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Game Objectives:

  • Aims for fastest completion, aka Any%
  • Abuses programming errors/developer oversights
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Uses death to save time

Syncing requirements:

  • Allow U+D/L+R option enabled in the Controller settings (That's all)

Info before anything else:

For this TAS and it's category, the US version is considered the best, the JP version works the same but regenerates your health after getting the token at the end of the level which makes the level skip glitch harder to perform in levels like Crisis Cavern and Perilous Pipes. For PAL, it has the faster movement of the three but a majority of the skips performed here don't work in that version so it's deemed the worst of the three. TASes for this game do exist but those go for a different category, there hasn't been a Any% TAS for this game until now. An important thing to note is that I used a TAS on YT by mozk fes as a reference of what the movement should be. Albeit it's unfinished and of a different category, it was very useful for this TAS since it was the most optimized TAS for this game, watch it for yourself here: https://youtu.be/2OEMuVBEZzY.

Speedrunning Tech & Skips:

  • Zig-Zagging - Pac-Man gains more speed by going in diagonals. For example, mashing up-left & up-right will make Pac-Man go forward faster. This is the main movement for the whole game.
  • TAS-only - For a d-pad input to be read, its got to be held for at least 2 frames minimum. In any TAS of this game, holding right while left is pressed for every two frames makes Pac-Man go extremely fast, but it only works for going right. (This is why having U+D & L+R enabled is needed) Another trick is that pressing the opposite direction of where Pac-Man's facing when he's on the ledge grab animation and pressing the jump button 2 frames after, he'll go in the direction you want him to which I found out way too late into the run.
  • Level Skip Glitch - Whenever the 6 Pac-Man letters are collected in a level, you'll be sent to that level's bonus level once you complete the main level (getting the token at the end). There's an oversight that happens if you exit the bonus level through the pause menu. The game becomes confused after exiting, and entering whatever level afterwards will cause the game to believe that you're in that level's bonus. If a death takes place there, the game will behave as if the death happened in the bonus level therefore skipping the level entirely. This is used a lot to the skip any levels that don't contain keys or friends in them. On the downside, this means that more time will be spent in certain levels to collect the letters to achieve this skip.
  • Wall Skip - While self-explanatory, I'll still explain it anyways. So there's a wall that prevents the player from accessing the rest of the worlds if the player hasn't beat the all levels in the Pirate, Ruins, and Space worlds which includes the bosses, thankfully there's a way to skip it by getting clipping out of bounds by holding down-right for a few seconds and butt-bouncing around that wall once you're out of bounds.
  • Gate Skip - There's a gate that prevents the player from getting to the Mansion world (the final world), except the requirement is only needing the levels in the Funhouse and Factory levels to be beaten in order for it to open unlike the wall. Although it's a bit of a run killer, it's necessary to clip inside the railing and try to stay out of bounds while staying on ground and to butt bounce around the gate.

Individual Levels:

Pirate World

  • Buccaneer Beach: So in the second set of B-Doings (The trampolines), there's a glitch where pressing the opposite direction that Pac-Man is when touching the wall that lets Pac-Man go high into the air and the main reason why I don't it here is because Pac-Man doesn't go as high as he would in the Japanese version demonstrated here: https://imgur.com/a/ILEIewf (slowed down so that it's easier to see what's going on) There's a butt-bounce on the log near the end because there was no way to land a few inches further ahead without getting locked in place for a few seconds which is impossible for this version anyways.
  • Corsair's Cove: The First level with letter collecting. Near the end before reaching the locked strawberry door with the cannon, there's two butt-bounces instead of one to avoid ledge-grabbing.
  • Crazy Cannonade: Although the movement could be a bit better here, it's mostly fine. The reason why the movement is the way it is, is because Pac-Man would either fall off the edge or would get stuck in place causing time loss.

Ruins World

  • Crisis Cavern: First skipped level in the run.
  • Manic Mines: In the beginning, damage is purposely taken to use the collision on the falling icicles to skip a small portion of the level. The second B-doing has a spider that is a pain to try to activate so that it doesn't get out in the way and not get stuck in place for a few seconds, this part could be better optimized. Later in the level, damage is again taken to get launched high to avoid a couple of jumps and backtracking to get the key.

Space World

  • Space Race: This was a level that I was happy with how it turned out! The lasers have a strange hitbox so you'll notice some odd movement and that's meant to avoid the lasers at all costs since I have no health here. There's only has 1 damage boost near the end to skip hitting the yellow switch which temporarily deactivates the lasers. I fall off the level after getting the token to show that in the very far back there's a chunk of the level from a earlier section. Also the game lags after the second wall is jumped around, there's no way around that.
  • Far Out: Not much to say other than that hitting the first blue switch takes up a lot of seconds where movement isn't read so there was nothing I could do to avoid that since it's needed for the key LOL.

Ghost Island - Wall Skip:

  • Because this is aiming for fast completion, the level order is different. Instead of heading into Clowning Around first. Perilous Pipes is entered instead to avoid dealing with that level and unlock the next level in the Factory world which is Under Pressure, it also doesn't have a key nor a friend so that gets skipped too. The skip itself is the only consistent way at the moment that doesn't involve opening the disc tray.

Funhouse World (Part 1)

  • Clowning Around: There's a TAS only Strat in the area with the melon that gets collected in which bouncing off the green bumper car enemy skips going up the stairs that isn't done here. Something to note for all of the Funhouse levels is that all of the rotating and spinning platforms are much faster in this version than the JP version so this leads to some interesting cycle differences between the US and JP versions.

Factory World

  • Down the Tubes: This is considered the most infamous level for speedruninng, mainly due to the fact that the Bell Door Skip is difficult to deal with because it isn't guaranteed to work right away causing massive time loss. In the room next to where Jr. Pac is, there's a door locked behind a fruit (the Bell). The skip here is a bit finicky as you have to position Pac-Man to be clipped inside a small chunk of the wall that's to the left of the door and go up-right in the far right corner to clip into it, death is taken here in order to avoid backtracking which has the water rise up to the cage and take advantage of the fact that for some reason, only in this specific screen transition can the player move and get to the cage early before the screen fully fades in.

Funhouse World (Part 2)

  • Barrel Blast: The last level with letter collecting. The only TAS-Strat not done here is the butt bounce strat in the beginning and at the area with the second letter A that isn't possible in this version because of different rotating cycles and also lack of health. Damage is taken to setup the death for Ghostly Garden. The downside of collecting the letters here is that some cycles are not ideal, such as the flames in the Helivator section. Similar to Far Out, the blue switch locks movement and I also couldn't do anything about it. The two fruits are collected early to avoid having to backtrack and get them later.
  • Spin Dizzy: There's some risky platforming in this level to avoid activating any spinning platforms which can mess up Pac-Man's momentum and as mentioned in Clowning Around, the US version has faster rotating and spinning platforms making the process more challenging.

Ghost Island - Gate Skip:

  • Even in a TAS, this skip is still painful to deal with. I wish there was a better way to skip the gate but alas, this is the only way to do it at the moment, without disc ejection that is.

Mansion World

  • Toc-Man's Lair: This is the only boss fought in this category because he's mandatory for the game to be considered beaten, using the level skip glitch here would cause the level to not be able to spawn again and wouldn't take you to the end screen. This boss fight utilizes all of Pac-Man's abilities here. Toc-Man heavily relies on RNG because Toc-Man's movement and attacks can take either few or too many steps, he can also shoot out no Pac-Dots in the first phase but that doesn't happen here. I also have to dodge the fireball attack in phase one because getting hit at any point will cause Toc-Man to laugh which is bad for only the first phase. Some butt bounces may look strange or even unnecessary, but it's just a way to keep Pac-Man in that butt bouncing state. The ghosts are present in the US version meaning that they can get in the way, like they almost did in the final hit. The cutscene before the percent screen is skippable but for a faster TAS timing, no inputs are placed after the square button is released before the final hit.

Conclusion:

Phew! That was a lot to type but I do hope that this was at least an interesting read and the watch as well! I'm overall very happy with how this movie turned out but I definitely think that there's room for a little bit of more optimization here and there but as a whole, I think this is a pretty good-optimized TAS for this game. Timing might be off so please correct it if possible (I went off first input to last input). I began TASing-work for this game in January and I have been working on it at any free time that I had, with this being finished on April 14th of this year. I don't think the time can be lowered that much unless there's a way to have the PS2's fast disc speed like the RTA runs do. I have some plans for TASing other lesser known Pac-Man games and non Pac-Man stuff too, but that's for the future. I also might consider doing a 100% TAS for this game but I don't think that'll be worth the struggle (Hint: Mazes) but don't expect an all levels TAS. Thank you for spending the time of your day to read all of this, I made this TAS as a way to show my passion for this (admittedly aged) childhood game of mine. Hope you get some enjoyment out of it!
Suggested Screenshot: Frame 60623

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #7443: SFan's PSX Pac-Man World in 23:43.67
SFan
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Hi! I wanted to make a quick post regarding this submission, I'm a few days late to making this post but I'm now currently working on a newer TAS that uses the analog stick which can save a lot more time and I also plan to use different routing, so I'll be canceling this submission.
TASVideosGrue
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om, nom, nom... juicy!