Hey, I finally completed a movie! While it's not quite what some of you may be expecting, I hope you'll enjoy this effort nonetheless.
This movie is a TAS of the English version of Pokemon Blue, done in Super Gameboy mode. The game is completed in 1 hour 50 minutes according to the in-game clock, which at the time of submission is 50 minutes faster than the Pokemon Red run available on Speed Demos Archive. It was completed using Visualboy Advance 1.7.2 (Nitsuja rev. 9), over the course of over 5 months, with 2 complete runthroughs of the game completed (the first being done with Pocket Monsters Green (J)).
In Japan, this game is known as Pocket Monsters Green; Japanese Red and Green are what became Red and Blue to the rest of the world. Japanese Blue has not been released commercially outside of Japan.
The movie features the following:
- Aims for fastest time
- Manipulates luck
- Takes no damage (and thus, doesn't die)
- Abuses programming errors in the game
- Ignores semi-important goals in the game
For those of you unfamiliar with the storyline behind Pokemon, you play a nameless novice trainer who aspires to become the greatest Pokemon trainer of all time. After choosing one of three starter Pokemon, you set out to collect all eight Gym Badges and defeat the Elite Four to become the Pokemon League Champion, all while filling up your Pokedex with information on all sorts of rare critters and catching and assembling teams of powerful Pokemon to help you on your journey..
...except that this particular trainer is in a bit of a hurry, and thus has no need for such silly things as Pokedexes and large collections of Pokemon. He instead muscles through (almost) the entire game using a single Pokemon - his starter, Squirtle.
So how does this trainer manage to accomplish all this in under 2 hours? Luck manipulation. The early GB Pokemon series features the greatest opportunity for massive luck manipulation abuse this side of Dragon Warrior. Nearly everything in this game is tied to an easily abusable random number generator, including but not limited to: When random encounters occur (and against which Pokemon), how much damage an attack deals, how accurate an attack is, if an attack is a critical hit, if additional effects tied to attacks occur, what attacks an opponent uses against you.. just about everything save for the stats a Pokemon gains when it levels up (which is determined by a specific and known formula). This fact is abused to its' fullest extent in this movie, allowing me to avoid battles, critical hit with attacks, and control/avoid enemy attacks at will.
As a nice side effect, I wind up taking no damage and am hit with no harmful attack from any enemy throughout the entire run. There are a few instances where I have to resolve an attack which supposedly has "perfect" accuracy, but there is no attack with perfect accuracy (see below).
This game pushes the primitive Gameboy's hardware to the limit. As a result, the game lags, and very badly at times. Scrolling through the game's menus was a royal pain at times (I take careful measures to attempt to reduce the amount of time I spend scrolling through menus), and inexplicably the game may lag during regular movements in certain points in the game. If you find odd pauses in movement in places, especially in areas where I cannot get into random battles, this is the game's lag at work. I unfortunately know no way around this.
As for route planning, the game is fairly linear, with very little chance to deviate off the main path. It's also well programmed in order you to at least nudge you toward beating all the Gyms in chronological order, if not outright forcing you. However, I do a sequence break by completing Cinnabar Gym (#7) before completing Saffron Gym (#6), allowing me to build up some levels defeating required Pokemon which are weak to my Squirtle's attacks before dealing with the more neutral Pokemon in Silph Co. Tower and Saffron Gym.
I obtain only 5 Pokemon throughout the entire game: Squirtle, Abra (for Teleport), Bellsprout (to teach it Cut), Doduo (to teach it Fly), and Onix (for Fissure). Squirtle is used as my only battle Pokemon throughout almost the entire game, while the others are utility Pokemon used either to pass through necessary obstacles in the game or are major timesavers which allow me to go between places more quickly. Onix is the exception to this - the Elite Four's Lorelei uses primarily Water/Ice Pokemon, which I cannot defeat easily with Squirtle/Blastoise. Thus, I instead caught an Onix in Victory Road, taught it Fissure, and used it against Lorelei's Pokemon to defeat them. Fissure, however, only has a chance to work if the Pokemon using it is faster than the target being Fissured - this is remedied by purchasing a pair of X Speeds in the Celadon City dept. store and using them during the battle to make Onix faster than its' opponents.
There are also several noticeable glitches/oversights I abuse in the game, as follows:
- Every offensive attack, no matter how accurate it may be, has a 1/256 (~0.4%) chance of missing. Yes, this includes Swift, the infamous attack which "never misses". I use this fact to maintain the no damage run, as avoiding every attack but four doesn't really look all that good.. also, chances are all four of these attack avoidals may save time anyways due to the length of time it takes for the screen to shake and the HP bar to slowly decrease.
- Using the Pokedoll item automatically ends any wild battle in which you can catch a Pokemon. I purchase one of these items in the Celadon City dept. store to pass through the Marowak "ghost" battle in Pokemon Tower without spending the 7-8 minutes required to obtain the Silph Scope from Team Rocket.
- Similarly, I run away from the Snorlax blocking the route to Cycling Road to remove it from my path quickly.
- Usage of the Selfdestruct attack automatically causes the Pokemon who initiated the attack to faint, even if it misses. I manage to Dig out of the way of the Weezing who uses this attack in Fuchsia Gym, to get the pesky Pokemon out of the way faster. ^^
I'm sure there will be a limitless amount of questions concerning little minute details of the game - most of them should be answered if you look at this game's thread on this site's message boards, located here
. If not, post here or there and I'll be happy to answer them for you.
Is this movie perfect, though? I'm sure it's not, especially with new routes to old games formerly thought impossible being revealed daily. However, I've done my best to make sure that, with the possible exception of better luck with the RNG or a totally new route, that this is as close to perfect as it gets at this point in time. There are other possible (but very small) shortcuts, but those I found appeared to have too much risk attached to them with too little reward (with most being so small they'll almost immediately be eaten up in luck manipulation), and I think I'll leave it to someone with far more free time on their hands than I do to investigate more in depth which ones actually do save time and which are wastes of time.
Last but not least, I'd like to thank the following people for making this run possible: The speed run FAQ on GameFAQs
for laying the groundwork for the run - much of the route for this run was inspired by the route this FAQ's author used; Azure Heights Pokemon Laboratory
- large Pokemon fansites which have supplied the information necessary to complete the run and plan out improved routes for the run; the authors of the console speedruns on SDA for further route planning and comparison; everyone who posted in the Pokemon R/B thread on this site's message boards, for their invaluable help and tips (you know who you all are), and of course, everyone who has supported this run in various ways.
And with that, enjoy!