1 2
10 11 12
20 21
Experienced Forum User, Player (204)
Joined: 2/12/2006
Posts: 373
Location: Oregon
How's it going Dunnius? I can imagine Kasandora is difficult to optimize, since you have to go out your way to build enough roads to get all the growth needed up to the end of Marahna.
Experienced Forum User, Skilled player (1648)
Joined: 11/15/2004
Posts: 2200
Location: Killjoy
Arcade TASer of 2010PCE TASer of 2010Arcade TAS of 2010Lucky TAS of 2009Lucky TAS of 2007
Are you guys co-authoring a run, or competing? I can't tell...
Sage advice from a friend of Jim: So put your tinfoil hat back in the closet, open your eyes to the truth, and realize that the government is in fact causing austismal cancer with it's 9/11 fluoride vaccinations of your water supply.
Experienced Forum User, Player (204)
Joined: 2/12/2006
Posts: 373
Location: Oregon
Co-authoring. Dunnius is better than I am at maximizing the number of monsters killed in the beginning of sims than I am and came up with interesting strategies for Fillmore and Bloodpool. Unfortunately, the alternate strategy for Bloodpool didn't work out (though it was an interesting idea), so he basically went with mine. I've done a whole bunch of planning for the sims, too, which I believe Dunnius has looked at, but the final input for the Bloodpool and Fillmore sims is Dunnius's. I do the action sequences. The SMVs I've put out recently are me sticking my action sequences onto the sim Dunnius just finished, since Dunnius said he'd rather leave the action sequences to me.
Active player, Experienced Forum User (378)
Joined: 9/7/2007
Posts: 329
Computer TASer of 2015Computer TAS of 2015
Thinking about optimizing the towns' roads and maximizing the population by the end of Marahna, I decided to look at Fillmore and Bloodpool again. I determined that each of them have roads that did not need to be built and also waste frames. In Fillmore, 3 frames can be saved by skipping the square west of the southern lair and the square that is northwest of the aforementioned square. In Bloodpool, skipping the two northernmost squares saves 6 frames because two "direct the people" can be used instead of three. However, for each of the two towns, removing the extra roads ended up being slower by about 20 to 30 frames because the construction took longer, so there will be no change to either town. It is interesting that the longer route ended up being faster both times. That makes me think that it may be possible to save even more frames by taking a slightly longer route in many of the pointer movements. But determining the optimized movement would be very difficult without looking at the code that determines where the people build, so that will be a future improvement. I have found a more efficient path for Kasandora, though it will require some more testing to make it optimal. Right now I am seeing how many souls I can get before the end of the first construction cycle. EDIT: I got 24 souls before the first construction in Kasandora.
Experienced Forum User, Player (204)
Joined: 2/12/2006
Posts: 373
Location: Oregon
Awesome! You never fail to amaze with your soul-gathering abilities! With 6 structures in the 1st phase, we should be able to save a few hundred frames in Marahna. We will still have to build towards the NW and SW lairs at the same time, but now we can get away with 1 less phase of doing that and still beat Marahna in the minimum number of phases. Things are shaping up rather well :). How are things going for you? I've been rather busy thanks to it being the end of Spring term here. But now finals are over for me, so I'd like to see what you've done so far for Kasandora if possible.
Experienced Forum User, Player (204)
Joined: 2/12/2006
Posts: 373
Location: Oregon
This run is not dead. It's just hibernating, because I've been waiting for an SMV from Dunnius for Kasandora. If Dunnius doesn't put up something, I may try myself to get 24 souls before the first construction phase. Now I can look at Dunnius's runs of Fillmore and Bloodpool to try to figure out exactly how Dunnius killed so many monsters within the first few phases. But that probably won't come until sometime during August, since I'm taking classes right now. Once Kasandora is finished, the other sims should be a piece of cake. So should most of the acts for that matter, since I've already made test runs for them.
Active player, Experienced Forum User (378)
Joined: 9/7/2007
Posts: 329
Computer TASer of 2015Computer TAS of 2015
It's not dead; it's resting! This run has been on hiatus for a little while, but there has been some progress as well. I found a more efficient path for directing the people in Kasandora, but in the process got burnout from doing too many calculations and test runs. Then somehow July flew by too quickly. Now it is time for me to get back on this. I did all those test runs to see if I can manipulate the construction periods to be faster. So far all of the test runs' constructions are basically the same number of frames not counting random lag. All but 2 of the runs put roads on the same squares, but each have a slightly different path during the "direct" that is only a few frames slower than the best route. Even though there are more routes that I could test, I think I can conclude that they will be the same as the runs that I have done because they would have the same roads build before the construction. I'm surprised that there were no differences in all those test runs since I encountered variations in my tests for the first construction cycle. In order to get 6 structures built and put the pointer west of the temple where I want it, I had to take a different route that was 4 frames longer. Had I not done that, only 4 structures would have been built. I tested all the patterns getting the 3 squares around the temple during cycle 1, and the patterns that had less than 6 structures built ended the pointer on the temple or the square west of the temple. I think part of the reason is that no field can be built on the square west of the temple, but it doesn't explain why it works in some patterns and not others. This sort of thing also affects the end of the route. If I build over the final lair as soon as possible and leave the pointer there, it reduces the number of structures built during Kasandora's final population growth (which occurs while building Marahna) and the population ends up as 486 instead of 510. By waiting a few construction cycles before building over the lair, the problem is solved. I think the reason this occurs is that the town is scanned from top to bottom, left to right, and it will not decide to build a house unless there are enough remaining resources. If it is unable to build a field when needed, it won't build any more houses until it can build a field. If there are lots of fields built on the top of the map, then it will take too long to build the necessary field and it won't build as many structures. This is yet another reason to look at the game's code so that this can be optimized better. While I was away on vacation and unable to TAS, I was playing around with a game where I am trying to get the maximum score (99990) in all the action sequences and the maximum population in the sims without cheat codes. It is going to be difficult to get the maximum score in Aitos Act 1, so I decided to do Northwall before and see how far I could get in the simulation before the sheep's fleece is needed. It turns out that by keeping the population low, the sheep's fleece is not needed! This only saves about 25-30 frames since we have to get the source of magic in Aitos, but it is a timesaver nevertheless. So I am finally back to work on this and I completed cycle 2 now. Here is a link to the WIP. http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/102606997/ActRaiser_%28U%29_WIP_kas_cycle_2_done.smv
Experienced Forum User, Player (204)
Joined: 2/12/2006
Posts: 373
Location: Oregon
Awesome! Your patience in testing out all these different paths puts mine to shame. And again, your monster killing speed is impressive. As for the Source of Magic in Aitos, I'm not so sure anymore that the delays involved will be worth it, but now that I have have a better idea of what kind of Stardust patterns I'll end up getting in each boss battle (thanks to the WIPs I made), and can somewhat better manipulate stardust thanks to lua, I'll run tests again at some point to see if getting the SOM would really be worth it.
Experienced Forum User
Joined: 7/12/2004
Posts: 524
Location: USA
Good work. I'm sure the final result will put my run to shame. It would be nice to see below an hour final time. I dunno if that much can be shaved though.
Working on: Command and Conquer PSX Nod Campaign
Active player, Experienced Forum User (378)
Joined: 9/7/2007
Posts: 329
Computer TASer of 2015Computer TAS of 2015
I finally figured out what I did to make the sheep's fleece unnecessary in Northwall. Using the sunlight miracle to uncover the lake suspends the conditions that cause the cold weather message until the people discover the magical light spell at the bottom of the lake exactly 3 cycles later. This also skips the message about the tree (and the source of magic in it) plus another message the cycle before (which is skippable even when using the sheep's fleece by keeping the population less than 22 at the beginning of cycle 3!) It takes 4 sunlight miracles plus a message from the people to uncover the lake. The other message about the scroll at the bottom of the lake and the subsequent cold weather message are skippable by sealing the fourth lair before 3 cycles pass. Sealing the fourth lair suspends all messages until act 2 is completed. Since this skips the source of magic, the take an offering screen is also skipped. If we were to skip getting the source of magic in Aitos as well since we would also skip the sheep's fleece, then that take an offering could also be skipped. But even the fastest scenario for skipping the sheep's fleece will end up being slower, so it will not be suitable in a TAS. I also calculated the delay for getting the source of magic in Aitos. There are 34 extra frames of pointer movement, and the 2 messages about the source of magic are each about 170 frames. There are about 6 to 8 extra frames to get the scroll since we will also be getting the sheep's fleece. So the source of magic will need to save more than about 380 frames in the action sequences. Perhaps this is known already, but in Kasandora Act 2 in the big room with the moving platforms, there is a magic scroll that can be obtained without losing time since we have to wait for the platform. This only matters if the additional stardust saves time in the boss battle.
Experienced Forum User, Player (204)
Joined: 2/12/2006
Posts: 373
Location: Oregon
I recall checking the delay for getting the Aitos Source of Magic before, but I wasn't smart enough to note the exact delay. 380 frames sounds about right. And you've been great with the Sim stuff, so I'll trust that figure. As for the magic scroll in Kasandora Act 2, there's actually a trick so that you don't have to wait (look at my WIP towards the bottom of page 11), but nevertheless I pick it up (and I see a possible improvement there that would still pick up that scroll...).
Active player, Experienced Forum User (378)
Joined: 9/7/2007
Posts: 329
Computer TASer of 2015Computer TAS of 2015
I am unable to play those WIPs. I looked at the smv's raw data and I see that it starts from a save state. Perhaps there is some problem with that causing it to be incompatible. It doesn't matter; now I will have to hurry and finish the simulation so that I can see that trick.
Experienced Forum User, Player (204)
Joined: 2/12/2006
Posts: 373
Location: Oregon
I have wanted to mess around with uploading vids on Youtube anyway, so I put up the WIP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05_7LtjWqJo
Experienced Forum User
Joined: 8/1/2004
Posts: 2687
Location: Seattle, WA
Wow. The amount of precision in these runs is pretty great, especially in comparison to the original submission. I can't wait to see this finished.
hi nitrodon streamline: cyn-chine
Experienced Forum User, Experienced player (690)
Joined: 2/19/2006
Posts: 742
Location: Quincy, MA
NES TAS of 2011
http://speeddemosarchive.com/flash.pl?ActRaiser_SS_10706 Does the console run boss fight beats your TAS? They look awfully close time-wise.
Super Mario Bros. console speedrunner - Andrew Gardikis
Experienced Forum User, Player (204)
Joined: 2/12/2006
Posts: 373
Location: Oregon
I didn't spend much time optimizing the boss fight because it's especially difficult to get good stardust patterns for that boss, and my luck might be different when I do the final run of that level (as was the case with the Bloodpool Act 2 boss, although that was a matter of spawning positions). Expect a faster boss fight in the final version.
Sir VG
He/Him
Experienced Forum User, Player (36)
Joined: 10/9/2004
Posts: 1910
Location: Floating Tower
andrewg wrote:
http://speeddemosarchive.com/flash.pl?ActRaiser_SS_10706 Does the console run boss fight beats your TAS? They look awfully close time-wise.
I just got extremely lucky, honestly. Even if they lose there, they'll wax me everywhere else. And you know what? I actually don't mind losing the prestige of saying "I've beaten a TAS!" Cause after 2 years, it's finally time for you guys to whip my ass again. :)
Taking over the world, one game at a time. Currently TASing: Nothing
Active player, Experienced Forum User (378)
Joined: 9/7/2007
Posts: 329
Computer TASer of 2015Computer TAS of 2015
Thanks for the encode, Zidanax. That is an awesome skip; I never thought about doing that.
Experienced Forum User, Player (204)
Joined: 2/12/2006
Posts: 373
Location: Oregon
After some testing, I think that it will be worth it to get the scroll in Aitos, barring worse stardust patterns in my final attempts on each level and Death Heim. Have you made any progress on Kasandora, Dunnius?
Active player, Experienced Forum User (378)
Joined: 9/7/2007
Posts: 329
Computer TASer of 2015Computer TAS of 2015
That was good timing; I just finished Kasandora's simulation. The hardest part was coming up with things to do while waiting for the numerous construction cycles. Here is the WIP: http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/1374396496/ActRaiser_%28U%29_Zidanax_and_Dunnius_Kas_Sim_Done.smv The reason the final lair is sealed during the last cycle is that if it is sealed any time before, it prevents the population from getting to 510 for the reason that I mentioned in one of my previous posts. I have had to go through Act 2 many times to make sure the population will get to 510, so I have been able to play around a bit. I noticed that it is possible to jump over those blue guys that have a sword without taking damage. It looks like it might be slower because of the delay due to landing, but it is interesting. Also, when you jump on the final lift, land as close to the insta-kill spikes as possible. It doesn't cost any frames, and it is entertaining. Edit: That was a weird coincidence of timing for the post. Had I posted 9 seconds sooner, it would have been exactly 24 hours since your post.
Experienced Forum User, Player (204)
Joined: 2/12/2006
Posts: 373
Location: Oregon
Sorry I took so long. I've finished Aitos Act 1: http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/1879618999/ActRaiser_%28U%29_Zidanax_and_Dunnius_Aitos_Act_1_Done.smv Managed to shave 159 frames off Kasandora Act 2 and 33 frames off Aitos Act 1. Mostly from trying more this time to optimize the Kasandora boss fight. It's now a few frames faster than Ogreslayer's. I checked how much time total has been saved so far: 4 minutes and 46.42 seconds. EDIT: Youtube link. Any suggestions on how to make the parts where you're waiting for/on the platform carried by birds more interesting?
Active player, Experienced Forum User (378)
Joined: 9/7/2007
Posts: 329
Computer TASer of 2015Computer TAS of 2015
The delay was perfect because I was able to find the best route for Aitos and Marahna. I have started working on Aitos' simulation, but I can hold off if you want to redo Act 1's auto-scroll segment. I should be able to hex edit what I have done easily. I can think of a few things that can be done while waiting for/on the platform in addition to killing everything, which is awesome. While the platform is moving, make it look like you are jumping off the platform, but then barely land on the platform. You can also attack the birds that are holding the platform. Since you can take 3 extra damage, perhaps there is a way to take it in an interesting way. For instance, jump on a skull which would make you land back on the platform. When the platform is above you, jump as if trying to catch it. Of course, there is always dance to the music, which I have yet to do in the sim. :) So it looks like the run is very likely to be below an hour. I am not sure where the halfway point of the game is, but if it were as late as the start of the input for Aitos' simulation at frame 100746, the run would be about 56 minutes. It will be interesting to see what it ends up being.
Experienced Forum User, Skilled player (1227)
Joined: 9/7/2007
Posts: 1354
Location: U.S.
Sega TASer of 2021Sega TAS of 2021Sega TASer of 2011Sega TAS of 2011
Wait. Its going to be under an hour?! *explodes* A 12-minuite improvement and you're not even halfway. Great job zidanax & dunnius.
Experienced Forum User, Player (204)
Joined: 2/12/2006
Posts: 373
Location: Oregon
OK, here's the revised Aitos: http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/1979438563/ActRaiser_%28U%29_Zidanax_and_Dunnius_Aitos_Act_1_WaitingRedone.smv Hopefully the waiting segment is a bit more palatable now. Thanks to destroying lots of stuff while waiting, my score is a little higher now. I take longer crystallize at the end, but only by 5 frames. And that's offset by two frames from remembering to do a boost jump before entering the waterfall area.
Active player, Experienced Forum User (378)
Joined: 9/7/2007
Posts: 329
Computer TASer of 2015Computer TAS of 2015
And here is the Aitos simulation completed up to the point where Act 2 is needed. http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/588233239/ActRaiser_%28U%29_Ready_for_Aitos_Act_2.smv
1 2
10 11 12
20 21