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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 and - 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!

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Cool movie. I just have two questions for you: It is listed as "Does not abuse programming errors in the game." Are there any errors that would save time, and if so what would they be? Secondly, you stated that it is easy to manipulate luck in this game. How easy is it, can you just press any key at any time to affect the RNG? And also even if it is really easy, you said there were things that are 1/256 chance of happening, this would take an average 256 tries to get right, right? Did you have a method to make this easier because that would still be a huge pain?
g,o,p,i=1e4,a[10001];main(x){for(;p?g=g/x*p+a[p]*i+2*!o: 53^(printf("%.4d",o+g/i),p=i,o=g%i);a[p--]=g%x)x=p*2-1;}
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Some attacks have a higher chance of missing, it's just that they have atleast 1/256 chance of missing.
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flagitious wrote:
It is listed as "Does not abuse programming errors in the game." Are there any errors that would save time, and if so what would they be?
Possibly the best known glitch in this game is the old man+Cinnabar coast trick. After reaching Cinnabar in the game, the player could capture a level 100+ Mewtwo (or some other pokemon of choice) and from then on use it as the primary battler instead of Blastoise. The time taken up in flying to Viridian and back would be made up for alone by taking out the tasks of buying X speeds, getting the TM for fissure, capturing Onix, teaching Onix fissure, switching to Onix, using X speeds, and switching back. Much additional time would be saved due to the player knocking out most trainers' pokemon in a single hit rather than multiple turns, as well as being able to get rid of virtually all 'critical hit!', 'it's super effective!', and level-up messages. As for other glitches like encountering Missingno. to duplicate items early in the game (with the gambler trick) or surfing through walls, these might also have a use. -hanzou
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Glitchy TAS of 2013Gameboy TAS of 2013PSX TASer of 2010
flagitious wrote:
It is listed as "Does not abuse programming errors in the game." Are there any errors that would save time, and if so what would they be?
Use the Trainer-Fly glitch at Cerulean City to generate a Missingno. Then you get 128 more of the sixth item (make it Rare Candies). Then power up your starter. Edit: Try catching and powering up Missingno. and show everyone how messed up the game can get.
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As mentioned several times before, I'm very convinced that no application of the Missingno glitch would save time. To execute it would take a good 2 minutes out of the way (at least) to pull off, and I'm sure that even if one were to have perfect luck the rest of the way, one hitting every other Pokemon I encounter from that point on with no "It's super effective!" or "Critical hit!" messages, I'm not going to be able to take back 2 more minutes from the run. (Edit: Hmm, Trainer/Fly at Cerulean.. that might very well save time. However, you're going to need to get past the Nugget Bridge gauntlet to reach the patches of grass where you can catch an Abra, you need to spend ~10-15 seconds picking up the Rare Candy in Cerulean, Trainer/Fly takes about 2 minutes to execute, then add on top of that ~4-5 seconds per Rare Candy used. Keep in mind though that the Nugget Bridge gauntlet is about at the end of where I routinely take more than one turn to faint a Pokemon, and from that point on the vast majority of battles are ones in which I one hit the opposition.)
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Tilus wrote:
As mentioned several times before,
It's not mentioned in this thread or the submission text, but I'm sorry I didn't read through the other thread until now.
Tilus wrote:
With my current path, neither Earthquake nor the Missingno glitch in any fashion will be faster than what I'm doing now. I currently don't go more than a couple seconds out of my way for anything I don't need to complete the game, and the Missingno glitch will take too much time to execute to obtain any timesavers out of it.
You're right. I tried the coast trick again just now and it's surprising how long it takes. I had thought removing the dealings with Onix and X speed would have completely made up for this, but admittedly those tasks are short by comparison. The real holdback seems to be the old man himself, who is slow in pressing his buttons and can't be forced to do it faster. -hanzou
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Isn't there some other way to do the glitch?
put yourself in my rocketpack if that poochie is one outrageous dude
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It can be done with the random trainers that are willing to trade, but I believe they have fixed results.
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Just wondering, what was the player and rival's names during the run? I haven't watched the movie yet.
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Glitchy TAS of 2013Gameboy TAS of 2013PSX TASer of 2010
Not a big deal, but the player name is "TILUS" and the rival name is "RED".