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Experienced Forum User, Player (7)
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I've seen the lightning strikes range from 3 to 6. Knowing those values for the sphinx helps show that if I don't get the horseshoe, the map is the second best.
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I'm working on analyzing your new route, but it takes longer than I thought it would. I'm also writing a program that compares different inventory orders without me having to manually compare them. I'll probably have some results by the end of this week. On another note, do you need any RAM addresses? I don't know how much testing you are doing on an emulator and how much you are doing on console.
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I don't usually use emulators, and I'm not familiar with any of the TASing tools. I really appreciate your help in investigating this. theseawolf1 mentioned in the SDA thread that torches have a 60 action timer (lighting a torch will drain 1 action from the torch you just lit though), but only certain things you do use up an action. That should help you in testing.
Experienced Forum User, Skilled player (1754)
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ZenicReverie wrote:
I don't usually use emulators, and I'm not familiar with any of the TASing tools. I really appreciate your help in investigating this. theseawolf1 mentioned in the SDA thread that torches have a 60 action timer (lighting a torch will drain 1 action from the torch you just lit though), but only certain things you do use up an action. That should help you in testing.
Yeah, that's basically how torches work. I have RAM addresses for how many torch charges are left, and I keep an eye on them while testing things. To make matters more confusing, there are rooms where torch charges aren't drained, no matter what you do in the room - for example the book room with the special torch. I haven't mapped out exactly what rooms don't drain torch charges (there aren't many, but I seem to remember that there are a few more), maybe that could be useful.
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I recall looking for rooms with visible "light sources" as part of the decor. And attempting to empty out my torch charges in one such room. No luck running my torch down. So any place where there are visible lit torches or other light sources seen in the room probably wouldn't reduce your torch life with any actions. I recall the sphinx room being one such place. Might help to narrow down the search a bit. Although, I also recall a room where you can light a fireplace and afterward run down your torches. Despite an open fire in the fireplace (which you created), it can go through the usual "you can't see, trip, then die horribly" sequence.
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It is also worth noting that removing the light source(s) from such a room (for example, taking all the torches) will not remove this property. I was aware of this when I made the last TAS, but couldn't find any use for it: you only visit these rooms briefly, and you don't save that many charges in the long run. It might be possible to save time by doing things like equipping items in these rooms, but I doubt it can save time over equipping them when the cursor and inventory list is in a good position. I fear this is just a strange quirk in the game, but I hope someone proves me wrong! :)
Experienced Forum User, Skilled player (1754)
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Okay, now I have some results: I have TASed your new route now, and it turned out to be slightly slower than the published TAS, but it was really close. The route in the published TAS is roughly 0.6 seconds faster than your route. I have uploaded the input file here (I stopped at the ferry-mean, since the two runs will look almost identical after that part). I can upload the run to youtube if you would prefer that. Please take a look at the run and tell me if I understood your route correctly. EDIT: Hold on, I missed that at this point I have used the orb in your route but not in the published TAS. I better go through to the end to get a good comparison... EDIT2: Okay, it turns out that your route is slightly faster (by 17 frames = 0.28s), and this includes me getting awful luck on the lightnings. Taking into accound the bad luck I had on your route compared to the published TAS, I would say that your route is roughly 0.5 seconds faster than the published run. New input file: http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/1504859591/shadowgate_new_route.fm2
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hmmm, it's still really close for a real-time run. I think either would work. I'll plot out my other ideas I posted on SDA and find out if those could be faster, but I can't get to that until Monday or Tuesday. I don't know what tools you have, but if it'd be easy to test those out using the emulator then it might save some time. I usually do it by hand and compare the routes that way. Thank you so much for your help. I think I'll have to get into emulator practice for future runs.
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Randil wrote:
ZenicReverie wrote:
I don't usually use emulators, and I'm not familiar with any of the TASing tools. I really appreciate your help in investigating this. theseawolf1 mentioned in the SDA thread that torches have a 60 action timer (lighting a torch will drain 1 action from the torch you just lit though), but only certain things you do use up an action. That should help you in testing.
Yeah, that's basically how torches work. I have RAM addresses for how many torch charges are left, and I keep an eye on them while testing things. To make matters more confusing, there are rooms where torch charges aren't drained, no matter what you do in the room - for example the book room with the special torch. I haven't mapped out exactly what rooms don't drain torch charges (there aren't many, but I seem to remember that there are a few more), maybe that could be useful.
o.o? Is there a way to come up with a small list of rooms where 0 charges are? As well, do all actions take exactly 1 charge or are there some that take more? Definitely curious about these 2 things as I know they'd definitely help out. Mr. Kelly R. Flewin
Mr. Kelly R. Flewin Just another random gamer ---- <OmnipotentEntity> How do you people get bored in the span of 10 seconds? Worst ADD ever.
Experienced Forum User, Skilled player (1754)
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All actions always take 1 charge. You die when you charge hits 0. If both your torches are lit, both of them will drain a charge when you perform an action. As for rooms that drain no charge, I wrote a lua script that looped through all the rooms in the game, testing which rooms drained no charges. There are a total of 5 such rooms in the game, namely:
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Randil wrote:
All actions always take 1 charge. You die when you charge hits 0. If both your torches are lit, both of them will drain a charge when you perform an action. As for rooms that drain no charge, I wrote a lua script that looped through all the rooms in the game, testing which rooms drained no charges. There are a total of 5 such rooms in the game, namely:
What a surprise that those specific rooms are the ones with torches that are perma-lit. ^^ Mind you, I find it amusing that this also means the outside scenes, like the one with lightning, can also lead to your death.. because after all, Lunar Eclipses are that frequent. ^^; So what we know is... 0 Charges = Game Over 1 Action = 1 Charge 1 Charge Left = Use that action to light another Torch! 1 Torch = 60 Charges 5 Rooms = Charge Free Zones - Do whatcha gotta do to make it happen 7 Charges Left = Warning Music begins playing Sphinx is Frame Specific with 6 different frames. The percentile of that frame coming forth are; Broom 15.45138889 Skull 13.88888889 Map 18.75 Mirror 15.79861111 Bellow 15.625 Horseshoe 20.48611111 So we know the Horseshoe is truly lucky.. superstitious programmers no doubt. Map is also equally good in a pinch. The Lightning outside is random as hell and can be the game killer with 6 bolts, but can be as light as 3. So.... in the end, the main speedrun killers are the Sphinx and the Lightning Bolts. Everything else should be item menu management, optimum torch aquisition and clockwork precision. Definitely more then we knew years ago. Considering how many improvements have been made from the first time this was ever TAS'd, really cool to still be learning stuff. Mr. Kelly R. Flewin
Mr. Kelly R. Flewin Just another random gamer ---- <OmnipotentEntity> How do you people get bored in the span of 10 seconds? Worst ADD ever.
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Randil, another improvement post at SDA, should be fairly significant gain for the TAS: ... Take Cloak Use Cloak Take Bottle 2 Take Torch = 2 (Inventory goes to page 1) Use Torch = 1 Use Blue Gem Change to Spells Learn Humana Learn Epor Use Epor Change to Page 1 Change to Page 2 Use Hammer ... becomes ... Take Cloak Take Torch = 2 (Inventory goes to page 1) Use Torch = 1 Use Blue Gem Change to Spells Learn Humana Learn Epor Use Epor Take Bottle 2 (Inventory goes to page 2) Use Cloak Use Hammer ... Still looking for more. It'd be great to improve the TAS a whole second :D
Experienced Forum User, Skilled player (1754)
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Nice find, this saved 118 frames (1.97 sec). :)
Experienced Forum User, Player (7)
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Excellent! That's way better than I had hoped. If you have time, can you make an equivalence chart for actions? As in a table comparing how many frames it takes to change the inventory page, take an item, drop an item, screen transitions and anything else you can think of. Included in inventory page changes, taking items from a container would be a good thing to know. It'll help to know these things since at this point, changing the route has a lot of these types of trade-offs in optimization.
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Okay, here's a start (I will probably add more later on, I gotta eat dinner now). Note that these are approximate, and can differ depending on how much text there is at the screen transition, etc.
Action                Frames
Picking up an item    37
Screen transition     110
Page change           28 + 1 per item in list
Throwing away an item 41 + 1 per item in list
mklip2001
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Wow, I'm quite impressed, guys! This is some really nice work with the route planning. I wish I could do more to help, but my only idea (seeing if the goblin kill with the sword could be skipped) didn't pan out.
Used to be a frequent submissions commenter. My new computer has had some issues running emulators, so I've been here more sporadically. Still haven't gotten around to actually TASing yet... I was going to improve Kid Dracula for GB. It seems I was beaten to it, though, with a recent awesome run by Hetfield90 and StarvinStruthers. (http://tasvideos.org/2928M.html.) Thanks to goofydylan8 for running Gargoyle's Quest 2 because I mentioned the game! (http://tasvideos.org/2001M.html) Thanks to feos and MESHUGGAH for taking up runs of Duck Tales 2 because of my old signature! Thanks also to Samsara for finishing a Treasure Master run. From the submission comments:
Shoutouts and thanks to mklip2001 for arguably being the nicest and most supportive person on the forums.
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Thanks to ZenicReverie I have managed to improve the published run by 302 frames. Here's the input file: http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/1443971622/shadowgate_randil_zenicreverie.fm2 Ideas and feedback are appreciated. Note that this is not necessarily the final version.
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Randil wrote:
Thanks to ZenicReverie I have managed to improve the published run by 302 frames. Here's the input file: http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/1443971622/shadowgate_randil_zenicreverie.fm2 Ideas and feedback are appreciated. Note that this is not necessarily the final version.
O.O?! Seriously?! Considering how optimized it looked the LAST time, this is insane! Mr. Kelly R. Flewin
Mr. Kelly R. Flewin Just another random gamer ---- <OmnipotentEntity> How do you people get bored in the span of 10 seconds? Worst ADD ever.
mklip2001
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Quite nice! I like that the Sphinx's answer is different this time. I also can't remember if the last run used a wrong answer with the Sphinx to backtrack... that was a nice touch.
Used to be a frequent submissions commenter. My new computer has had some issues running emulators, so I've been here more sporadically. Still haven't gotten around to actually TASing yet... I was going to improve Kid Dracula for GB. It seems I was beaten to it, though, with a recent awesome run by Hetfield90 and StarvinStruthers. (http://tasvideos.org/2928M.html.) Thanks to goofydylan8 for running Gargoyle's Quest 2 because I mentioned the game! (http://tasvideos.org/2001M.html) Thanks to feos and MESHUGGAH for taking up runs of Duck Tales 2 because of my old signature! Thanks also to Samsara for finishing a Treasure Master run. From the submission comments:
Shoutouts and thanks to mklip2001 for arguably being the nicest and most supportive person on the forums.
Experienced Forum User, Skilled player (1754)
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Thanks! Yeah, this new "sphinx-teleportation-route" is now benificial because we haven't picked up the scepter at this point. In the published TAS, this route change probably wouldn't save any time. And if any of you have an idea on how to solve the problem below, please share them (this is from my latest SDA post): "I realized something with this new route - because now we pick up the scepter before the staff, the item order will be bad once we reach the skeleton king - we will have to switch item page both to select the scepter, and then switch page again to get to the ring. The new route is still definitely worth it, but this makes it lose some frames. It seems to be tricky to get the scepter one position higher up in the inventory list - I had an idea about picking up a torch before the scepter, but we still have to use up this torch before reaching the skeleton king, so it won't help. Maybe you have an idea on how to solve this."
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New idea for a route: We skip bottle 2 and go up, grab scepter, then proceed normally to the library. In the library everything goes along except we don't grab the map (we're going to get the horseshoe). We enter the lab (use a torch), go to the fountain, take flute and ring, back out, take horseshoe, bottle 2, water. Take key 4, open the doors (using key 4 first), take care of sphinx area (use arrow first, take blade, star, rod) Use rod, get wand, take the coins. This is where we diverge a little. Go use the scepter and ring, back out to the hellhound and use the water and star. Try the sphinx magic teleport, but might not save much. Use bottle 2, wand, blade, get staff. This is the major selling point for this route, using Humana, Illumina, and Motari without going away from the spells page. After that, the route is pretty straight forward. Not sure if this will be faster at all, but I wanted to work out a route that used those spells in succession. In any case, with the current route, can we grab an extra torch, might save time on one of those page changes. I'm thinking one of the ones in the hall that leads to the wand and throne rooms. Using the extra torch later on shouldn't take up much time; the problem with grabbing a random item is that we fix the scepter/ring use, but mess with the horn/talisman use (found out when I was messing around with the idea of grabbing extra gold coins from the bag). I can't test it at the moment, but if we did grab extra gold coins, could we use them as well? That might be slower than grabbing an extra torch though. Edit: There's a benefit in grabbing an extra torch actually, in that you can avoid the page flipping when using the orb on the staff.
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What I'm worried about with this route are the number of screen transitions. As the table above tells, one screen transition takes roughly as much time as 3 page changes. I haven't done a thorough comparison, but it seems that this route has 4 more screen transitions than the current route: grabbing the scepter at the beginning will take 2 more screen transitions, and going to the stone hallway from the banquet hall, to deal with the skeleton king etc., will add 2 more screen transitions. This makes this route roughly 440 frames slower in terms of screen transitions, which is more than what would be saved by not having to switch pages when casting the spells. Maybe I'm missing something? I can test out the "extra torch" and "extra gold coin" ideas this week too.
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Yeah, I was more playing around with this route before discovering the sphinx teleport saved as much as it did, so it would have added only 2 screen transitions. Probably not worth it to TAS, but if you could compare it to the route without the sphinx teleportation, it might prove helpful for a real-time run. I'd appreciate it if you could check on this when you have time.
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Aah, allright. I'll try and find the time to check it out this week, though I'll be a bit busy in the upcoming days, so I can't promise anything. :)
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Does the Sphinx always teleport to the same place.. or is there a table consulted and it sends you to a certain place dependant on the frame, much like the riddle? Mr. Kelly R. Flewin
Mr. Kelly R. Flewin Just another random gamer ---- <OmnipotentEntity> How do you people get bored in the span of 10 seconds? Worst ADD ever.
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