After watching the amazing speedruns on TASvideos from afar for a long time, I decided it was time to buckle down and make my own tool-assisted speedrun. And what better place to start than my favorite NES game ever, "Super Dodge Ball"? God knows how many hours I killed on this game as a kid. I even wrote an FAQ about it (you can find it at GameFAQs, although some of the content is not correct).
For those who have not played the game before, here's a brief synopsis: it's an imaginary form of dodge ball played at a professional level. Each team is made up of six members, and before each match you can choose which members will play point in the inner court, and which members will guard the opposition in the outer court. The object is to knock out all three of the opponent's point men.
Players in the inner court have the advantage of being able to employ "Power Shots", which are akin to the special moves of fighting games. Each character has two Power Shots; one ground and one aerial. Both require you to run briefly before throwing the ball, but aerial Power Shots only require one running step, while ground Power Shots require as much as eight steps depending on the character.
This speedrun plays World Cup mode in Difficult, which means the AI will sometimes throw Power Shots and have a higher accuracy rate at catching the ball. As I found, the AI is very difficult to manipulate, and much of their actions seem to depend on which frame the match begins; some matches take longer as a result, particularly Iceland.
World Cup mode forces you to play Team USA, which is a little disappointing considering the wide variety of teams; it doesn't detract from the entertainment value of the game, though. The best players are easily Sam and Randy; Sam has the best ground Power Shot on his team (and arguably in the game), and Randy has the most powerful aerial Power Shot. However, you start with Sam, John and Mike, the latter two of which are not so good. However, since the CPU takes forever to change its roster, I wait until India to switch to Randy/Sam/Steve, for reasons I'll get into below.
The timing on each match is counted from the frame you gain control of your team to the frame the damage indicator for the last opponent's character appears.

ALL-STARS - 1047 frames
The brief walk downwards at the beginning of the match is to target Fred, who can be killed with one jumping Power Shot. At the end of the match, Steve can throw the ball four frames earlier than he does, but doing so will inexplicably leave Tom alive.

ENGLAND - 870 frames
This is pretty quick as-is, but is hampered by a lot of dead ball time. It can't really be avoided, as it's not possible to hit both James and Henry with a Blaster at this angle. It's still the quickest match in this run.

INDIA - 1199 frames
I use luck manipulation to get Swami off the team at a cost of 211 frames. This is worth it because Swami has the highest vitality in the game; even the strongest Power Shots only do two points of damage. Also, a glitch with Steve's Uppercut Power Shot is showcased.

ICELAND - 2204 frames
The AI of Iceland combined with the ice making it impossible to do precision runs made this fight a little frustrating for me. Things that look like they make the fight last longer are actually required because either Power Shots won't aim correctly or the AI will catch my attack.

CHINA - 1085 frames
This team's low vitality makes for a quick match. There are several points where I have to pause or do things slower than I could because of screwy AI, particularly towards the end where I pass the ball from one outer fielder to the other in order to get my point men to come closer to the divider.

KENYA - 1460 frames
Taha's vitality is annoyingly high, so I once again use luck manipulation to get him off the team. I also switch Steve for Mike; Mike is much weaker than Steve, but the reason will become clear in a moment. In any case, Kenya's alternate roster is a pushover; not even the slow sandy arena is much of an issue in this speedrun. Watch out for the overkill on Eyo.

JAPAN - 1780 frames
Another match where high vitality is problematic, Sato can't even be manipulated off the team regardless, and the AI will never put Sato in a position where you can get the ball of a rebound. You also can't let Japan get the ball ever, because they're the slowest team in the game and they'll always pass the ball to Fuji, the slowest character in the game. Fortunately, unlike Kenya, Japan are suckers for Sam's Blaster; unfortunately, that makes for a fairly uninteresting match. Your mileage may vary, though; I know I loved knocking people around with the Blaster all day when I first started out.

USSR - 3657 frames
This team has the most consistent AI in the game in terms of catching, which is why I throw the ball twice at USSR with the intention of the ball being caught and returned. They also have ridiculously high energy and vitality, which means this match is going to take a long time regardless of what I do. I manage to finish off Pavel early in the game, though. I've got that going for me, which is nice.

TEAM SHADOW - 3242 frames
A clone of Team USA. The AI here is pretty much the most annoying things about Japan (always passing to the A guy and throwing power shots) and USSR (catch most everything), plus they have pumped up vitality and agility. What this means generally is that none of my tricks to make matches quicker and more entertaining will work, so I'm forced to use Japan's strategy again. Fortunately, since I have Mike on point, he's also on Team Shadow and he has the weakest vitality of them all.

adelikat: Good response from viewers. Accepting for publication

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #1302: Dasrik's NES Super Dodge Ball in 05:47.73
Joined: 5/29/2004
Posts: 757
Um... dayum?! That was INCREDIBLE! I was entertained from start to finish, especially watching the CPU get hit so hard, they flew through the screen to your side for more easy pickings! Without doubt a VERY easy Yes vote! [Even with the repetitive ending match, that could not be helped] Mr. Kelly R. Flewin
Mr. Kelly R. Flewin Just another random gamer ---- <OmnipotentEntity> How do you people get bored in the span of 10 seconds? Worst ADD ever.
Experienced player (612)
Joined: 4/24/2005
Posts: 612
Nice, short, entertaining display of 'Super Dodgeball'. The opposition didn't have a damn thing on you! Yes Vote for a good movie.
Active player (433)
Joined: 4/21/2004
Posts: 3517
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Absolutely brilliant game to pick and work on. I was thoroughly entertained. Great work and congratulations on your first submitted work. Easy yes vote.
Nitrogenesis wrote:
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!!!!!!
Arc wrote:
I enjoyed this movie in which hands firmly gripping a shaft lead to balls deep in multiple holes.
natt wrote:
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
Cooljay wrote:
Mayor Haggar and Cody are such nice people for the community. Metro City's hospitals reached an all time new record of incoming patients due to their great efforts :P
Former player
Joined: 8/1/2004
Posts: 2687
Location: Seattle, WA
Giving a Yes vote, although I felt that the run became a bit too repetetive after a while. USA #1
hi nitrodon streamline: cyn-chine
Joined: 10/3/2005
Posts: 1332
I watched the WIPs of this one, so it's an easy yes. I had hoped he would overcome the final teams with more panache, but I think any TASer would be hard pressed to outdo Dasrik's performance.
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Joined: 8/4/2005
Posts: 5772
Location: Away
Is it just me, or the amount of lag in this game is a bit too high? :\ I can't say I am really entertained by such a run. On the other hand, I wasn't bored by it, either, and it seems very well planned and stuff. I guess it's a weak yes from me.
Warp wrote:
Edit: I think I understand now: It's my avatar, isn't it? It makes me look angry.
JXQ
Experienced player (750)
Joined: 5/6/2005
Posts: 3132
This is very entertaining for me. The amount of luck manipulation is comparable to an early RPG, but without the boring factor. Plus the game is goofy and the music is all over the map (literally).
<Swordless> Go hug a tree, you vegetarian (I bet you really are one)
Joined: 5/29/2006
Posts: 138
Very entertaining run and game. Loved every bit of it. I'm sure that there is still room for improvement, but I couldn't tell you where - this just looks like one of those games that will never be perfect - lose 2 seconds here and you gain 3 seconds later kind of thing. Definite yes vote and I can't wait to see someone attempt an improvement.
Joined: 12/2/2005
Posts: 139
Location: New York, United States
A hearty yes for you sir.
What's a man like me supposed to do with all this extra savoir-faire?
Joined: 10/18/2005
Posts: 2
A very good run, and reminds me of the times i played when i grew up. If i remember right, there was another option you had, you could run, jump, and in mid-air, pass the ball to one of the out-fielders, they would jump to catch, and while they were still in the air, you could shoot from them with their aerial power shot. Did you consider this possiblity? it seems like that might have been a better idea than to just hand the ball over to iceland at the start of the match, but then again, you end up with the risk of the ball staying in their side of the court. There's only one thing that i would have liked seen done if there was ever a free moment with the ball. I would love to see you club one of the opposing team's out-fielders with the ball. :P
Player (29)
Joined: 9/23/2006
Posts: 207
Location: Moreno Valley, California
This response is pleasantly surprising me. Thanks, everyone! Gengar: I know what you're talking about, but that's actually a glitch and only possible with one character, All-Stars' Paul. Since you can't use the All-Stars, I can't take advantage of that glitch. And yeah, I considered trying to work in an outfielder bop somewhere, but I couldn't justify it. :( JXQ: The lag is indeed irritating; I'm going to try the SNES and GBA versions later on.
"The way to move out of judgment is to move into gratitude." — Neale Donald Walsch DannyLilithborne on IRC
Joined: 5/13/2006
Posts: 283
Voted yes for some very nice maniuplation and some very entertaining pwnage of the computer. :)
<Zurreco> if so called professional players cant adapt to every playing field, theyre obviously not that great
Editor, Reviewer, Experienced player (970)
Joined: 4/17/2004
Posts: 3109
Location: Sweden
I don't know if I've seen a game with this much flicker. Ever. That sort of ruined the experience for me. Other than that, it seemed good.
Former player
Joined: 9/20/2006
Posts: 287
Location: Singapore
Hmmm, I think the movie was done quick enough, so it wasn't too boring for the whole length. Knocking the opponents around the screen was hilarious, but i guess the strategies in the later levels were too repetitive. On the whole, good job though. If you intend to check out a dodgeball game on SNES, try 'Kunio-Kun no Dodge Ball Dayo Zenin Shuugo'. It features tonnes of super shots, though they have to be purchased. But still it may be cool to showcase how each kind of super shot could like humiliate the CPU :)
Truncated wrote:
Truncated is the most fiendish instrument of torture ever devised to bedevil the days of man. -- xoinx
Joined: 6/7/2006
Posts: 53
So that's TWO strange tricks for Steve. (The other one is that enemies seem to catch his aerial power shot less if you run backwards and THEN shoot it - although I'm fairly sure that's more well known.) Very impressive. My favorite part was NOT juggling Eyo at no health - it was not letting Pavel really get up at all. If I could vote Yes, I would.
Former player
Joined: 3/10/2006
Posts: 347
Location: Maryland, United States
Ha Ha! I loved playing this game as a kid. A definate yes vote. Thank you for bringing back some good memories.
Player (29)
Joined: 9/23/2006
Posts: 207
Location: Moreno Valley, California
Steve has another trick, but I didn't get to showcase it; it should be in one of the WIP's (back when I was still playing Kenya with my second roster). His Uppercut Power Shot can do damage coming down as well. edit: About the flicker... I realize that this might get in the way of encoding into an AVI if it gets through. I wish I had the programming panache to do something about it. :(
"The way to move out of judgment is to move into gratitude." — Neale Donald Walsch DannyLilithborne on IRC
adelikat
He/Him
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Joined: 11/3/2004
Posts: 4739
Location: Tennessee
Yes vote. The constant flickering of the game turned it from a strong yes to a weak one though.
It's hard to look this good. My TAS projects
Former player
Joined: 3/13/2004
Posts: 706
Location: Elyria/Oberlin, OH
Whoa it's Dasrik! I figured the fighting-game people had just about dried up here, since both namflow and I disappeared. honda best man!!!!! Seriously though, one of my favorite games from back in the day, and excellent work! Obvious yes vote. Given this quality from your first submission, I (and others for sure) hope you'll stick around. -Josh
but then you take my 75 perchance chance of winning, if we was to go one-on-one, and then add 66 and two-thirds ch...percents...i got a 141 and two-thirds chance of winning at sacrifice
Player (29)
Joined: 9/23/2006
Posts: 207
Location: Moreno Valley, California
Yeah, I noticed you had done some of the runs on this site. Nice to see you! How goes it?
"The way to move out of judgment is to move into gratitude." — Neale Donald Walsch DannyLilithborne on IRC
Post subject: Movie published
TASVideoAgent
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This movie has been published. The posts before this message apply to the submission, and posts after this message apply to the published movie. ---- [742] NES Super Dodge Ball by Dasrik in 05:47.16
Player (29)
Joined: 9/23/2006
Posts: 207
Location: Moreno Valley, California
Just a note... I have this video on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxGQLGPgy08
"The way to move out of judgment is to move into gratitude." — Neale Donald Walsch DannyLilithborne on IRC
Joined: 4/8/2013
Posts: 6
It's always cool seeing Not-A-Sidescroller TAS videos. Just a note to whoever did the publication text: The flickering in this game has nothing whatsoever to do with emulation. Contemporary reviews of this game all mentioned it, and having spent hours playing this game on an actual licensed console, I can assure you that the emulation itself is spot-on. For whatever reason, Technos decided to use a flickering effect to indicate which player you were currently controlling, as well as which player on the enemy team you were currently targeting. This, in combination with typical NES graphic breakup from having too many sprites on the same horizontal line, is to blame for the rather trippy playfield graphics. So yeah, I really wouldn't describe it as an "emulation issue".