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Sonic Advance is the first in the GBA series of Sonic games. Apparently it received a lot of criticism for being too slow. I didn't think it was too slow, but what do I know?
Emulator used: VBA re-recording v19.2. You might want to set the frame skip to 0 (choose "Options->Speed->Frame Skip->skip 0"), otherwise the scrolling will be choppier than it should be.
This run beats Sonic Advance with Sonic+Tails, aiming for the fastest in-game time on each level, then fastest real-time. (No emeralds.) Sonic+Tails isn't a normal character option, they are selected by pressing Up,Down,L,R on the other characters, so technically this uses a cheat code. It makes it more interesting to have a second character, I think, with manipulating a second character on boss fights being good for a TAS. Besides boss fights, Tails has no effect at all (he just gets left in the dust immediately).
This was quite difficult to make because so many precise actions have to be made while the character is far offscreen in order to beat the levels as fast as possible. I worked around that by watching Sonic's position in VBA's memory viewer, and eventually by [/Forum/Topics/3938&start=13|hacking a "sonic cam" option into VBA] to keep Sonic always onscreen (this was pretty complicated to do without desync because the camera position drastically affects the gameplay). It's possible to make an AVI with this of what it looks like when you can actually see Sonic all the time, for example, this AVI of the first act (but I didn't encode it very well...) . There are a lot of opportunities for glitching this game in a TAS. Most of the glitches involve doing an ultra spin-dash (hold down and press the A button 11 times as fast as possible) and are mainly good for horizontal movement, making vertical stages relatively slower. You might be surprised at how well Egg Rocket 1 turned out, though (if you've ever played it before, you'll know how ridiculous a sub-1-minute time on it is), and I was definitely surprised by how that level ended...
Depending on the path, it's possible to skip the loading of the collision boundaries for the rest of the level. Usually that's bad because it means you fall through the level to the bottom and die, but I manage to take advantage of this in Egg Rocket 1. That glitch required extremely precise positioning, by the way (it needed to be literally subpixel-precise, and was very unlikely that I found it).
Interactive objects in the level, such as springboards, enemies, item boxes, or the goal, don't have any effect offscreen. Thus, I can't bounce off of springs, be harmed by enemies, get items, or complete the level until I allow the camera to catch up. Loops and other places where Sonic is supposed to pass behind part of the level also don't work offscreen (they count as walls then, completely halting Sonic although they can be glitched through like other walls). When an interactive object is onscreen, it makes it impossible to glitch through it into a wall (the game teleports Sonic back to where he started a little while after going through). Somewhat surprisingly, rings can be collected offscreen like normal.
In Angel Island 1 and (more noticeably) Cosmic Angel 2, I'm able to move up or down a small amount by spin dashing or attacking while inside a wall. Normally this doesn't work, but it worked there because I had entered the wall directly from a sloped surface (which is rarely possible).
Different wall tiles have different properties for glitching. The Angel Island ones were especially bad for having lots of the tiles that cause you to get stuck. The hardest levels to do were: Egg Rocket 1, Casino Paradise 2, Cosmic Angel 2, Angel Island 1. Besides exploiting programming errors in the game, this run also manipulates randomness on most of the bosses. The final boss in particular was a pain to manipulate.
Here are the in-game times achieved:
Level/BossTimeTSC record
Neo Green Hill 10:12:85 [1]0:24:45
Neo Green Hill 20:30:050:45:55
Secret Base 10:26:370:39:98
Secret Base 20:37:101:12:05
Casino Paradise 10:15:520:36:82
Casino Paradise 20:38:520:53:42
Ice Mountain 10:12:320:47:63
Ice Mountain 20:44:621:04:03
Angel Island 10:14:721:11:67
Angel Island 20:37:871:06:93
Egg Rocket 10:53:25 [2]2:26:17
Cosmic Angel 20:42:781:14:53
X-Zone0:43:200:49:78
Total in-game time: 6:49:17
The TSC record times are going by different rules (fastest time using any individual character), should be current as of this submission, and are only listed to give a better sense of how long these levels are "supposed" to take.

[1]: I cross the goal of Neo Green Hill 1 in 9.57 seconds, but get a level time of 0:12:85 because I have to wait for the camera to catch up for the goal sprite to load. Since I outran the camera at the earliest possible moment, and stayed offscreen until the level ended, I believe 0:12:85 is the fastest time possible on that level. Note that time bonus on this and several other levels actually takes longer to count down than the entire level took to complete (too bad the countdown is unskippable).
[2]: The game doesn't display this time because it replaces the timer with a 5-minute countdown at the first rocket transition. To see that the time was 0:53:25, I hex-edited the completed level into the "time attack" mode of the game on that level. I did find a way to skip the first transition and beat the level before the rocket even takes off, but it was slower overall.

adelikat: excellent run, excellent response, accepting

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #1099: nitsuja's GBA Sonic Advance in 11:17.47
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Uh… Just what was that? Has Mega Man run just lost his crown of being the fastest wall-zipper on the site? :D Pure excellence, Nitsuja.
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Edit: I think I understand now: It's my avatar, isn't it? It makes me look angry.
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Oh my god, and I thought Sonic Advance 2 was broken. This is just ridiculous. :)
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This was WTF video. Awesome work Nitsuja, voting yes!
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holy CRAP. That was absolutely amazing! That avi of the camhack on the first act explained a bunch and was just as fun to watch. I would like seeing the whole thing done like that! Wow.
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Is it possible to spend any less time onscreen in Secret Base? I don't know what allows for those big spindashes, but looking at a map it seems like there could be more cuts to take and less interacting with the "normal" stage.
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Well...this was unexpected. I thought Sonic Advance would play out more like Sonic 2, but it turns out to be the most broken run on the site. Egg Rocket 1 and the final boss roffled my waffle.
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...what? Can you explain exactly how that super-dash works? Also, what is with that annoying cartwheel/roundoff that Sonic does from time to time? Anyways, yes vote from me.
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Guess I'll also vote yes even though I often dont see you or what you are doing. Typical crazy Nitsuja run :)
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Guys I come from the DidyKnogRacist communite, and you are all wrong, tihs is the run of the mileniun and everyone who says otherwise dosnt know any bater! I found this run vary ease to masturbate too!!!! Don't fuck with me, I know this game so that mean I'm always right!StupedfackincommunityTASVideoz!!!!!!
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I don't want to get involved in this discussion, but as a point of fact C# is literally the first goddamn thing on that fucking page you linked did you even fucking read it
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so wtf that's is too hard to follow ; I actually, as some others vierwers, enjoyed the camhack better. I'd glady watch the full game run that way, in fact. would it be please possible ? even if it's not published, maybe posted somewhere ? I'm quite sure it would find its audience easily.
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Well, I think, technically it's possible to capture the camhack output to AVI, but VBM file will show the same anyways. I'd prefer a "full" video, too.
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Edit: I think I understand now: It's my avatar, isn't it? It makes me look angry.
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Crazy stuff nitsuja, easily a yes vote. Somewhat related, could you upload the version of vba with the cam hack for those of us who would rather not download an avi?
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moozooh wrote:
Has Mega Man run just lost his crown of being the fastest wall-zipper on the site? :D
Actually, wall-zipping isn't Sonic's fastest form of movement, which is why I don't use it when it's possible to go over in a straight shot.
Zurreco wrote:
Can you explain exactly how that super-dash works?
Do a spin dash where you press the A button exactly 11 times within 21 or 22 frames, and it gives a huge speed boost (20-30 times faster than normal).
Zurreco wrote:
Also, what is with that annoying cartwheel/roundoff that Sonic does from time to time?
The cartwheel move (press B twice) is a good way to bring Sonic to a complete halt in preparation for a spindash. It's often a bit slower than stopping manually with perfect precision, but it moves you forward a good amount in addition to stopping you (which is often advantageous). If you mean Sonic's "space jump" move, that's what happens when you try to jump while doing that cartwheel move. The only good thing about it is that it can jump from midair or up a slope.
moozooh wrote:
Well, I think, technically it's possible to capture the camhack output to AVI, but VBM file will show the same anyways.
AVI would be much preferable because the camhack is very computationally intensive; it maxes out the CPU at well below 100% speed for me, so you'd need either an AVI or a very fast computer to watch it at full speed. I could supply the hacked VBA or try encoding the rest of it.
Mr. Pwnage wrote:
Is it possible to spend any less time onscreen in Secret Base? I don't know what allows for those big spindashes, but looking at a map it seems like there could be more cuts to take and less interacting with the "normal" stage.
Walls that have any object next to them (spring, spikes, etc.) are impossible to glitch through unless you're far offscreen at the time, which ruled out some routes. There's usually no way to gain height when in a wall, so glitching to over or underneath the goal does no good (either freezes the game or kills you, in fact), and same for glitching through a wall that leads to a pit. Also, loops are bad because they count as two solid walls when they're offscreen, and those glide wire things in the Secret Base levels will often freeze the game if you hit them too fast. You could be right, of course, but this is the fastest route I found.
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The camhack VBA (along with the changed source) is here. It's disabled by default. To enable it, go to Tools->Customize All Commands and you'll see a command called "SonicAdvance" in the list. Assign some key to it (I used Backspace) and then press it once after the movie has started playing to toggle the "sonic cam" on/off. You can record an AVI with it on, the only problem being that it will screw up the audio, so you'd have to combine the audio with a separate audio track that was recorded without the camhack enabled (it's not too big of an inconvenience, considering that the audio would need to be compressed anyway).
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Nice, I love what you managed to do with Tails.
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Not bad.
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1-This is the best Sonic game for gba 2-it's full of glitches 3-you use Tails. That's a yes! But... about the emu thing... wouldn't it be better if you could disable the "screen speed limiter"? That hack really abuses cpu power...
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pirate_sephiroth wrote:
But... about the emu thing... wouldn't it be better if you could disable the "screen speed limiter"? That hack really abuses cpu power...
I can't tell what you're asking. If you mean hacking the game itself or enabling a cheat code to get rid of it, and redoing the run with that, then no, I doubt that would be acceptable.
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FTW Except, it won't let me vote...
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I'm voting yes and for using that hack when encoding. The slowdown it added for direct watching did help for seeing things in detail but I think most watchers would prefer normal speed.
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That was really boring, I couldn't help but fastforward through more than half the movie. ;) It's nice to see a good glitch run once in a while. I loved it.
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I'd like to see the avi of this made with the screen follow hack, but if it's possible, maybe there could be two avi files available, either with two torrent files, or combined into one.
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I voted yes because it's from a famous series and it's obviously very well made ... but I know I'm never going to watch it again. It's almost unfortunate how bugged out the engine is because the run is really boring. Then again, I'd be bored with a more normal run of the game, too, since I think the GBA Sonics are all pretty boring regardless.
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YESYESYESYESYES! (and a star too) If this movie is rejected, the judges should be hung. Twice. And yeah, like NrgSpoon said, whoever encodes it should definitely use Nitsuja's sonic cam feature, it's a lot more entertaining when you can see the character and feel the sense of speed
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NrgSpoon wrote:
I'd like to see the avi of this made with the screen follow hack, but if it's possible, maybe there could be two avi files available, either with two torrent files, or combined into one.
Or a Side-by-side AVI, ala the Mega Man X & X2 run.
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