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Thanks for the opinions guys. I think I'll stick with 4:3 from now on since it is the native aspect ratio. On a different note, does anyone here know how the manipulation of emerald placement works for Knuckles/Rouge stages?
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sonicpacker wrote:
does anyone here know how the manipulation of emerald placement works for Knuckles/Rouge stages?
I have no idea, but this guide might be useful for you.
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All I "know" is that once one emerald has been placed, the second emerald will be placed at least certain distance away from the first. Then, the third will be placed a at least a certain distance away from the third, but ignore the placement of the first (probably to make sure that the third emerald can be placed somewhere at all). I sadly don't remember where I've read about this. Maybe SadisticMystic would know more about this matter.
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Hunting items are divided into 11 groups in each stage. Group 0: Item #2 (or B, as the game calls it) locations that are visible in the open. There are 8 slots allotted to such locations. Group 1: Item #1 (C) locations out in the open--since 1 is generally supposed to be easier to find, there are 24 slots for this. Group 2: Item #2 in a concealed location, such as inside a box or other breakable item. 8 slots. Group 3: Item #1 in a concealed location. 8 slots. Group 4: Item #3 (A), usually in a place where you have to dig for it. In Wild Canyon and Dry Lagoon, the player isn't expected to have their dig upgrade; in Security Hall there are no persistent diggable surfaces whatsoever. For these three stages, group 4 is simply filled with assorted locations. In the other stages, there's a special mask on group 4 (as well as group 5) such that even if you can get out of bounds and touch the item's physical coordinates in a glide, it fails to register unless you're actually in the process of digging. 16 slots. Group 5: Item #2 in a diggable location, with the same proviso that applies to group 4. 16 slots. Group 6: More diggable locations for item #3, but these are pointless for most TAS purposes since they're reserved for 2-player mode. Group 6 replaces group 8 during 2-player games, since they don't want to make that mode too hard for casual players who also have to worry about the other player launching special attacks. 8 slots. Group 7: Item #3 that doesn't stay in one place, but rather moves along a path. 8 slots. Group 8: Item #3 in a difficult location to reach (relatively speaking), such as one that's over a void so as to provide very little frame of reference to pinpoint its position, or one that's in close proximity to hazards such as spike balls or fire. 8 slots. Group 9: The preset locations for hard mode. 3 slots. In addition, the enemies are a group, but since they don't use the same object ID as the others, there's no group number to unify them. Nonetheless, certain enemies have flags set to make them a candidate for receiving item #1 or #2, to be released automatically on destruction. The number of slots for this can vary; Pumpkin Hill reserves only 2, while Security Hall reserves 14 of these (but only uses 13). The actual placement routine goes something like this: -Did the player already collect item #1 on a previous life (without having used the Restart menu option since)? If so, keep track of the location they collected that. Otherwise, pick a random location out of groups 1, 3, and the enemy group. -Did the player already collect item #2? If so, keep track of that location. Otherwise, pick a random location out of groups 0, 2, 5, and the enemy group. If this location is close enough to the location for item #1, throw it away and repeat this step--such a location is said to be "locked out". Keep trying until they're far enough apart. -Did the player already collect item #3? If so, keep track of that location, not that it matters for much. Otherwise, pick a random location out of groups 4, 7, and 8 (replace 8 with 6 if it's 2P mode, and if this is the first run though Pumpkin Hill or Egg Quarters, select only from group 4. This makes sure that the player will have to collect their dig upgrade in order to proceed beyond this level.) If the location is close enough to the location for item #2 (and possibly also for #1 as well), throw it away and repeat this step. Keep trying until they're far enough apart. Unlike the original Sonic Adventure (and DX), uncollected item locations are rerolled after each loss of life, making it possible to keep restarting until the closest location for #3 comes up, collect it, then keep dying until the closest #2 comes up (once you have an item in hand, you have to die rather than restart or else you lose that progress), and again for #1 which isn't subject to any lockouts. Ideally for a TAS you should be able to manipulate the random generator on the fly to get all three hits on consecutive lives. If for some reason you want to attempt mission 4, note that the no-checkpoint rule applies there even for hunting stages, making any death indistinguishable from a restart. Speedrunning 4s involves having to roll all three pieces at once, and then from the 30,000-odd configurations that are okay by the lockout rule, hoping to manipulate the single fastest one. The one thing I don't have, preventing the above analysis for being complete enough for TAS purposes, is a reliable metric for "far enough apart". I don't think a simple distance measurement will suffice, since I've observed lockouts at Meteor Herd that cover such a distance that if you applied it to a place like Security Hall, it would likely disqualify the entire stage. I've looked through dumps of all the object definition files, and don't see anything that sticks out as a possible flag for specifying which subsequent locations would be locked out by this one. However, I do see a vague sense of ordering to the items in each group--in Death Chamber, for instance, the locations in and around the red room have the lowest IDs within each group, followed by the blue room, then the green room, pyramid core, and the unaligned hallways and secret rooms after that. So there could be some kind of rule that locks out based on item ID, except that the items aren't uniformly distributed across all the noticeable zones, and assigning the enemy locations (with their varying numbers per stage) to zones doesn't seem feasible at all without hard-coding them as flags in whatever bits are left unused from setting their characteristics as...you know, enemies. Is disassembling executables of this magnitude into a readable state going to be at all feasible any time soon? Because I can't imagine it would be.
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Thank you very much for all of that. My only question is this: How sensitive is the RNG? Would it change by delaying a button press at the scoring screen? How about pressing a random button that doesn't do anything at that moment? Pausing for a frame or two? Pressing 'Y', which does nothing for P1 to my knowledge?
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As much experience as I have with the game, none of it has come in a setting with access to savestates, so I can't speak for manipulating the RNG at all. I'd suspect that it probably iterates every frame at least, and there are very few things I can pinpoint that actually call up random seeds on the fly (among them are digging into the ground for the possibility of an item box reward and/or a skull projectile, and the environmental hazard in Meteor Herd where meteors periodically come crashing down to a random nearby location). The Y button has a use in cycling the action window (read: the current function of B and X) when multiple actions are possible, such as using Magic Hands with Sonic, or putting on Sunglasses or Treasure Scope for Knuckles or Rouge. One more thing I just recalled: On GameCube, in the first life (and only the first life) in any given session at Meteor Herd, players have observed that the first meteor always strikes in the same location, which is a useful thing to know if you want to get hit by it (in mission 2, this has the useful side effect of spawning the back ring, which otherwise requires a significant detour to a falling weight before it can appear). No such guarantee is available in the Dreamcast version. This would suggest that randomness is reinitialized with every new stage start, except that I just went into mission 1 several times to check the piece layout, and got different pieces each time. No idea what to make of that.
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Ah, right. I forgot about that, even though I need to use it every time I do the 99 lives trick. As for the meteor, perhaps the game only uses the RNG to determine subsequent locations, while the starting location is fixed on the first life/after a restart.
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Doubtful, and I can't imagine any acceptable single-segment layouts that would get anywhere close to that time. The nice thing about Death Chamber, though, is that for both deaths you're already right next to some fire so it doesn't take long (assuming you can manipulate the keys to show up on the first three lives, of course). Contrast that with Pumpkin Hill, which has a huge and inescapable discrepancy between the game time route and a real time route.
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Haha! That looked too easy man, too easy :) *hugs sonicpacker*
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News on full game run: Mapler and I chose to start with Dark Story for reasons involving the individual character fights. I finished Iron Gate with a time of 1:58:95. It is EXTREMELY hard to optimize turns while retaining speed (especially with a controller and no TAS input). So it looks like some corners are not cut well, but in reality, not much could be saved over it IMO. At the end of Iron Gate you have to hit a missile switch. I found a quick way to hit it without taking the small elevator. So the ending looks pretty nice with that time saver. Following that is the B-3x HOT SHOT battle I uploaded with a time of 19:80. I believe this is optimized to it's fullest. If you hit him too early (for the first hit), he won't start hovering in the air, which is bad because his invincibility lasts much less while floating. So I hit him on the first frame where he would not just sit on the ground. All the other hits make contact as soon as the invincibility dies down. The next part is Rouge's first level -- Dry Lagoon. I found out that emerald manipulation has NOTHING to do with input of buttons or the analog sticks. The only thing that changes emerald positions is what frame you enter the level. This means that the only way to get an "optimal" position is by saving/delaying frames. Mapler and I found a very good position, but it requires delaying 34 frames at the cut-scene skip (AKA when you press start to move on). This is a 60 FPS game, so 34 frames is only a little over half a second. As of right now, I have a time of 16:97 with this emerald position (no death manipulation was needed). This time is definitely improvable and I plan to work on it in my free time. Hopefully Mapler will be able to get a controller soon so he can help with the TASing aspect of things (we are also awaiting a TAS input). Anyway, thanks for the support AngerFist (and others who have given positive feedback). It really does give us motivation to keep working through Dolphin's issues! XD EDIT 16:45 on Dry Lagoon for now.
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Really glad to see this start up.
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So are we. The only things giving us trouble are my lack of a controller, and the large amount of time it takes to play the .dtm back. Other than that, it's going fairly well. I never expected to be this far in less than a week. I have to give credit to SP for that, who has obviously been doing everything so far.
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It would be appreciated if someone familiar with treasure-hunting speed runs could critique this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ibsr8Nv893w I know it isn't a good encode, but I didn't have time to make a full video. I would just like some feedback...perhaps enough to sub 16:00? =)
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Maybe, just for a lark, someone should do a TAS of 3D Green Hill Zone (using codes to unlock it). Not as a submission but to see how well it could be done. And keep it up, dudes and dudettes. I presume you're planning to put all the stories in one submission? And maybe after this... Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Heroes!
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I take it that means you're on Sand Ocean. I did a lot of work with that level when I was speedrunning the game, so I'd really like to see what you've come up with. I may even be able to give you a few pointers.
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N. Harmonik wrote:
Maybe, just for a lark, someone should do a TAS of 3D Green Hill Zone (using codes to unlock it). Not as a submission but to see how well it could be done. ...
here is one DennisBalow made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAGg4RFwfoQ
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sonicpacker wrote:
It would be appreciated if someone familiar with treasure-hunting speed runs could critique this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ibsr8Nv893w I know it isn't a good encode, but I didn't have time to make a full video. I would just like some feedback...perhaps enough to sub 16:00? =)
It looks realy good sonicpacker, i also noticed that you picked it in the order it was supposed to be picked, but i think that in this case, it is the fastest route. On the other hand, it is possible that all 3 emeralds appear in the first zone?
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So in Green Forest... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aArYWoFpY1c The running vertically up the tree trunks trick is new right? Because it looks awesome.
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Rolanmen1 wrote:
On the other hand, it is possible that all 3 emeralds appear in the first zone?
Out of me and mapler's total of 50~ attempts at emerald positions, we didn't once see all of them appear in area 1 (not saying it's impossible, just that it never happened for us). We did however get all 3 pieces in the 2nd area. It was usually just bad positioning. The video I posted is by far the best positions we could achieve. There was 1 runner up candidate, but it wasted 15~ more frames at the cutscene skip, and I'm 90% it is slower because of the placement of the last (piece 2) emerald being in the water of the 2nd area.
Rolanmen1 wrote:
i also noticed that you picked it in the order it was supposed to be picked
It actually went 1>3>2
petrie911 wrote:
I may even be able to give you a few pointers.
That would be appreciated =)
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N. Harmonik wrote:
And maybe after this... Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Heroes!
Once I get a controller, I'll be working on SADX. I haven't heard anything about TASing SH, though.
petrie911 wrote:
I take it that means you're on Sand Ocean. I did a lot of work with that level when I was speedrunning the game, so I'd really like to see what you've come up with. I may even be able to give you a few pointers.
I would love to compare notes with you. So far i've gotten 2:02:94 Segmented, non-TAS, no hover, and infinite lives (AR). Is that in line with what you've seen? I can PM you if you'd like to know more of the details. Also, do you know any tricks for preserving speed with Eggman? There are a few (i can think of two off the top of my head) places where you have to turn about 180 degrees around a wall or fence, which I haven't managed to do without losing most of the speed i have at that point.
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Paused wrote:
The running vertically up the tree trunks trick is new right?
No. EDIT I feel like a moron for not testing this efficiently, but climbing on the other wall gave me a current time of 15:69. Improvable of course as this was just a quick test. Thanks to SadisticMystic for pointing it out.
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