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F-Zero All Leagues (Master Difficulty)

I am very proud to present the very first Full TAS of F-Zero on Master Difficulty. This has been a project that took slightly over 5 years to see finished. It has come with much pain and suffering. Quite literally, my blood, sweat, and tears have been tried tremendously.
This TASing en devour started with asking a question, back in January 2017..."Why hasn't this game been TASed?". Now I know why. After observing a number of attempts, from others, I've noticed dead silence after a few months. For me, it was too exhausting to reach of level of optimization that would satisfy me. My original efforts were hard enough on me that my eyesight and sleep were affected dramatically. After my Queen League submission, I found myself too exhausted to continue on, and walked away. It was at that point, i realized that this game MUST be BOTed...yet, I had no knowledge on where to start or how to accomplish it.
After a year of BOTing Tetris 2, my experience had increased enough that I was finally able to attempt a BOT for F-Zero. It was when Aran;Jaeger approached me about a community member stating "We need more F-Zero TASing", was I able to step back into this and finally understand how to put a theory to the test. The result... A BOT was created.
For the past 15 months...F-zero has dominated my attention. The results...complete destruction of all know times produced by my previous attempts, and that of two amazing TASers...Inichi, and Miki Higashi (IE IDK). Both of these TASers were incredibly hard to beat. I knew up front, that beating them would require the use of a BOT...which ended up making a very successful run.
Here is the BOT in action. This recording was done with display on, so that you can see what is occurring. The actual speed of BOTing reached over 300fps. Also, part of this video shows the TASStudio manager and the inputs that are changing. The Lua script console starts to show improvements near the end of this clip.

Two Encodes

When I came back, to complete what I started, I made a hard decision over RTA and IGT runs. Because I can't leave behind any frames, and the fact that F-zero League racers use 2nd place to skip cut-scene times, I continue my same strategy of coming in 2nd place to reduce the cut-scene time between tracks. So, instead of giving some viewers the same disappointment, I decided to surprise both types of viewers with two encodes. One that reflects the true run, from submitted inputs (RTA), and another that comprises of spliced, 1st place segments (which was put together in a frame perfect movie). Even thought the IGT version is not real, it is my hopes that it will satisfy the curiosity of seeing the best track times possible. Here is an encode that has been "Spliced" for IGT 1st place finishes. It is based off of the submitted inputs, when ran all the way through for 1st place. Because of this, the TAS cannot be realigned to have an IGT version without redoing the entire inputs again.

World Record By EdwardFourZero

Terminology

  • Golden Fox - The fastest accelerating vehicle on the circuit.
  • Blue Falcon - The second fastest accelerating vehicle on the circuit, with a little more top speed than the Golden Fox.
  • Wild Goose - The third fastest accelerating vehicle, with higher top speed than the blue Falcon.
  • Fire Stingray (Car of Choice for this TAS) - The slowest accelerating vehicle, with the highest top speed of the available cars for racing.
  • Brown Cars - Also known as CPU RNG obstacles. These cars can be of massive aggravation and costly of lap times. Usually, they cost anywhere from 1/4 of frame to 2 frames to avoid them. In one situation, 6 frames were lost... but recovered by reTASing earlier parts to avoid RNG for that terrible situation.
  • Super Jet - On the completion of each lap, the driver is reward a super jet, which when used...moves the car from its capped speed to 562 as the highest. It cycles from 562 to 478 for 4.25 seconds.
  • Brake Tapping - Refers to a technique, for when super jets are used, to gain greater speed by manually cycling the speed back up to 562 as fast as possible. This is done by braking at a certain speed to eliminate the lower part of the super jet speed cycle so that your car is running at speeds on the top end more. The result, is about 4 frames cut per lap.
  • Blast Tapping - Refers to when the accelerator is released to allow your car to make tighter turns. This coincides with a slippage value and prevents it from reaching the maximum value. Basically, it keeps your car stuck to the ground and prevents you from loosing traction and thus keeping your speed up.
  • Wall Tapping - This is a term that I came up with, that is used to help cycle the super jet speed correctly so that the timing is fixed to maximize the use for when traversing dirt of borders.
  • Practice Mode - The game offers a player the ability to race a single track. This usually is accompanied by the selection of an opponent. The choice of your opponent can determine greater speeds...in most cases, Golden Fox is used to get the highest speed boost and used most often.
  • Grand Prix Mode - The game is normally played with through one of three leagues...known as Knight, Queen, and King leagues. This TAS features the first league.

Tools Used

  • Lua Script:
The main BOT (responsible to automating the testing inputs and their affect on any distance gained) HUD, for determining position and progress Frame-by-Frame data builder for use with the HUD
  • RAM Watch (The need for super jet timing, pixel/sub-pixel placement, speed changes, and HP)
  • Bizhawk 2.6.1

Master Difficulty

This TAS requires the unlocking of Master, which means that all leagues must be beaten on Expert mode. I have uploaded an SRAM verification run to do so. https://tasvideos.org/UserFiles/Info/637836643457140766

Track/Lap Improvements

Knight League

Queen League

King League

Special Thanks

There were a number of people that were along for the ride and I appreciate their enthusiasm over the report. Thank you to the following for sharing my excitement:
  • DrD2k9
  • Aran;Jaeger
  • E-Dragon
  • Worsel
  • Sniq
  • Yazzo
  • EdwardFourZero
Also, a number of people were scrambling around to figure out how to get a good encode to load up on YouTube. Thanks to the follow for your experimenting and help.
  • DrD2k9
  • Sniq
  • Worsel

Suggested Screenshot

  • Frame 80171

Memory: well I guess I won't be the first to finish a full game f-zero tas after all but I think that's going to be ok. Claiming for judgment.
Memory: I'm very happy to finally see this TAS actually exist. Given the trials and tribulations the author told me about, I was convinced he would never want to look at F-Zero again, let alone bot it. Well done! Since this does use SRAM, it's going to Moons.
Note to whoever claims this for publishing, nymx told me he would like to have an ingame time focused encode created as well. Get in contact with him for the specifics on how to do that.

EZGames69: Processing...

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #7362: nymx's SNES F-Zero in 39:30.36
GamesFan2000
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Hello everyone, it's GamesFan2000, that unimportant lurker. We've waited a long time for this day to finally come. At long last, A FULL GAME RUN OF F-ZERO! I've always been irked that previous TAS runs within the F-Zero franchise have only focused on single grand prix runs instead of full game runs. Part of it might have to do with Weatherton's old Mario Kart 64 Special Cup TAS getting rejected in the days of yonder, combined with that decision seemingly NEVER being referenced when judging F-Zero submissions. Okay, okay, different franchises and communities, but still, similar ideas with different end results regarding final decisions. I'll just cut to the chase, yes vote.
nymx
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I just received the "hightlight" from the commentary stream last night with Worsel. https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1438037569
SOYZA: Are you playing a game? NYMX: I'm not playing a game, I'm TASing. SOYZA: Oh...so its not a game...Its for real? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anybody got a Quantum computer I can borrow for 20 minutes? Nevermind...eien's 64 core machine will do. :) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOTing will be the end of all games. --NYMX
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Nice work! Yes vote.
Challenger
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Wow! You created a BOT for this game? Excellent job! Finally seeing King League and Master difficult in action, as well as playing all three leagues in the same TAS. Now the long journey is over. Good idea providing an IGT version of this game too, and I watched both encodes of this game ;) Yes vote.
My homepage --Currently not much motived for TASing as before...-- But I'm still working.
nymx
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Challenger wrote:
Good idea providing an IGT version of this game too, and I watched both encodes of this game ;)
Cool. I wonder if a publisher would want to have these 1st place segments to produce a better encode, than I did. If so...I do have them stored away, in case this site finds it useful to publish alongside the main TAS.
SOYZA: Are you playing a game? NYMX: I'm not playing a game, I'm TASing. SOYZA: Oh...so its not a game...Its for real? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anybody got a Quantum computer I can borrow for 20 minutes? Nevermind...eien's 64 core machine will do. :) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOTing will be the end of all games. --NYMX
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Here's the IGT 1st place encode. I didn't see it in the submission text, but I found it on nymx's YouTube channel.
nymx
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CoolKirby wrote:
Here's the IGT 1st place encode. I didn't see it in the submission text, but I found it on nymx's YouTube channel.
WHAT??? This is the third time that this has reverted! I just went back and put in the right video again in my submission text. Thanks for letting me know CoolKirby.
SOYZA: Are you playing a game? NYMX: I'm not playing a game, I'm TASing. SOYZA: Oh...so its not a game...Its for real? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anybody got a Quantum computer I can borrow for 20 minutes? Nevermind...eien's 64 core machine will do. :) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOTing will be the end of all games. --NYMX
Memory
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nymx wrote:
CoolKirby wrote:
Here's the IGT 1st place encode. I didn't see it in the submission text, but I found it on nymx's YouTube channel.
WHAT??? This is the third time that this has reverted! I just went back and put in the right video again in my submission text. Thanks for letting me know CoolKirby.
I think one of those times was my bad when I claimed it. I started to edit it in the morning but didn't finish until after work.
[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
nymx
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Memory wrote:
I think one of those times was my bad when I claimed it. I started to edit it in the morning but didn't finish until after work.
Ah! Np. At least I don't have to wonder anymore. :)
SOYZA: Are you playing a game? NYMX: I'm not playing a game, I'm TASing. SOYZA: Oh...so its not a game...Its for real? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anybody got a Quantum computer I can borrow for 20 minutes? Nevermind...eien's 64 core machine will do. :) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOTing will be the end of all games. --NYMX
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It's always nice to see an F-zero related TAS, and certainly a yes vote for me
I'm the best in the Universe! Remember that!
nymx
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Ooops...My bad. I forgot to post the video to YouTube of the BOT running, for those of you who wonder how it was done.
SOYZA: Are you playing a game? NYMX: I'm not playing a game, I'm TASing. SOYZA: Oh...so its not a game...Its for real? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anybody got a Quantum computer I can borrow for 20 minutes? Nevermind...eien's 64 core machine will do. :) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOTing will be the end of all games. --NYMX
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Very cool. I had been waiting for a full TAS of F-Zero for a long time, and this certainly didn't disappoint. I hadn't actually seen a full completion of the game before this. Very interesting to see that there's shortcuts in the game. Yes vote for sure.
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. ---- [4637] SNES F-Zero by nymx in 39:30.36