Samsara
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Link to video it's an alternate youtube Improved the end of Tong City by 152 frames. Could've potentially been 169, but I sacrificed 17 frames to make the Undead Princess fight more entertaining. I'll post another WIP file once I get far enough into Jodvalley.
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warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
Samsara
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http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/1482321253/SprintSaber.smv Finished Jodvalley just now. Currently 2454 frames ahead of the published run. And new filename so the link doesn't break.
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warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
NitroGenesis
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Looks awesome so far, please keep up the good work :)
YoungJ1997lol wrote:
Normally i would say Yes, but thennI thought "its not the same hack" so ill stick with meh.
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I always feel that this game has ridiculously fast walking speed. Keep those WIPs coming!
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The normal walking speed is more plausible; what's actually going on here is they implemented running but didn't bother to make a new set of animations for it. So instead you just powerwalk everywhere.
Pyrel - an open-source rewrite of the Angband roguelike game in Python.
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A 2P version should be faster than 1P? since on boss fight it seems they get a small vulnerability time due to character not being able to reach him to keep hitting?
My main objective here is to TAS the most obscure games titles!
Samsara
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laranja wrote:
A 2P version should be faster than 1P? since on boss fight it seems they get a small vulnerability time due to character not being able to reach him to keep hitting?
I haven't tested 2P yet, but I think it was discussed and decided that there would be a lot of extra lag and negate what would be saved from hitting every boss as soon as possible. Working on Grey Fac as we speak. It's probably my favorite level, so work should be quick and thorough. Thanks for the kind words, everyone! :3
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warmCabin wrote:
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Samsara
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http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/1117371470/SprintSaber.smv WIP up to the Grey Fac boss. I'll add some flashiness to the chase sequence when I have the time. If all goes well, I should have a finished movie by next weekend.
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warmCabin wrote:
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Samsara
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Optimizing the boss. Here's a suggested screenshot from me in the meantime. Graphic glitching is easy in this game :3
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warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
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Samsara wrote:
Optimizing the boss. Here's a suggested screenshot from me in the meantime. Graphic glitching is easy in this game :3
That looks hillarious. Keep it up!
Samsara
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A bigger graphical glitching image (this is frame 33486, but expanded and cropped), and a WIP for good measure. Current improvement to this point is 3433 frames, with the level itself being 979 frames, most of which belong to the optimized boss fight. This one shouldn't desync.
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Samsara
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warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
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Sorry to dig such an old topic, but I was planning an improvement on this game when I saw your signature, are you still working on it? anyway, they say we should protect our runs at all costs, so, good luck on your improvement! I'm still working on it though, but just as a pastime to see if I can find some new glitch or time saver.
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Samsara
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Dooty wrote:
Sorry to dig such an old topic, but I was planning an improvement on this game when I saw your signature, are you still working on it? anyway, they say we should protect our runs at all costs, so, good luck on your improvement! I'm still working on it though, but just as a pastime to see if I can find some new glitch or time saver.
Man, I really should've kept following this thread! I have a perpetually delayed improvement in the works that I'd really like to complete eventually. Run Saber is... really, really inconsistent between emulators, and switching over to BizHawk or LSNES would pretty much require another few weeks of work getting everything back in working order if I started now. If you're still working on this, by all means go through to completion! I'd really like to see some of the stuff I'm sure I missed going through the first two times. There's definitely at least 30 seconds of improvement over the published run (the improvement WIP I posted is currently hovering around 20 seconds), and it'd be awesome to find something insane that knocks it down to sub-13. I'll admit to being a little embarrassed that I my super sub-optimal run is still published. Hell, it'd be an honour at this point to be obsoleted. I don't know if I've discussed this here before, but I actually managed to find a glitch involving moving on ceilings that allows you to move through walls. I have yet to find any practical use for this yet, sadly, as the camera in this game is, quite frankly, terribly slow and tends to kill you more than anything. Also, the slopes that the glitch works on are very specific, and as far as I've tested aren't anywhere that would conceivably save time even if there was a way to... which is sad, because it's a neat and easy to do glitch (if you have a turbo controller, since it involves pressing B at 30hz), but it doesn't have any practical use aside from the entertainment of going beyond walls. All that being said, I'll definitely go through and finish up my improvement when TAStudio is working up to TASEditor standards if there's no other run published by that point.
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I did a few tests on Snes9x 1.51, but the biggest time saver that I found is playing the game with 2 players. Sadly, a hard drive crash took almost my entire Rom and CD Rom image collection away along with some of my unfinished projects :( I already have a new HDD and I'm looking for my lost Roms, but it will take some time to complete. edit: I'm quite sure it was ~100 frames faster with 2 players up to the mid-boss; you can advance with one player and kill some enemies with the other. But the camera won't let you advance with only one character, so you have to alternate the walker and the killer character from time to time.
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Samsara
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Sucks about the hard drive. A lot of my stuff was lost to my last laptop breaking so I know how it is. I figured two players would be faster because of the whole movement thing, yeah. I have a very, very short test WIP for two players that I neglected to continue since I didn't have a better way to handle two inputs aside from re-arranging my key bindings every few frames. Once again, TAStudio would fix that issue. Two players I'm thinking would actually save the most time on bosses since you don't need to race to position yourself. The last two bosses in particular would be quite a bit faster, though a second or two could be shaved off of some of the earlier level minibosses that move around a lot (Orb Head, Engine Knight). Aside from that, there's definitely a lot of improvement in Bruford, particularly the bosses. If enough time is saved through manipulating the camera and being in better position for the enemies then I'd expect something around 13:05, possibly below. The WIP I posted back in December has a lot of the new tricks I found for the run. When I get the time I'll go back through it and explain them. Might also record a video of the climb through walls glitch just for fun, too.
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warmCabin wrote:
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Samsara wrote:
Might also record a video of the climb through walls glitch just for fun, too.
I was trying to find where you did the "climb through walls" glitch when this happened; a mid-boss skip: http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/4368592115093889 But unless we find another way to pass through walls it is pretty useless; kill him is a lot faster :(
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Samsara
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Dooty wrote:
I was trying to find where you did the "climb through walls" glitch when this happened; a mid-boss skip: http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/4368592115093889
Ahahaha, that's incredible. Quick encode: Link to video That's where I found the glitch, actually. I think it's one of... maybe three or four places I've found in the entire game so far. I'll try to look for a faster way, though I'm not expecting much. Edit: Taking a closer look at the input, it seems like you can ceiling dash while you're under the level, though if you start dashing too early the screen doesn't scroll down far enough to be able to skip the miniboss. It's still a few seconds longer than playing normally, sadly, but it's a start. The skip might be viable if it's possible to get past the second miniboss the same way, somehow, but I don't see that happening.
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There's a new way to be inside walls; the camera sometimes won't let you backtrack, especially if you try to be above the screen boundary, it will respawn you on screen again. Pressing the B button repeatedly slows you down enough to trick the game into respawning you inside the wall right below you. I can't think of any place where it can save time with just one character, but I'm going to test it with 2 players, as they tend to spawn near each other, it may be possible to lock the camera with one character and enter the wall with the other.
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I am watching this run very closely. I don't have the time to put into it until I finish Timecop and Congo, but this has been on my list of real-time projects for a while now. Keep up the great work :)
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Samsara wrote:
it seems like you can ceiling dash while you're under the level.
To tell you the truth, I didn't know it was possible to dash while hanging on a ceiling... but yes, the ceiling dash can save some frames, it's also possible to avoid the sacrifice; keep turboing the B button a little longer, but it's still slower than fighting the miniboss. I also tested the two players trick to walk through walls, but the character which locks the camera does just that; locks the camera. The other character cannot advance while the camera is locked, so it's no use.
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Samsara
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Alright, I went through my WIP and jotted down notes and explanations for everything I did. I apologize for the length. It took a good hour and a half to write it all down and by the end I was pretty hungry and ended up rushing it at the end. It's somewhat disjointed and confusing but hopefully it's explanatory enough for anyone interested in the run. If there are any questions, I'm more than happy to answer them as soon as I remember to check back in this thread. TAJ BASE *Landing Cancel: Hitting down for a frame on the frame before you land from a high jump will shorten the landing animation by 5 frames. This only works when you land somewhere you can crouch. Landing on a sleep slope means you have to wait the full 8 frames, and jumping onto a ceiling means you have to wait the full 8 frames. *Attacks: All attacks essentially do one hit's worth of damage, while the full-screen "bomb" attack does three hits worth. Slashing on the ground is 7 or so frames faster than a spinjump. Spinjumping alters your hitbox greatly and allows you to evade things a little better. If an enemy is near a pit you have to drop into, it's faster to slide into that enemy in a way where you can continue into the pit without the slide stopping. There are only two cases in the game where using a bomb attack is faster than just normally attacking, and one of them actually isn't faster in game time, but serves as a way to end input earlier. *Jumping: The maximum jump height is achieved by holding B for 12 frames. *Spinjumping: Spinjumping actually reduces your jump height, so keep that in mind for smaller jumps. *Sliding: Sliding off ledges can save one or two frames depending on when you start the slide. Obviously this run uses as many 2-frame saves as possible. *Falling Farther Off Ledges: I'm actually not completely sure what triggers this. I think it's holding down+(direction) a few frames before you actually fall off the ledge so that you immediately do a midair kick. Either way, it saves a couple frames here and there, but occasionally (like the first ledge fall in Taj Base) you'll be able to land in a place where you can cancel the landing. *Luck Manipulation: Luck manipulation is, as far as I can tell, completely based on the position of your character. Bosses will react differently if you're closer or farther away, different enemies will spawn, et cetera. I don't think you can manipulate item drops. The slight jitter in the movement that loses 2 frames while walking towards the big wall in Taj Base actually manipulates an alien away, which would've lost me many more frames to kill. *Wall Climbing: Spinjump constantly. Also, please tell me if there's a faster way. I swear I've tested everything but I still don't think I have the fastest way in the WIP. *Landing Cancel 2: In most cases, if there's an incline past a flat surface, it is faster to land on the very edge of the flat surface and landing-cancel rather than go the full distance, land on the incline, and wait the extra frames. *Glitchy Slide: An aesthetic choice involving what I think is a sudden change in incline on a slope. It wastes the 2 frames a slide would normally save, but it looks kinda funny. *Landing Cancel 3: If you land near a platform you have to jump onto, you can jump a frame or two before landing and keep moving almost immediately. This is only faster when a jump is necessary and close enough to where you land or when you land on an upward slope. *Jumping Onto Platforms: The game will helpfully push you up onto a solid platform if you jump near the ledge the correct way. Being pushed up onto a platform is the fastest way of getting up onto one, just remember to landing-cancel to get on your way sooner. *The First Miniboss: This is only one of two minibosses you face without the upgraded saber, and from what I tested a while back it's the only one where having the upgraded saber actually matters. Then again, it takes far too long to get the upgraded saber before fighting it. This miniboss takes 10 hits, and the fastest kill will have it explode just after it transforms. *Jump-Slashing: Your slashing attacks fire off faster when you're in the air. Jump-slashing this first miniboss will save two frames. *Invulnerability Time: It's 50 frames for any boss or miniboss that flashes. *Victory Skip: After every miniboss, your character will do a victory pose that wastes a lot of time. There's a window of time where, as long as you're on the ground, your character will victory pose. As long as you're in the air across this period of time, you'll skip the pose. *Camera Control: The camera in this game sucks. I'd say that's the end of that story, but there are a few ways to make it work slightly more in your favour. I'll have to get a bit tricky with the explanations here... 1. The camera has to "lock" before it'll continue in certain places. It follows a sort of pre-determined track and doesn't always follow your character 2. Running on a flat surface will speed the camera up horizontally. Jumping and running up a slope will speed it up vertically upwards. The camera will always follow you correctly when you're falling. 3. If you alternate left and right every frame while dashing, the camera is tricked into moving at "running speed". If you do it on a slope, it'll move at running speed vertically. This can make the camera lock and allow you to continue much quicker than normal if you do it in the right positions. A good example is just before the second miniboss in Taj Base, where I use the trick to speed up the camera vertically and progress to the second miniboss faster without needing to jump and waste extra time. I then do it horizontally to move the camera forward while keeping myself stationary since it doesn't waste any time, as the boss spawns when the camera's in position, not when the character approaches. *The Second Miniboss: The red one will always drop a saber upgrade if you don't have one yet. Red one takes 5 hits to kill and cannot be manipulated to stay out for all five hits. You can fit in three hits before it retracts into the wall. Don't forget to victory cancel afterwards! *Victory Cancel 2: In this case, you'll want to land on the ground on the same frame the right arrow at the top of the screen appears. It's a nice visual cue to tell you that you won't victory pose anymore. *The Plane: Entertainment! I always disliked this part of the WIP because I kept screwing up on slashing to the music and didn't care enough to fix it meticulously. You just want to make sure you end up at the middle-right of the plane when things start popping out of it. *Pre-Boss: The enemies always spawn middle > right > left. Stay as close to the next spawn as possible and hit each one with the tail end of your swing so you can start running over to the next one sooner. *Boss One: Hello, frustration. I've long lost and forgotten the RAM address that contains boss/enemy HP, sorry about that, but from what I remember it wasn't too hard to find. If I remember correctly, you should look for a value in the 3000s that goes up by one every time you hit the boss. This is probably the boss that would be the biggest timesaver when using two players, assuming you can hit it properly. The invulnerability time is... random. Sometimes you can hit it twice in quick succession, sometimes you can't hit it at all. Worst of all, it spends most of its time offscreen, and you can barely hear your hits connect. Just do the best you can while following that mysterious RAM address that I can't remember. Also, even though it appears to take a hit while it's still attached to the plane, the hit doesn't actually count. TONG CITY *Jumping VS Slashing: If an enemy is at the top of a small slope, then a spinjump that kills the enemy and lands you on top of the slope ends up being faster than a normal slash. This is seen at the beginning of Tong City. *Taking Damage to Save Time: Ah, here it is, the first solid use of taking damage to save time. What inspired the WIP in the first place was realizing that an earlier (now mostly obsolete) trick saved far less time than what you see in this small corridor. I'll explain the other trick when it comes up in the run. Anyway, turning in the opposite direction before you take damage will send you flying forward, and is what makes this area possible. *Just After That: Spikes appear from the ground, and the last one is just... entirely random in when it pops up and what its hitbox is. Just try to make it past unscathed, since it's possible, much faster, and most importantly won't kill you. *The First Miniboss: Also known as Orb Head, apparently. It has a semi-random flight pattern, so find the best one possible based on your positioning. Try to keep him low to the ground for the last hit so it explodes (and the game continues) faster. And make sure to victory skip and screen-scroll horizontally here. You can cut screen scrolling early to start climbing to save a bit more time. *Slash Cancelling/Boss Spawn Conditions: Bosses only show up when there are no enemies on screen. Sadly, right here there are a lot of enemies around. I believe this is the only use of slash-cancelling in the entire run, used to clear the last enemy then immediately scroll the camera over to allow Kurtz to spawn. It saves a few frames. *Kurtz: Have fun! He's not too hard of a boss, especially when TASing, but you have to worry about his attack pattern and invulnerability time. For some reason, occasionally he'll take increments of 6 frames longer to hit. 56, 62, and so on. The hardest thing is making the battle entertaining while keeping him locked in a pattern that minimizes his invulnerability time. You're bound to get one longer period each time you fight him, but don't let that stop you from trying for none. I believe this first fight has none, though I'm not watching in frame advance as I've already spent the better part of an hour writing and I have other things to do today. The slide afterwards is the victory cancel, and due to the high amount of enemies it's faster than a jump. *Spinjumping: As I said earlier, it alters your hitbox, leading some to believe that it actually makes you invincible. You can jump through that pillar of fire as long as you hit it at the top using a full jump. Any lower and you'll still get hit. *The Second Miniboss: Jump. Slash. Slash. Jump. Slash. Slash. Jump. Slash. Slash. Get bored. Jump. Slash. Slash. Wonder where your life went wrong. Jump. Slash. Slash. Hooray. *That Blue Health: It's not necessary. There's only one useful place to take damage in Jodvalley, and during this huge slope ascent you'll pick up a health powerup. *This Huge Slope Ascent: It is always faster to spinjump up slopes when you need to attack. Also, this place sucks because once again you have to clear away all the enemies. *Boss 2: This is the best boss. It takes a LOT of hits, but the invulnerability time between them is only 32 frames as opposed to the normal 50. The most viable and fun strategy is to do what the previous runs have done: Dance on her head. The laser can be avoided with a well-timed spin jump or just placing yourself in a good position since it follows you. Also, bonus points if you start a slide just as the battle ends. Well, bonus points from me at least. JODVALLEY *EAGLE: OUT OF NOWHERE. Three hits. You'd think to let it swoop down as far as possible before the last hit, but it's slightly faster to hit it a bit earlier. You don't have to victory cancel here, I don't think it saves or wastes any time. It's your choice! *Taking Damage to Save Time 2: Hey look, a huge timesaver! Jump into the spikes, turn around before you get hit, dash, jump out so you don't get hit again. *The Benefits of Cancelling: They're shown off here. Landing-cancel by using a jump to save time on the slope, then a short jump to be pushed onto the low platform, then a slide to cancel out the landing. It looks smooth and saves frames. *Camera Control 2: Scroll the screen while killing the dinosaur, then scroll further with the alternating left/right dash followed by just running straight left off the edge to finish off the scrolling as you fall. *Boss Spawning 2: Yeah, you have to kill the little flies before you can harm the first snake. *The Snakes: The snakes take five hits, with the base and head being your vulnerable targets. Dance on it, then finish it off at the base with a spin so you can fall through to the platform below. Do the same for the second snake. After dropping out of the second snake's chamber, pause a bit when you land before sliding off the platform to skip the victory pose. *The Fourth Miniboss: You have to manipulate it to be hit as soon as possible. I think this is another boss that randomly takes longer to hit? I'm kinda hungry and a lot of the tricks are just getting self-explanatory. *Dinosaurs: Some are in your way, some mostly aren't, just test every option to see if it's faster to kill rather than avoid. *Another Long Fall: If you time it perfectly you can just barely make the flat surface at the bottom, allowing you to cancel the landing. *More Dinosaurs: These slides and jumps also have to be timed absolutely perfectly. The first one is likely to hit (and kill) you if you don't slide at just the right time, and the second one can double back and either stop you in your tracks or kill you if you're not fast enough. *Boss 3: You land closer to it if you move all the way to the right during the fall before the battle. This battle uses what I like to call a 6-3-Up Jump: Stand in the sweet spot under the boss, press B for 6 frames, don't input anything for 3 frames, then hold up until you start spinning. Then repeat. Over and over. You can try to switch things up by slashing, but for the most part the fastest way is the 6-3-Up. Hey, people sat through the rock miniboss in Tong City. They'll sit through this, too. *Death?: I originally thought it was faster to die on the last hit to regain some health for more damage cancelling, but it's not, and you'll see why in Grey Fac. GREY FAC *The Opening Section: This happened to work out for me perfectly, so I'm not sure if there's randomness involved with the flame pillars. It should just be one jump to the ceiling and a straight dash the rest of the way through, though. *Holy Crap Aliens: That huge chain of five is the one place where it's actually faster to spinjump, since you can't hit all of them with a single slash, but you can with a spinjump and a slash. *The First Miniboss: Yeah, you have to kill those flying things. They should always drop a powerup: A saber upgrade if you don't have it, or a blue health if you do. Don't bother collecting the blue health just yet. It doesn't despawn. Now, for Engine Knight, it's another battle with positioning and manipulation. It's hard to hit, and there will be a few times where you just can't hit it after only 50 frames, but you don't "lose" much time here. Like the Eagle, this is another situation where the victory pose doesn't waste any time, so don't worry about skipping it. The screen doesn't scroll until Engine Knight explodes fully. NOW you can pick up the Blue Health before the screen starts to scroll and continue on to the left. The game automatically makes you jump here, for the record. It even cancels out of a slide if you're in one. *Damage-Cancelling: Remember last Spring when I said there was a nearly obsolete trick involving taking damage? Well here it is. If you're jumping onto a non-solid platform, taking damage at the right height will immediately place you onto the platform, allowing you to move without having to cancel your landing. Here, you can take damage off the huge sawblade and start running immediately, and the best part is the sawblade will just barely outrun you. It saves a fair number of frames and looks kinda cool to boot. *Kurtz 2: Once again, just a huge battle with positioning yourself and avoiding long invulnerability times. You have an extra point of damage here, and there are no other areas between now and the next health pickup where taking damage saves time, so feel free to get hit during this battle if it saves a few frames of invulnerability time. Take a few big jumps to avoid the victory pose. *Conveyors: Any speedrunner or TASer knows that conveyors are either very good or very bad, depending on what direction they're running. The same is true here, obviously, but for the second conveyor you land on, even though it's running in the opposite direction, it's still faster to run up it. And that's it for the WIP! The fourth boss is incomplete and will sadly remain so since Snes9x is deprecated and the movie file just doesn't translate well at all into BizHawk.
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Location: Teresópolis - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Sega TASer of 2013SNES TASer of 2012SNES TASer of 2010
I'm also willing to help as long as I can with this project. I never did a multi track run, but I did a lot of tests with what is, at least to me, a really confortable way to TAS a two player game; an Xbox 360 controller, or any controller with two analogue sticks. You can then assign the movement of the first character to the left analogue stick, the right one will be the second character. Through the run you'll rarely need to use buttons other than Start, B, R and Y, so those buttons will be on the controller, the others can be on the keyboard. The directional pad will take care of the Save/Load, Next and Previous slots. I like to advance frames on the Left Bumper and Pause/Unpause on the Right Bumper. Something I miss on Snes9X 1.43 is the ability to load a state and still have things I did after that point intact. Testing different strategies is a lot easier on that emulator. It's also possible to have a similar effect on BizHawk, but you'll need to keep a back up of the complete run, or the stage you're working on. I'n any case, a two player run is something that must be carefully planned. Starting all over after a few stages because of a new trick is undoubtedly something disheartening. But we are persistent, otherwise we would not be TASers :) So, I'll take all tips and tricks you posted, your wip too if you don't mind, and will do a two player testrun which may give you new ideas, see you guys in some weeks.
I am old enough to know better, but not enough to do it.
Emulator Coder, Experienced Forum User, Skilled player (1093)
Joined: 5/1/2010
Posts: 1217
Rookie of 2010New systems TASer of 2010New systems TAS of 2010
Dooty wrote:
Something I miss on Snes9X 1.43 is the ability to load a state and still have things I did after that point intact.
You mean loading state and the associated movie (including parts after savestate point) or something else?
Experienced Forum User, Expert player (2502)
Joined: 6/2/2009
Posts: 1182
Location: Teresópolis - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Sega TASer of 2013SNES TASer of 2012SNES TASer of 2010
I don't know if it's an intended feature of Snes9x, but creating a save state and then switching to read/write won't clear everything after that point on my runs. I only need to switch back to read-only and then everything I did before is still there, making it easier to test different strategies. But on BizHawk, if I switch to read/write everything I did after that point is lost, unless I keep a back-up with the section I'm working at the moment. It may be me being lazy, but I miss that feature on BizHawk.
I am old enough to know better, but not enough to do it.