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Bag of Magic Food wrote:
Hey Randil, do you think we should start a new topic for a complete Adventures of Lolo 2 run where we try to get the best times by competition on a few levels at a time?
I'll go ahead and start this now as I'm about to post some level strategies. For reference (edit 2005-11-12): Randil's latest main levels submission: http://tasvideos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2931 Randil's save states for all 51 levels: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload7/lolo2savestates.zip (applies only to variants of above submission movie) Baxter's latest pro levels submission: http://tasvideos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3054 (updated) Randil, can you post a list of the levels that you are planning and already know how to improve? That'll help everybody concentrate their efforts in the right places. I've watched your movie and here is a list of small and big things that stood out to me. These alone ought to add up to saving at least 30 seconds. Level 3-2. Push the egg on the water, then do some final task like grabbing a last heart or pushing around a necessary emerald block (might require dodging Gol fire), then catch the egg before it reaches the jewel box. Level 3-5. Grab the final heart then shoot the skull, instead of vice-versa. Level 7-1. You don't need to fully trap the last Don Medusa. For example if you push the final emerald block just one space to the right (instead of two) it'll set up the timing so you can directly dart for the jewel box. Of course, the timing will be different if you redo other parts of this level. Level 8-2. Instead of playing it safe, grab all the hearts first then run into the brawl and blast everyone on your way to the jewel box. Level 9-1. You don't need to spend time pushing that last emerald block around since you can just fake out Gol to get past him. For the same reason you also need not rely on Leeper to get to the jewel box. Castle-2. Push the egg on the water, walk around and grab one of the bottom hearts last, then dodge fire from the three Gols on your way to catch the egg. This way you need not ride the slow floating egg or stall for the top-right Snakey to appear. Final battle: You can definitely blast him much faster. =) edit 2005-11-12: List of progress so far as shown at http://tasvideos.org/Randil.html.
Level and improvement: 
1-5: 32 frames
3-2: 705 frames 
3-4: 553 frames 
3-5: 32 frames 
4-2: 15 frames 
5-1: 112 frames 
5-2: 905 frames 
6-2: 54 frames 
7-1: 150 frames 
7-2: 256 frames
7-5: 2 frames 
8-2: 615 frames 
8-3: 102 frames 
9-1: 291 frames 
C-1: 258 frames 
C-2: 85 frames 
C-3: 2389 frames 
Total 6556 frames = 109,27s = 1 minute and 49,27 seconds.
New improvements.
2-4: 59 frames
2-5: 16 frames
3-3: 73 frames
4-1: 41 frames
4-3: 128 frames
5-2: 275 frames (in addition to 905 frames as listed above)
5-4: 248 frames
6-1: 289 frames
6-4: 690 frames
7-2: 198 frames (in addition to 256 frames as listed above)
7-3: 86 frames
7-4: 114 frames
8-3: 59 frames (in addition to 102 frames as listed above)
8-4: 531 frames
9-1: 122 frames (in addition to 291 frames as listed above)
9-2: 698 frames
9-3: 26 frames
9-4: 38 frames
9-5: 37 frames
C-5: 500+ frames
C-6: 71 frames
Total 4299+ frames = 71.65s = 1 minute and 11.65 seconds.
Total time savings: 3 minutes and 0.92 seconds. Remaining requested level improvements (updated 2005-11-24): none for now! -hanzou
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The way I found to do 3-2 was to use the Gol at the top instead of the Snakey to cross the water. To do that, though, you have to first push the Gol into the water while it's asleep, and you have to collect the rest of the heart framers before it comes back. When it does come back, you shoot it at the exact frame it appears so it doesn't fry you, and then you can use it to cross the water directly to the egg rather than floating around. I don't know if that's faster than what you proposed, though.
put yourself in my rocketpack if that poochie is one outrageous dude
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Man, I thought I was done fooling with the pro levels, but here's one more demo. Hopefully this will be my last pro level vid for the time being. After the last PROA improvement I thought about how it would be best for Gol to reappear on any of the lower squares. After a bit of testing, I now conclude we have been making this level way more complicated than it needs to be. Check this out: http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/267/Lolo2-PROA_twoshotsleft.fcm. I waste a couple squares by walking around Gol in the beginning and not shooting him when I could have, then I uselessly doodle at the end before the jewel box, and yet this still comes out 11 seconds faster than in Baxter's submission. -hanzou
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I see that a lot has been going on since I last logged in. This is a very good idea, to start a Lolo2 general topic. I was actually thinking of doing it myself, but you were faster :) I think we should naturally start from the beginning, at least from floor 2, and revise the levels from there. So if you find the time to, look through floor 2 on my run to see if you can find anything. I already think floor 1 is optimized. But it'll only be nice if anyone finds out improvements there. Thanks for telling me about some improvements hanzou, I already knew about the last boss (I've made an ~50 frames improvement some time before) and I also knew about 3-2 and 8-2. I'm out of town right now, but I'll get back to working on this run when I'm back home on monday. To be honest, I haven't done much thinking on improvements yet, I'm still revising floor 1 and 2. But as I said, I'm out of town at the moment, so I won't be able to start more seriously until monday. With that being said, I don't mean that that you should only give tips on floor 1 and 2, whatever you find, let me know. hanzou's start was very good, I think that stuff is gonna help out a lot. Me, Bag and Baxter talked about some improvement on IRC some time ago too, unfortunately I kind of forget most of them =/ I will also make a list of all the times for each level, this way we can more easily measure improvements. I'll get some times and a list up here soon too, for you to see what levels I'm focusing on. I will also try out (or if anyone else would do this) hanzou's tips to see mre exactly how much time they could shave off. I'll get some WIPs up here too soon. I already have a WIP with Bag's 3-2 strategy and another one with 8-2 strategy. Plus another one with finishing the last boss. They'll be up here soon. And about the PRO run, it seems Baxter will have to redo it again if you found another 10+ second improvement! =) As always, great job hanzou.
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I thought something like this was possible ever since I saw your other Pro A improvement. Can't wait to redo the run, and hopefully find some new improvements of my own.
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The time it takes to complete to complete a level can easily be measured in how many squares you have to move to complete the stage. I found out that moving one square takes 16 frames (0,27s). This means that if you count how many squares you move on a level and divide this by four, you will get the time for that level in seconds (almost, just a little less). Okay, I've have revised and overlooked floor 1 now, and timed each level too. Here's my analysis: I measure the time by doing like this, here's level 1-1 as an example: On 1-1 Lolo appears on frame 1118. Frame 2137 is the last frame where Lolo makes a movement. The time for this level is therefor 2137-1118=1019 frames. Here are the timings for all levels on floor 1.
Level: Frames: Seconds:

1-1     1019      16.98      
1-2     1163      19.38
1-3     1530      25.50
1-4      611      10.18
1-5     1109      18.48
Comments: I looked through all levels closely, but didn't find even one single timesaver. I actually think that the levels on floor 1 are more or less frameperfected (except for 1-4 maybe). Try to prove me wrong! :) I'll get on to floor 2 soon. EDIT: I have redone 3-2 now, and Bag's strategy was faster than hanzou's. Here is an fcm with the new strategy on 3-2, the other levels are still the same up to 3-2: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload0/new3-2.zip It's 705 frames faster than current 3-2. If you know how to improve 3-2 even more, let me know. EDIT 2: I just tried hanzou's trick on 3-5, taking the heart before killing the skull. This saved 32 frames. EDIT 3: Lots of edits for this post.... I managed to save 15 frames on 4-2 too, by moving slightly differently, avoiding enemies better: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload2/4-2faster.zip
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Randil wrote:
I looked through all levels closely, but didn't find even one single timesaver. I actually think that the levels on floor 1 are more or less frameperfected (except for 1-4 maybe). Try to prove me wrong! :) I'll get on to floor 2 soon.
Here is a run of 1-5 that saves 25 frames, and I wouldn't be surprised if there is an even faster way. For any level that involves Alma, Leeper or Rocky it's very hard to prove a particular run to be optimal beyond a reasonable doubt. The exciting aspect of this is that we'll always be able to find improvements on such levels if we look hard enough. Another level that can be improved is 3-4. I was able to save at least 7 seconds by taking advantage of Rocky instead of relying entirely on emerald blocks. -hanzou
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hanzou wrote:
Here is a run of 1-5 that saves 25 frames, and I wouldn't be surprised if there is an even faster way.
Ah yes, you're right. I'm just gonna stop saying that levels are frame perfected :) Or maybe I should continue doing so, it seems to motivate people to prove me otherwise! Very creatively solution to 1-5 I must say. Cheers for that. And about 3-4, could you post an fcm? Even if it's not perfect, I could get the idea. Again, thanks for the tips hanzou. EDIT: I redid 1-5 with your strategy, hanzou, and managed to get it an additional 7 frames faster (I don't know how :) ), so now 1-5 is 32 frames faster than before! EDIT 2: I have done 3-4 553 frames (9,22s) faster, here's the fcm: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload5/rocky.zip Was this how you did it, hanzou?
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Randil wrote:
And about 3-4, could you post an fcm? Even if it's not perfect, I could get the idea.
Looks like I've lost the movie I made this past weekend, so I made another one just now: link. By the way, Castle-3 looks like the most improvable level of all, likely on the order of 25+ seconds. The strategy used in Randil's current run requires walking the long way around twice. It's actually possibly to complete this level without ever walking around the top-right corner. I'll leave it up to someone else to try speedrunning this level (password QKDH), and these screenshots ought to convey the idea: edit:
Randil wrote:
EDIT 2: I have done 3-4 553 frames (9,22s) faster, here's the fcm: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload5/rocky.zip Was this how you did it, hanzou?
Heh not quite, but that's why my version is more than 2 seconds slower. Great job Randil! -hanzou
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Haha, I just have to post this here! I calculated how much time we have saved in total with these new techniques, and here's what I came up to: 1-5: 32 frames 3-2: 705 frames 3-4: 553 frames 3-5: 32 frames 4-2: 15 frames Total: 1337 frames The main reason for posting this is simply because of I got 1337 as the number. And besides 1337 frames is quite som improvement! I think we've done good so far, and if you're right about castle-3 hanzou, this will only get better. Perhaps the new version will be over a minute faster. And also, I've been thinking some about 4-3... On this level I wait for several seconds, and I'm just wondering if anyone knows of a way to avoid waiting this long. I've tried myself but haven't succeeded, so it would be nice if someone could help me with this EDIT: 5-1 done 112 frames faster: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload2/5-1faster.zip aaww, 1337 frames improvement gone, stupid 1449 frames improvement now... :) EDIT 2: Here's a test run of Castle 3, using your new strategy hanzou: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload1/castle3.zip Please comment on it! I just timed this level now, and compared it to the previous, and guess what? This is a whopping 2389 frames faster than current version of castle 3. 2389 frames is 39,82 seconds, over half a minute faster! Amazing! EDIT 3: I managed to save 150 frames on 7-1. http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload4/7-1faster.zip
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Has anybody tried using the Rocky to cross the center of 3-4? I remember using that as a strategy once, though I don't remember whether or not it worked out.
put yourself in my rocketpack if that poochie is one outrageous dude
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Bag of Magic Food wrote:
Has anybody tried using the Rocky to cross the center of 3-4? I remember using that as a strategy once, though I don't remember whether or not it worked out.
If I'm understanding you correctly, it has already been done, here it is: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload5/rocky.zip Here I use the Rocky to cross the center of the level, I think this is what you meant. Oh, and I've done 8-2 better now too: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload7/8-2faster.zip It's 615 frames (10,25s) faster.
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Oh, I didn't notice that was mentioned before. I only watched your long movie at first.
put yourself in my rocketpack if that poochie is one outrageous dude
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Here's level 9-1 done 291 frames faster thanks to hanzou's tips in his first post: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload1/9-1faster.zip EDIT: At last, I've done something that will ease up watching these small improvements a lot. I've taken a savestate at the beginning of all levels. You can download them here, in a zip file: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload7/lolo2savestates.zip Let's say you want to see my improvement of 9-1 in this post. Instead of fastforwarding through most of the movie, wasting precious IRL time, you can instead just load the savestate named "9-1" in the zipfile. savestate 9-1 takes you to the beginning of 9-1. Just make sure that you have "read-only" enabled. Well, enjoy! EDIT 2: 256 frames saved on 7-3. Why not try my newly posted savestates on this movie? http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload9/7-3new.zip I have alos added a timetable on my own page (see signature for link) where I keep track of the progress. So far we have improved my submitted run by 1 minute and 25,83 seconds, quite a lot! EDIT 3: I've redone Castle-2 with hanzou's strategy.... And I must be getting it wrong or something. I can only get it 15 frames faster. Take a look and see if I'm doing something wrong: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload4/C-2new.zip
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Hey Randil, great job on all the improvements so far. Whenever I've fast-forwarded the run to reach certain points for testing, other stuff has been catching my eye, and so here is a list of more possible level improvements that I've noticed these past couple days. Level 5-2. As shown in the above screenshots, a different strategy to save 15 seconds on this bridge/egg-float level: http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/276/Lolo2-5-2_southbridge.fcm. You can likely save at least another second compared to this demo run by making use of that extra shot and better positioning the floating eggs (see similar tip for level 6-2 below). Level 6-2. The sooner Snakey's egg sinks the sooner it reappears, and waiting for the egg to appear is the biggest holdup in this level. Thus you should push the egg as far to the left as possible before floating it on the water. I've tested and found that it can be put another full space to the left and still leave time to grab the heart, get back onboard, and shoot Gol. Level 7-2. When playing this level on the console Leeper tends to be just an annoyance, but with some experimentation I think you could find a way to use him in order to save time on pushing emerald blocks. Level 7-5. Two steps are wasted as you grab the last heart then walk over the egg towards the jewel box. Either grab the last heart and get back onboard the egg slightly before the egg reaches the end of the river, or switch the order in which you grab the last two hearts. Level 8-3. In the current run, after shooting Gol you push him down three spaces then make a bridge at that row. It'll be less wasted walking for Lolo if you push the egg down only one space then put the bridge at the top of the lava. Level 8-4. The current route involves twice waiting for Snakey to reappear and has 2 shots remaining in the end. You can change the route to shoot Snakey away earlier and make use of the second Snakey to get rid of all waiting time. Castle-1. An alternative strategy as depicted below ought to save ~20 seconds. Castle-5. Improvements on the current strategy: After shooting Leeper the first time, don't push him all the way down to Medusa. If you leave a full space gap between Medusa and Leeper, Leeper will have less distance to hop right before you shoot him the second time. Also, when you shoot the second time shoot as early as can be allowed, which means the egg should end up a half-space from Medusa's line of sight. Next, when pushing the egg down, you can leave a half-space between the egg and the wall before the egg hatches and Lolo puts Leeper to sleep. However, these frame optimizations are irrelevant because the optimal strategy for this level most likely involves a live Leeper. It's possible to beat this stage by relying on Leeper to hop down to the bottom when Lolo grabs the jewel box, and even if this doesn't time perfectly it could be significantly faster than having to wait for egg-hatching twice.
Randil wrote:
EDIT 3: I've redone Castle-2 with hanzou's strategy.... And I must be getting it wrong or something. I can only get it 15 frames faster. Take a look and see if I'm doing something wrong: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload4/C-2new.zip
Well, you do waste two steps to grab the bottom middle heart even though Lolo walks into that spot later on anyway, but that error was in your previous run as well. The main thing wrong in the new run is near the start of the level. The first thing you've done after waiting for the first Snakey to appear is to have pushed the emerald block down (like in the first run), but in the new run you should instead immediately grab the top left heart and then walk over to push the emerald block. -hanzou
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Wow, When we first decided that we should improve the Lolo 2 run, I had no idea it would be this much. Amazing... Here's some comments on your improvements: On 5-2, I managed to pass the water the last time a little smoother, saving an additional 5 frames. So the time on 5-2 has been cut down by 905 frames now. Leve 6-2 could only be improved by 54 frames, you can't push the egg in the water to the farthest left, if you do, it will have sunk before you get back to it after picking up the top heart. I'll look into 7-2 some more soon, I'll get back to you on that. 7-5 could only be improved by 2 frames. This is because whenever you get off the egg, the egg stops moving for a few frames. So by taking the egg on the way down as you said, the egg stops floating for a few frames. By taking the egg the way I take it in my current run, I don't have to put up with this waiting, since I take the egg when it's already stopped at the end of the river. So this saved mereley 2 frames. 8-3 was improved by 102 frames thanks to your tips. It was some trouble dodging all the Gol fire though. And I don't really see how you mean on 8-4... Could you post and .fcm that shows what you mean? Your improvement on C-1 did not save ~20 seconds, but it did save 258 frames, which is 4,3 seconds. Here's how I played all these levels: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload2/lolo2levels.zip As always, all comments are welcome. I haven't the time to test the rest of your foundings, and I'll be away for this weekend. But I'll get back to this on Monday. As usual, thanks a lot for your tips hanzou, you have helped out a lot with this, and it's very appreciated. I hope you find some new stuff while I'm gone during the weekend! :) Oh and hanzou, did you see the savestates that I posted? If you use them you don't have to fastforward to reach a certain level, just load the savestate for the level you want to see. To load them, open the Lolo 2 ROM, play the the movie you want to see, press File, Load State From, and then choose the savestate for that level. But on the other hand, if you find improvements by fastforwarding through the movie, then maybe I should let you continue with that. :) EDIT: Managed to save additional 70 frames on C-2 now: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload5/C-2new_v2.zip
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Here's a run of 6-1 that's exactly 2 seconds faster than in the submission. It turns out that you don't need to push the Don Medusa all the way into the corner, just block it off halfway. http://www.samus.co.uk/cad/lolo2_6-1_1821frames.fcm Then again, I just thought of something. I wonder if it would be possible to not block Don Medusa at all. I'll give that a shot. Edit: Heh, It worked. I'm not sure how many more frames it saved, though. http://www.samus.co.uk/cad/lolo2_6-1.fcm
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i saved some stupid sixteen frames in the stupid two five http://www.filespace.org/BagOfMagicFood/Adventures_of_Lolo_2_U.zip
put yourself in my rocketpack if that poochie is one outrageous dude
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I think we need to organize this information a little better so we can keep track of exactly what has been improved, and what could still use looking into. We should create a chart of the framecount of the fastest strategy for each level discovered so far, put it in the first post, and keep it updated as new things are found. And to go along with it, possibly a zip file of movies of the levels being completed the fastest known way. In fact, to help out, I'll go ahead and make such a chart for the submitted completed run. The following frame counts are measured from the frame Lolo appears at the beginning of the level to the frame the palette darkens at the end of the level or the frame which Lolo strikes a pose when standing on a staircase, whichever comes first... ORIGINAL MOVIE TIMES:
STAGE	START	END	FRAMES

1-1	1118	2139	1021
1-2	2183	3348	1165
1-3	3392	4924	1532
1-4	4967	5580	613
1-5	5623	6733	1110

2-1	7176	7924	748
2-2	7968	10460	2492
2-3	10504	11733	1229
2-4	11777	13369	1592
2-5	13413	14709	1296

3-1	15152	16853	1701
3-2	16897	18991	2904
3-3	19035	20007	972
3-4	20051	22363	2312
3-5	22407	24395	1988

4-1	24838	26307	1469
4-2	26351	27009	658
4-3	27052	29105	2053
4-4	29149	30158	1009
4-5	30229	31591	1362

5-1	32034	33175	1141
5-2	33218	36223	3005
5-3	36267	37865	1598
5-4	37909	39650	1741
5-5	39694	40233	539

6-1	40676	42617	1941
6-2	42661	44591	1930
6-3	44635	45738	1103
6-4	45782	48710	2928
6-5	48755	49391	636

7-1	49834	51416	1582
7-2	51460	54095	2635
7-3	54139	56222	2083
7-4	56266	58127	1861
7-5	58170	59928	1758

8-1	60371	63650	3279
8-2	63694	65227	1533
8-3	65270	66997	1727
8-4	67042	70387	3345
8-5	70431	72128	1697

9-1	72571	74950	2379
9-2	74994	76853	1859
9-3	76897	78429	1532
9-4	78473	80063	1590
9-5	80107	81796	1689

C-1	83655	85560	1905
C-2	85604	87827	2223
C-3	87871	91818	3947
C-4	91862	95080	3218
C-5	95124	97742	2618

Boss	97786	98195	409
I was really tired when I made this, so hopefully there aren't too may typos or misinformation more than 1 frame off.
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First off, props to BagOfMagicFood and CtrlAltDestroy for their contributions. More help is welcome, and in the top post I'm adding a list of requested levels and corresponding passwords for anyone who'd like to jump in and contribute.
Randil wrote:
On 5-2, I managed to pass the water the last time a little smoother, saving an additional 5 frames. So the time on 5-2 has been cut down by 905 frames now. And I don't really see how you mean on 8-4... Could you post and .fcm that shows what you mean?
Remember you have an extra shot on 5-2. Use this to shoot the first egg away after crossing it and you'll save at least a few more seconds. In order to help myself withdraw from Lolo this week I'm holding off on making anymore .fcm files =), but hopefully a description of 8-4 here might help. Your current strategy uses two emerald blocks on the top left Medusa first. Here is one (of many) alternate strategies: push emerald block to directly right of top-left Medusa, grab heart, push other emerald block to a point below top-right Medusa, shoot rightmost Snakey, grab bottom heart, push Snakey egg to left of top-right Medusa, grab top-right heart, walk back around, double-shoot rightmost Snakey (his egg will have hatched by then), use left Snakey to get bottom-left heart, walk up then blast him away late, then I hope it's clear what to do from there. You'll probably find a better strategy that doesn't involve so many steps, but the overall theme is using both Snakeys, more shots, more walking, but less waiting.
Randil wrote:
I'll look into 7-2 some more soon, I'll get back to you on that. Oh and hanzou, did you see the savestates that I posted?
Used the savestates and indeed these made it more convenient to view the movies and jump to levels. For that one demo labeled 7-3 though, you really meant 7-2 right? Yesterday I played around with 7-2 and was able to make use of Leeper, but in order to gain time from such a strategy the improvement needs to equal about a full cycle of Don Medusa's movement, which seems unlikely considering your new strategy already times it to Don's movement pretty well.
Randil wrote:
And also, I've been thinking some about 4-3... On this level I wait for several seconds, and I'm just wondering if anyone knows of a way to avoid waiting this long.
edit: Scratch out my original advice; I was mixing up the two Snakeys. Here is one way to get Snakey's egg on the water slightly earlier at the beginning: Instead of pushing an emerald block all the way across the bridge, push it onto the bridge, turn around and push Snakey's egg into the water, turn and push the block down one more space and cross the egg before it's sunk. Another thing, I came across a technique that allows you to dodge Alma even when he's right on your tail, as shown below. I was hoping this might be the key to speeding up 1-3, but no such luck. It looks like the levels where this trick could possibly help out are PROB and more likely PROD. Baxter, please try it out when you redo the pro levels. On PROD in particular, this allows Lolo to grab one of the hearts without giving up a shot, so later you can use the shot on an Alma to quickly grab one of the bottom hearts. An overall faster strategy might even involve using Alma eggs to grab both of the bottom hearts. Good luck! -hanzou
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Here, I think I've saved 73 frames on 3-3 (savestate 3): http://www.filespace.org/BagOfMagicFood/Adventures_of_Lolo_2_U.zip
put yourself in my rocketpack if that poochie is one outrageous dude
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I've timed CtrlAltDestroy's improvement on 6-1, and it's 160 frames, so his other founding made the level an additional 40 frames faster. And you're right that we should get stuff more organized wit this, so I'll get a table with all improvements so far posted here later today. I'm gonna try out some more stuff too today, so expect a bigger post later on. Maybe I'll fiz a zip file with some fcm's too, like you talked about...
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Castle-5. Improvements on the current strategy: After shooting Leeper the first time, don't push him all the way down to Medusa. If you leave a full space gap between Medusa and Leeper, Leeper will have less distance to hop right before you shoot him the second time. Also, when you shoot the second time shoot as early as can be allowed, which means the egg should end up a half-space from Medusa's line of sight. Next, when pushing the egg down, you can leave a half-space between the egg and the wall before the egg hatches and Lolo puts Leeper to sleep. However, these frame optimizations are irrelevant because the optimal strategy for this level most likely involves a live Leeper. It's possible to beat this stage by relying on Leeper to hop down to the bottom when Lolo grabs the jewel box, and even if this doesn't time perfectly it could be significantly faster than having to wait for egg-hatching twice.
I'm trying to use the "keep leeper awake" strategy, but it isn't working. Leeper keeps chasing me, and the only way possible to block him from hopping into the second part of the level is to use the jewelbox that you're supposed to trap Don Medusa with. If you finally get around to trapping him, snakey re-appears before you have a chance to block his respawn. I have, however, found about 4 other improvements to this level which I'll test out now. Edit: Here's a bunch of minor improvements to the level which saves a total of 51 frames. http://www.samus.co.uk/cad/me.fcm (use the C-5 savestate) If a clever trick using a leeper could be done, even more time could be saved.
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Thanks for looking into this C.A.D. Finding a better strategy for C-5 can be quite time consuming but it is very important since this stage is the game's finale! When you say jewel box you mean one of the emerald blocks, right? Yes, you need to use an emerald block to prevent Leeper from coming to the right side of the screen. Leeper is smart enough to chase down Lolo just like Alma or moving skulls can. I can guarantee that the level can be beaten with Leeper awake, because I've managed to do it on the console long ago. When the timing is right and Leeper is on his way to the bottom you can move that block away and trap Don if you like, but technically you don't need to trap him (and for the sake of the TAS's entertainment I recommend we do not) since Lolo can safely hide out in half of the rightmost heart in the worst case. I also don't see what this has to do with Snakey reappearing since there is another emerald block there and you have plenty of time to move it onto Snakey's spot. -hanzou
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Good luck with Castle 5, CtrlAltDestroy. I have improved 2-4 by 59 frames now, here: http://files.upl.silentwhisper.net/upload2/new2-4.zip I was hoping to grab all the three hearts in the lower left corner in a row, but I don't think it's possible, the Rocky intervened no matter when I timed my walk. If someone could make it though, it should save a lot of time. And school is taking up much more time than I had thought, so I probably won't be able to work very much on this for a couple of days. I have these two mathtests this weekend, and they're stealing time from TAS :(. So I pretty much leave this to you guys for a few days, I'll check back here now and then, to see how things are going. And I had missed that hanzou put up a list of possible improvements in his first post, until recently (that's why I improved 2-4 now). That should prove very useful, good thinking. Good luck with your improvements, everyone! :) EDIT: About 3-4... You are talking about exploiting rocky twice in your improvements-list, hanzou. I've played around with 3-4 a little while now, and I think that doing that is not possible, or at least very, very hard. You see, if you pass the center using the the rocky as a shield, he will immediately turn up and then turn right, after you have passed the statue. The only way to use him as a shield twice would be to on some way manipulate him to walk differently.