(Link to video)
Submission Text Full Submission Page

Emulator:

Bizhawk 2.8.0 + TAStudio, using mGBA v0.9.1.

Emulator Setting:

  • Skip BIOS: FALSE
  • RTC Use Real Time: TRUE
  • RTC Initial Time: 1/1/2010 12:00:00 AM
  • Save Type: AUTO-DETECT
  • RTC: AUTO-DETECT
  • All other settings: DEFAULT

ROM CRC32:

117FDCDE

BIOS:

  • GBA

BIOS SHA1:

  • 300C20DF

BIOS Region:

  • Worldwide

BIOS Revision:

  • N/A

Brief Game Introduction:

The game revolves around Kunio and Ryan (the 2 main protagonists) who, after knowing about Ryan's girlfriend being kidnapped, goes to River City High School to rescue her. Along the way, Kunio and Ryan encounters many gangs in their turfs, and fights them to seek out the bosses behind the nefarious plot.

Aims for:

  • No Damages
  • RNG Manipulation
  • Speed Trade-offs for Secret Events
  • Abuses glitches

No Damages:

Kunio-kun (protagonist) does not take any damages, especially in this Crazy difficulty run. One single hit will take off nearly 1/3 of HP (stamina + willpower) if not careful, and can waste extra unnecessary frames.

RNG Manipulation:

There is a small portion of the run where I had to use Lotto Tix (in-game lottery tickets) to obtain consecutive prizes in order to have enough money to buy stats-boosting items. There is also a handful of runs where I got the worst luck of the draws when it comes to shop items refreshes.

Speed Trade-offs:

The obvious but subtle detail in this run. For every single frame, the game calculates what random action the enemies will take, such as jumping, running, moving up/down/left/right, attacking, or running away. There are moments where I had to waste extra frames or hasten the attack, in order to avoid getting hit by the enemies due to frame updates.
There are also many moments where I don't completely finish off enemies when they are on the ground. The game allows you to hit them when they are on the ground, but this will cause you to lose "reputation". Reputation score is a hidden value where the game calculates your moral values, and this can determine whether you can recruit new allies into your team. I tend to avoid hitting enemies that are on the ground, to maintain reputation above a certain level, so that I can recruit the final ally before the final boss fight. This also prevents me from actually dealing more damages than I want to, so it's a trade-off in order to get the "secret event" in the game.

Abuses Glitches:

There are some areas in the game where it's possible to finish off the bosses pretty quickly by aligning their positions beyond the wall boundaries. This will cause them to overflow their X positions, making them out of bounds, and will fail to land on the ground, falling to their deaths. I had to use this in the boss fights, the Warehouse Battle, and the Secret Event Boss Fight.

Speedrun Information:

This movie is an improvement over the previous run: Submission #5872
  • Uses the hardest difficulty instead of the easiest difficulty, per feedback.
  • Has met 2 Secret Events, per GameFAQs.

Other Information:

  • I do not use any warps nor passwords in this run.
  • There are 2 places where the game has glitched physics I use in the game, to speed up the boss battles.
  • I do not use any deaths to save time. Dying will lower your reputation.
  • I did not save and restart the movie in the middle. The game doesn't have a save data system. Instead, the game saves player profiles, which is useless in this TAS run.
  • I had the help from Seirea from Speedrun.com for giving inspiration to do this TAS run.

Commentary:

The main goal of this run is to defeat bosses in a strict order: MOOSE -> ROCKO -> BLADE -> TURK -> MOJO -> THOR -> IVAN -> DRAGON TWIN -> SLICK
When starting the game, the game menu first shows up. This is where I need to quickly configure the difficulty, as well as the text speed to VERY FAST. This helps with unskippable cutscenes with a lot of dialogues.
In order to bring out the bosses, I have to defeat all of the gang members in that area. I make quick short work with the gang before MOOSE shows up. To defeat MOOSE, the easiest way is to throw him down the construction zone pit.
The next boss is ROCKO. While on the way to the second boss, there is an unskippable cutscene that you had to wait through. With the settings configured, it's easily breezed through. Entering the factory is where I begin fighting the gang in that area. Luckily, it's the Frat Boys, so their HP is pretty low and they are all easy to deal with. When ROCKO enters, I had to guide the enemy towards the left-most side of the factory, and then initiate the glitch to make ROCKO fall through the ground by re-aligning his position. If I don't do this, the battle will take even longer to finish.
The third boss is BLADE, one of the 4 Zombies. He is located in Sherman Park, which requires some backtracking. Along the way back, I had to stop and fight some gang members, for 2 reasons: 1. For reputation. Defeating all of the gang members in the area will increase your reputation. 2. For money. I need at least $40 to be able to buy certain items to boost up my stats before I fight BLADE. The shopping mall nearby is where I can get the best early-game item that will boost my stats.
When it comes to shop inventory, so I had to quickly enter the settings menu, toggle the inventory refresh frequency to "Every", which means, it will refresh the shop inventory every time I enter the shop. Rare items tend to appear after multiple inventory refreshes, so it's expected for me to enter/re-enter the shop multiple times.
The shop item I'm aiming for is Flounder sashimi, which costs $20 and is a rare shop item. It gives PUNCH+6 and KICK+6, both of which are important stats in this run.
After consuming 2 Flounder sashimi, I begin battling BLADE, after another unskippable cutscene where my first ally joins me. I need a total of 3 allies in order to unlock one of the 2 "secret events" in the game, so GARY is the first one to get. With GARY's help, I use the technique to whittle down BLADE, while making sure I avoid getting hit by one of the boss attacks. Due to my poor stats, a single punch/kick from the boss can deal 1/3 of my total STAMINA and WILLPOWER. The further into the game, the riskier this becomes until I raise my stats up more.
The technique involves dealing as many damages as I can before the final damage dealt causes the enemy to fly up into the air, wasting frames. The enemy can only sustain a certain amount of hits before flying into the air. This helps to whittle down the high WILLPOWER stats that these bosses all have. High WILLPOWER will make the bosses recover faster, and if they recover pretty quick while they are in the air, they will always do a "second mid-air jump", wasting even more frames. I had to carefully whittle both STAMINA and WILLPOWER down enough with as few "knocking them into the air" times as possible to gain the most out of my frames.
After BLADE is dealt with, the next boss is TURK. He is located beyond the secret shop in the game, called "Merlin's Secret". It's a shop where the most powerful and rare item is located, the Lotto Tix. Since it costs $10 per ticket, I had to stop in an area before "Merlin's Secret" to gain at least $10 to be able to buy a single Lotto Tix. I also needed an extra $6 for later, to be able to buy 1 extra stat-boosting item, so I ended up getting $17 while being able to clean out the gangs in the 2 areas before "Merlin's Secret" shop location area.
Upon entering the Armstrong Thruway, I quickly enter the shop, and had to refresh the inventory multiple times, in order for Lotto Tix to appear. Upon buying 1 Lotto Tix, I exit the shop, and started the RNG manipulation to get myself the highest prize possible within a short period of time. I gave myself a budget of 50 frames for this. On each frame, to test the RNG for the Lotto Tix, I need to hit START to bring up the game menu. Each time I press START, the RNG pauses, allowing me to test the Lotto Tix per frame. In the end, the highest prize I can get is 4th prize, which is $100.00. It's enough for me to buy 3 additional Lotto Tix so I can get at least $360.00.
Exiting the Armstrong Thruway and defeating the gang, I quickly begin another session of RNG manipulation for Lotto Tix to get $377, which is enough for me. Next comes TURK battle. I use the same technique as I did with BLADE to whittle down the STAMINA and WILLPOWER as fast as I can, without triggering TURK's special attack, Nitro Port.
After dealing with TURK, I head on over to the mall, buy all 6 stat-boosting item, Army Boots, to give me a total of PUNCH+60, KICK+60. It's enough for me to start the battle with the next boss, MOJO.
After defeating MOJO, I run straight to the Vacant Factory for THOR. In the area where THOR is, the most common gang encounter is the Plagues, which all have pretty high STAMINA and WILLPOWER. Luckily, it's pretty easy to throw all the enemies down below for frame gains. And with THOR arriving, I lured him towards the pit, ending the boss fight early on.
Next, I need to prepare recruiting some allies. I begin some backtracking around the area to trigger a few "secret meetings" before I head off to face the next boss, IVAN.
After all the backtracking, finally, I ran straight towards River City High, and aimed for IVAN. IVAN is the start of the boss battle where it takes a ton of time to whittle down STAMINA and WILLPOWER if I didn't boost my stats up high enough. Luckily, it takes just as long as BLADE, so it's fine. Because of the "secret meetings" I did, IVAN quickly became my 2nd ally. I also made sure my reputation is high enough to prepare recruiting the last ally.
Heading upstairs towards the roof of River City High, the next battle is the DRAGON TWIN, ANDY and RANDY. This is a frame-waster session, because I cannot attack 2 bosses at the same time without ruining my reputation and still be able to attack both of them effectively. The only solution is to use the whittle technique on both of them, 1 at a time, while my allies are busy attacking the other.
After defeating the DRAGON TWIN, I trigger another "secret meeting", which increases my reputation to the final level. I then head downstairs, defeat the gang, and recruit the final ally, TEX. After that, I head upstairs to the Roof.
With a total of 4 allies, I can then unlock the "secret event": SLICK + OTIS + DRAGON TWIN boss battle. In order to trigger this event, I have to wait until SLICK finishes his dialogue, which is why I still didn't hit him while he is talking.
On the Roof, I abuse the glitch to realign all 4 bosses off-bounds, in order to quickly end the run as fast as possible. The moment I stopped my input, is the moment my run ends, but for style, I decided to end the movie at the end of the credits BGM.

arkiandruski: Claiming for judging.

TASVideoAgent
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Chamale
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I take it the objective is to unlock and win the secret, four-person final boss fight. I like it, this makes it very different from the NES version of the game. Voting yes. I've published a couple TASes for River City Ransom on the NES. Did the Dragon Kick turn out to be faster than using weapons for fights? I remember how difficult it is to optimize fights with the erratic enemy movement involved. On the NES, the trash can and the metal pipe deal much more damage than fighting with bare hands. I suspect that using Seraph Cola with luck manipulation could give a big boost to your weapon stat of choice - I think it merits testing.
tom_mai78101
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Chamale wrote:
I take it the objective is to unlock and win the secret, four-person final boss fight. I like it, this makes it very different from the NES version of the game. Voting yes. I've published a couple TASes for River City Ransom on the NES. Did the Dragon Kick turn out to be faster than using weapons for fights? I remember how difficult it is to optimize fights with the erratic enemy movement involved. On the NES, the trash can and the metal pipe deal much more damage than fighting with bare hands. I suspect that using Seraph Cola with luck manipulation could give a big boost to your weapon stat of choice - I think it merits testing.
A lot of things are changed in the GBA enhanced version. So much so, that I would say "yes" to Dragon Kick being faster than using weapons, because the response times are much faster. You also kick 4 times in the GBA version instead of 3 times in the NES version.
teoheel
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It was an interesting take on the classic, but boss fights are WAY too long for comfort. And getting the right item in the shop is also taking time... Lots of time.
Chamale
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I'm working on an improvement to this run. I think it's possible to save time by manipulating enemy positions. I'm 966 frames ahead as of the beginning of the Rocko fight, but I don't understand how to do the glitch where you throw him off the map - could you please explain it in more detail? Also, I can't find the exact ROM you used for this run. The good dump I found has a CRC-32 of 8686436E.
tom_mai78101
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Chamale wrote:
I'm working on an improvement to this run. I think it's possible to save time by manipulating enemy positions. I'm 966 frames ahead as of the beginning of the Rocko fight, but I don't understand how to do the glitch where you throw him off the map - could you please explain it in more detail? Also, I can't find the exact ROM you used for this run. The good dump I found has a CRC-32 of 8686436E.
Here are the steps: 1. What you want to do is to make sure you can hold your enemy. This means, either the enemy is on top of you, you are holding them up by the waist. Don't hold them by the legs (it still works, but I think it's slower to pull it off.) 2. Make sure while your enemy is being held, your character needs to be moving towards the left side of the screen. I find moving towards the left side of the screen to be easier to pull the glitch off. 3. As you do, get in position, so that your character is touching the left border of your screen. 4. This next trick involves forcing your enemy out of the screen boundaries. What I mean by this, is: - If the enemy is on top of you, when you throw the enemy, notice that your character shifts the enemy's position towards your character's back. - If the enemy is being held by the waist, when you A to attack with the enemy as a weapon, or B to throw the enemy, notice that your character shifts the enemy's position towards your character's back. For A, it will move the enemy to the back by an offset first, then it will move the enemy to the front by another offset from your character's current position. - If the enemy is being held by the leg, when you are tossing the enemy, the game will auto-shift the enemy's position back into the game boundaries. Just wait until the enemy recovers and jumps out of your hands. 5. Let the enemy recover, by letting them jump out of your hands. They have to do this without you interfering. 6. As they jump, their positions are updated, and they will be out of bounds. You will notice, sometimes when the enemy is out of bounds, they would change directions rapidly. That's because they keep hitting the out of bounds boundary, so they go left/right/left/right rapidly. As for the ROM, I just obtained it after selecting a Google search page in the upper 10s. Some dumps of the ROM would have RAM corruptions if you do a RAM search and add those addresses into the RAM Watch window. I consider those as bad dumps, because it's more prone to getting desynced.
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Chamale wrote:
Also, I can't find the exact ROM you used for this run. The good dump I found has a CRC-32 of 8686436E.
Note that the filename has an underscore in it: River City Ransom EX (U) [f_5].gba. The CRC-32 of the "fixed" ROM is 117FDCDE, and I added the MD5 and SHA1 hashes here. It'll take a bit of searching but if you use that filename, you'll find it.
tom_mai78101 wrote:
As for the ROM, I just obtained it after selecting a Google search page in the upper 10s. Some dumps of the ROM would have RAM corruptions if you do a RAM search and add those addresses into the RAM Watch window. I consider those as bad dumps, because it's more prone to getting desynced.
We always prefer the good ROM when possible. That RAM corruption sounds like a BizHawk issue. If you can reproduce it, please file a bug report so it won't affect you or others in the future.
tom_mai78101
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CoolKirby wrote:
tom_mai78101 wrote:
As for the ROM, I just obtained it after selecting a Google search page in the upper 10s. Some dumps of the ROM would have RAM corruptions if you do a RAM search and add those addresses into the RAM Watch window. I consider those as bad dumps, because it's more prone to getting desynced.
We always prefer the good ROM when possible. That RAM corruption sounds like a BizHawk issue. If you can reproduce it, please file a bug report so it won't affect you or others in the future.
I believed I have used a good ROM, the [f_5] version. Are there any issues with the ROM I used for this TAS run, just in case? The RAM corruption issue may have been fixed already, as I was told on Discord my Bizhawk 2.8.0 is pretty outdated, compared to the more recent dev builds right now. EDIT: I just saw the link you posted, and just saw the [f_5] version is considered to be a bad one. I don't know what to say, other than I'll redo the run.
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tom_mai78101 wrote:
I don't know what to say, other than I'll redo the run.
Before you start from the beginning, remember that Chamale is also redoing your run and is already at Rocko. It might be a good idea to work together with him from that point on, to save both of you some work. You can also post updates on your progress here or in the game's thread (linking for those unaware there is a thread).
tom_mai78101
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CoolKirby wrote:
tom_mai78101 wrote:
I don't know what to say, other than I'll redo the run.
Before you start from the beginning, remember that Chamale is also redoing your run and is already at Rocko. It might be a good idea to work together with him from that point on, to save both of you some work. You can also post updates on your progress here or in the game's thread (linking for those unaware there is a thread).
I'll be sure to send a PM to Chamale, to see if Chamale is willing to collaborate on this. Thanks.
Chamale
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I've got it submitted, here it is. I look forward to collaborating and hopefully finding more improvements.