trigger anger mode while moving left, something that is impossible otherwise.
The Plokontinue glitch allows you to skip a stage if you get a plokontinue midstage and then proceed to gameover. Setting up the deaths that the glitch requires is rather slow so only the slowest stages are skipped.
Cotton Island – Beach
Memory: Saved a few frames hitting the fruit entering the bonus level.
In the bonus level, some time was saved on some slightly better movement, notably hitting a higher part of the wall on the first segment.
Cotton Island – Crazy Cradles
Memory: Some time here was saved on better slide optimization and maintaining that speed. A little time was also saved on the level end.
Cotton Island – Blind Leap
Memory: 1 frame was saved triggering the moving platform and a couple more frames were saved on activating the bonus.
In the bonus level, 2 frames were saved. I achieved better speeds throughout but for the most part they didn’t really matter.
Akrillic - Plok’s House
fsvgm777: 10 frames were saved by shooting at the egg earlier, allowing it to hatch earlier after hitting it a couple more times.
Legacy Island – Mace Cove
Memory: Good chunk of time saved through better slide optimization and speed maintenance at the end of the level.
Legacy Island – Fool’s Gap
Memory: Small time save at the start by sliding on the first hill. Additional time was saved on reaching the buzzsaw.
At the very end, time was saved by pressing down to land on the hills sooner, which counter-intuitively help Plok avoid just passing through them.
Legacy Island – Zig Zag
Memory: The start of the level is very temperamental, changes to previous stages can throw things off easily.
An extra life was triggered here because with the shell warp avoiding an extra life altogether is impossible and you need to be able to lose it in sponge rocks.
Otherwise time was saved at the start and end of the stage.
Legacy Island – Sponge Rocks
Memory: Death grinding at the start to setup plokontinue glitch.
After the grinding finished, time was saved on movement.
A small amount of frames (at least 1) was saved on the shell warp by ending the last phase slightly earlier.
Legacy Island – Log Trail
Memory: Time was saved here through better slide speed maintenance at the start, but we had to be careful to avoid actually hitting the log while trailing behind it. Sliding at the end saved a good chunk of time as well.
Legacy Island – Crouch Hill
Memory: A decent amount of time saved thanks to the clip at the start found by Aran;Jaeger. Later on in the stage, time was saved by better slide optimization.
Legacy Island – Bobbins Bros
Memory: 15 or so frames were saved on this fight through slightly better handling of the brothers as well as hitting the ground sooner using duck jumping.
Akrillic – Plok Town
Memory: We didn’t quite follow the game-over strategy here RTA uses, instead abusing slide speeds to pop out the left side. A hornet was unleashed to keep the enemy in an optimal position rather than allowing it to move to the right.
A huge amount of time was saved here over the previous TAS due to the glitch allowing us to skip the stage.
Akrillic – The Penkinos
Memory: We kinda winged it with the strategy here, and ended up saving 30 something frames by having a Penkino at the far right much sooner, and well further right than in the published TAS.
Akrillic – Venge Thicket
Memory: Better slide optimization amongst other movement improvements on the first part of the stage.
3 frames were saved at the end of the shell warp.
Akrillic – Dreamy Cove
Memory: Time was saved at the start by performing a duck jump to fall down faster.
In the bonus level, time was saved throughout by getting more speed off slopes, keeping the speed better, and handling the water spraying segments better.
Akrillic – Womack Spider
Memory: Time was saved on the beginning hits and on the very last hits. Most of the middle hits don’t especially matter in determining the time of the fight.
Akrillic – Creepy Crag
Memory: Time was just saved everywhere here, from better movement to better egg juggling. We saved so much time we had to manually hatch the last flea eggs which the publication took so long to reach that they hatched by themselves. 21x-22x frames were saved here.
Akrillic – Gohome Cavern
Memory: Time was again saved just everywhere. At the start there was just way better slide optimization but also better health management as well. This allowed us to only have to make the fruit grow once to get enough health to beat the stage as opposed to twice like the published run. Additional time saves were again through better flea management, with some key hornet usages.
Akrillic – Crashing Rocks
Memory: Death grinding at the start here.
Once the death grinding was over, actually reaching the bonus level took the same amount of time as in the previous TAS, the one comparable screen in the whole run where we merely matched it rather than beat it.
In the bonus level, time was saved through gaining more speed off slopes and handling that speed better. I think the double wall segment was also handled slightly cleaner.
Flea Pit – High Flying
10 frames were saved before grabbing the jetpack thanks to hitting the moving platform trigger a few more times, allowing it to spin a bit faster.
5 more frames were saved in the jetpack segment, mainly thanks to dropping to the lower section (where we clip through) faster and optimizing the end part.
Flea Pit – Easy Riding
Memory: 1 frame was saved before the bike.
A lot more frames were saved during the bike segment through better handling of the walls and other miscellaneous improvements.
Flea Pit – In A Spin
fsvgm777: 2 frames were saved before getting the helicopter, and 3 more were saved to getting better initial X speed on getting the helicopter.
66 more frames were saved to clipping below the eggs without bonking into them beforehand.
Memory: The downwards shooting segment is rather tricky to optimize since you have to keep in mind current position, current speed, and when the last shot hits the block you need it to.
Some additional time save was at the end of the level.
Flea Pit – Real Rumblings
fsvgm777: 6 frames were saved before getting the tank.
This is the second stage where we game over after getting the PLOK token. Luckily, though, this one’s a lot more straightforward, since you can simply take damage from enemies that are along the way, then get the PLOK token at the very end of the corridor, and then go back to bite a bullet. Literally.
Flea Pit – Silent Running
Memory: I just jumped straight to the last platform at the very start allowing for a good time save right off the bat.
fsvgm777: At the start of the UFO segment, 12 frames were saved thanks to attaining max speed earlier after shooting off the eggs.
Memory: When I was considering doing this TAS and watching the previous run I was wondering whether or not it was possible to fit through the 1 tile gap between spikes in the downwards segment. After all, you can fit through a 1 block wide horizontal gap, why not vertical? Turns out, the answer is yes but it costs health. As such I did it on the part where you have to shoot two segments, since the invincibility frames last long enough.
Flea Pit – Flea Queen
Memory: Jumping over the box delays the transformation long enough to allow for less bounces while stuck in the narrow tunnel segment which saves a decent amount of time reaching the queen.
If you noticed our previous submission, we completely missed the post with the trick that allows you to hit the queen twice per fall. We still managed to save time on the fight but it was obviously important to revisit.
So the queen works on a set of frame rules where after the last flea is killed, she will drop at the end of the framerule. In order to pull off the trick, you need to hit her very early into a framerule otherwise she will rise to the top before you get a chance to hit her a second time. As such sometimes delaying killing a flea was necessary in order to reach the start of a new framerule. This saved 44 seconds over our previous fight and was deemed worth resubmitting for.
Memory: Thanks to fsvgm777 who helped me greatly while making this TAS, aran;jaegar for the clip in crouch hill, and the RTA community for its finds.
Also yes we're considering all levels but it might be a little bit before we start working on it.
fsvgm777: Thanks to partyboy1a for his published TAS as well as A3r1us and Zockerstu for their RTA runs, which we used for reference throught the making of the TAS.