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The Godzilla2™ Story

"In the near future, the destruction of nature by mankind had resulted in grave consequences. Now nature has begun to take it's revenge!" is how the game's manual introduces Godzilla 2. This game, as TASVideos' own EZGames69 described it on Discord: "is the weirdest game of advanced wars I've ever seen". Released in North America in February 1992, this game, having very little to do with its predecessor, features a war between humans and Godzilla-universe monsters, and has gotten quite expensive lately given its rarity and late release.

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General information

  • Emulator used: BizHawk v2.7 with the NESHawk core
  • Complete the 12 scenarios
  • The single segment world record is 5h06m18s, and using the same timing method, this TAS is 33m20s.
Greetings! I'm juef, and this is my first TAS attempt at this game. There is no actual ending to Godzilla 2, as the game is split into 12 scenarios which can be completed in any order, and nothing happens even when they are all completed in a single sitting. There is no saving system and no password. Most of the scenarios' mechanics are fairly straightforward, but here's a quick rundown for those unfamiliar with the game.

Game basics

  1. Enemies are placed on the map at predetermined coordinates;
  2. The player's turn begins, during which you can queuing units to be launched from bases, move your units, attack monsters;
  3. The enemy's turn begins, during which monsters can move, monsters can attack the player's units, monsters can destroy bases, bridges, buildings, ... and additional monsters can appear at predetermined moments and coordinates;
Turns alternate until all the monsters are defeated, or the player loses. There are several ways to lose, but of course, none of them are relevant for this TAS!
Here's some additional basic but relevant information about the game:
  • Units can only move once per turn, but their movement range varies by type of unit and traversed terrain.
  • Units take one turn to be launched from a base, but special units from laboratories can take more time.
  • Queued units are always launched in the order they're initially listed in. If you want them in a different order, you have to queue them in more than one turn.
  • You cannot move to a tile that's adjacent to a monster and keep moving: you have to attack it, or stand by.
  • When the player's units attack the monsters, they strike first. The opposite is true as well, and this TAS takes advantage of this on a few occasions.
  • The battles consist of selecting a weapon and playing a slots game. The game's manual provides some information about the significance of the slots' symbols, but they are of no importance for this TAS as we always get a jackpot (i.e. three identical items). A jackpot makes your unit invincible, very powerful and 100% accurate.
  • Some monsters have an 'F' on their map icon. This indicates they are flying, and affects the player's weapons accuracy and damage dealt.
  • Enemies regain some hit points at the end of their turn. The player's unit also can, but they have to be on a base. This is irrelevant to this TAS.

Information relative to TASing this game

  • If one of the player's units occupies a tile where a monster should be appearing, it will simply appear on an adjacent square.
  • Since some monsters appear on the map after a few turns, we're often able to save a lot of time by killing all visible enemies before those appear.
  • The cursor's movement has no effect on the RNG, but we still move it in the fastest way possible. Sometimes, we move it towards the monsters before ending the player's turn: when the player moves it, there is an acceleration, unlike when the monsters control it. Furthermore, it appears that any horizontal or vertical movement of more than 4 tiles is faster when done by the player. This saves up to around 20 frames per turn.
  • The RNG in this game is mostly about two things: the monster's movement and actions on the map, and their choice of attack in battle. The latter rarely matters since we're invincible because of the slots, but the former is extremely important to manipulate. It appears to depend on some (maybe uninitialized?) RAM value, as well as the player's units positions on the map, and the units' hit points. Therefore, in this TAS, when the player's units' movement seems odd, it is done so in order to manipulate the monsters.
  • Enemy movement on the map is a bit faster than the player's, so when possible, it is better to let the monsters come to you rather than the opposite.
  • The weapons have different animation lengths, and it takes a few frames to select any other than the first. So when either weapon deals enough damage and/or manipulates the enemies in the desired way, the fastest one is chosen.

Scenarios rundown:

Please note that the cursor in the scenario selection screen lags a bit, so the selected scenario is usually the one just below where we last see the cursor.
ScenarioThis TASNon-TAS world recordNotes
Scenario 011m12s7m43sIt is possible playing this scenario in a different order would prevent Godzilla from destroying the power plant, but any kind of manipulation is definitely not a timesave here. Bringing a fighter to the fight as well as the attacker is slightly slower (36 frames or so).
Scenario 023m01s21m09sThe seemingly useless movement on the attacker is to manipulate Baragon not to disappear. This mechanic is a pain for human speedrun attempts, but thankfully not so much for a TAS.
Scenario 031m57s16m24s
Scenario 042m05s18m53sUnfortunately, all my attempts at manipulating Rodan to move down on its first turn were either unsuccessful, or ended up not saving time. Some manipulations can cost quite a bit of time, but thankfully, letting the monsters have their turn isn't that time consuming.
Scenario 053m23s13m37sThis is another scenario that might benefit from more favorable RNG: if it were possible to take out Baragon a turn sooner, Hedorah wouldn't even have time to appear, and the Super X2 would not even have to be launched. By the way, there is a unit which can make Baragon appear (and even have Mothra join us), but it is only worth the time in the 12th scenario.
Scenario 063m19s16m11sRodan was a pain to manipulate here. Getting to it with more than one unit would take too long, and it doesn't always attack back on its turn. Moving onto these particular places on the map and attacking it with bombs was the best way I found to have it attack us on its turn so we could kill it before wasting another turn (and eventually having another monster appear). It would have been nice to have it not fly, but when I manipulated it so, it seemed attacking it then made it fly away before I could kill it. Also, this way of attacking it provided favorable RNG for the next scenario and was very well worth it.
Scenario 0746s16m44sThanks to the 6th scenario manipulations, this is pretty quick :) If it wasn't, other monsters would appear and make this scenario much more of a pain.
Scenario 101m27s12m38sFighters can move 8 tiles per turn, but they deal very little damage. Battle scenes take a lot of time, so it was much more time efficient to let Mothra have all the fun this time around.
Scenario 093m53s17m42sIt is possible to kill Ghidora in a single battle, but it requires Ghidora to attack first and use its laser attack, which then we can use the Reflector on. Unfortunately, all my attempts at having this happen didn't work out and/or save time in this scenario. Also, while the Super X2's missile attack is stronger against Ghidora and has a faster animation, it would have it teleport away on its turn because of its lower LP, so we sacrifice a dozen of frames or so to be able to kill it on its next turn.
Scenario 114m10s20m42sI cannot overstate how strong the Super X2 is compared to most regular units. It is well worth it just launching them in this scenario. There is a super powerful unit we can build, but it takes approximately a billion frames so we just forget about it. Also, it would have been nice to have Rodan move towards us more, but I am pretty sure the AI has to have it destroy some buildings first.
Scenario 124m25s13m19sThis scenario was very interesting to TAS because unlike many others, there were many promising strategies to take all the monsters out. As examples, some other things I tried were killing everything with just a Super X2, or the Super X2 and an attacker, or the Super X2 and the Maser (which is a very strong unit that takes a few turns to launch). Ultimately, Mothra ended up being the best choice, given its incredible strength, good movement abilities and the fact that the egg was quick to discover with the radar. Also, moving the Super X2 one tile down was done to manipulate Ghidora into later attacking it with its laser, therefore making the one-battle kill possible.
Scenario 082m27s21m10sI saved this scenario last because I soooooooooooo wanted to have the UFO move towards the Super X2 and attack it one turn sooner. Having this happen would mean a big time save, but ultimately, I just couldn't make it happen.

Possible improvements

  • There are 12! = 479001600 different orders to do the 12 scenarios. It is possible a different order will provide more favorable RNG overall. I believe the biggest improvement this could potentially provide is in the 8th scenario, but I am not convinced it is possible. I would be glad to have anyone prove me wrong!
  • I am not aware of any kind of glitch in this game. Perhaps there are some!
  • The enemy AI and RNG would probably benefit from more extensive research, but I have done all my knowledge currently allows me to.

Thanks

  • YoshiRulz, CasualPokePlayer, Sappharad, Masterjun, Morilli, and feos for their help on Discord with some BizHawk bugs.
  • DracoREXXX and buffalax (current WR holders) for their input and speedruns.
  • TASVideos, its staff and volunteers!

arkiandruski: Claimed.
arkiandruski: Looks good. Accepting to Standard Class.
fsvgm777: Processing. Also removed the branch label.

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #7272: juef's NES Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters in 33:31.05
Dimon12321
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The Nerd was right. This game is so boring and repetitive, but I expected it to be somewhat interesting in a TAS. Meh vote. juef, no objections to you. Someone should have beaten this game sooner or later.
TASing is like making a film: only best takes are shown in the final movie.
juef
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Thank you for your comment! No offense taken; I knew this wouldn't be very entertaining except maybe for those who love the game, but I just wanted to see it done. :) Also, is it just me or is the text in the submission text's table way too big? If anyone knows how to fix it, please let me know!
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TAS of 2017First edition TAS of 2017PSX TAS of 2017
The single segment world record is 5h06m18s, and using the same timing method, this TAS is 33m20s.
Now that is quite ridiculous. Strange choice to turn Godzilla into a Famicom Wars-like. Can't say I entirely hate it though. It's obvious how much having control over the RNG breaks the game, so I'm voting yes.
Post subject: Movie published
TASVideoAgent
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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. ---- [4575] NES Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters by juef in 33:31.05
fsvgm777
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Does the TAS need the heavy luck manipulation tag, especially considering the huuuuuuuuuge time discrepancy between the unassisted record and the TAS (thanks in part to the battle system, involving a slot machine thing)?
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Based off my testing, monster movement is controlled by RNG, but slots aren't. The symbols cycle and you choose when to stop them. It's fairly consistent which symbol you end up with depending on when you start pressing the button. The symbols change every frame, though, so doing it in real time would be really inconsistent.
juef
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That is consistent with my findings. I brute forced the slots to make sure I have the quickest jackpot everytime, but since there are 8 different icons and they cycle every frame, it takes at most 2*8 = 16 frames to get a jackpot. IIRC, it ended up taking around 10 frames each time. I don't think there is a better human strategy than simply mashing A and hoping for the 1/64 chance of a jackpot.
fsvgm777
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I see. I suppose it doesn't need the heavy luck manipulation tag, then.
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