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Experimented with lua for manipulation of stardust fall. I haven't used lua before, so to get my feet wet, I tried a script that made the hero wait in a spot a varying amount of time before casting, and another that makes him move a varying number of positions to the right before casting. And I can see that writing an optimal script (if I even end up using lua) won't be easy, due to the sheer complexity. The boss teleports all the time, there are both different possible positions for the hero and different amounts of time he could wait, and sometimes slashing may actually be better. More testing of stardust's patterns definitely needed.
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OgreSlayeR wrote:
Looks good. You might want to test if it's possible to kill the Act 2 Bloodpool boss with him teleporting once and not twice like I did in the published run. I posted that test run a while back on the top of page 6 where I came close. I was only 1 hit away then he went in his second form. I didn't try a ton, so it might be possible. Stardust seems fairly random... Maybe if I entered the room on a different frame or something I could of got a better Stardust.. Who knows..?
It's very possible on the normal playthough, via two methods: 1. He appears on the lowest platform twice. It's possible to hit him 12 times each appearance (US version only. Japanese you can only hit him 10 times, I believe). 2. If he appears at the 2nd level on the right side, a good stardust will take 11-12 hits. The first level right side I believe can too. As for the boss rush (Death heim), #1 is definitely out, as he moves much faster. Doing it in 2 rounds may be possible, but I don't know for certain. I may or may not have done it in one of my runs. I did have a 186 on my v11 run (current record), so I might have. Can't remember. Edit: It is still possible on the Japanese version to get 12 hits on Bloodpool Act II's boss in the standard appearance (my Special v1 video proves it) via standard attacks on the lowest platform. I was thinking he teleported out faster - it's the sound that threw me.
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Hi, Zidanax. I have been secretly working on Actraiser, though I just started. I have been distracted making my own SMV frame editor, which is nearly done. I am looking at improving the simulation part with the idea of cheat roads and decreasing the number of construction cycles. I was going to ask for someone else to do the action part, since it is too complicated for me since I am a noob, so I am glad that you are back. I had been looking at your WIP 4, and I improved the very first part of the Fillmore sim by 14 frames by starting 2 frames sooner, and moving down before doing the lightning, which makes the construction start 12 frames sooner, since the counter stops when choosing where to use the lightning. I am excited to watch your WIP 5, and I am going to force myself to get back to work on this.
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You worked on your own SMV editor? There are already several editors available at http://www.bluetoaster.net/emu/tools.htm Or can your editor do things that the other editors can't? If so, I (and other SNES TASers) might be interested in seeing it! By the way, I think I did move down before casting lightning in WIP 5. EDIT: What problems were you having with doing the action segments? One thing that would help is memory watching, if you aren't already using that. That way you can keep close track of thing's like the hero's position. Another one is to make a table marking the number of frames it took you to reach certain points in the game, and the number of frames it took you to go from the previous point to the current one. That helps you keep track of how quickly you're going through parts of the level. Keeping a table has been very helpful in trying to match Ogreslayer's level times, which are very good (he said he put a lot of effort into the action sequences).
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I know there are other editors, but I like to write my own programs when possible so that they work the way I want. I plan to release my editor when I am finished with the beta testing in case it is useful for anyone else. I understand how to do the action sequences, but I think it would take too long for me do it. So I would rather have someone else more experienced do that part. I know I can handle the simulation sequences, and I would like to focus on that. I still haven't looked at your WIP 5, but I will do that when I get a chance. I have been too busy with work lately.
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A source of anxiety for me has been how to handle the sims, since what you do in one sim depends on what you do/did in another. I remembered that the only part of the sim that the action sequence influences is the max population. Indirectly, of course, it also influences the sims because you have to decide which sources of magic to pick up. In any case, it occurred to me that I could just play through the action sequences in real time and then play the sims precisely in order to more quickly go through the sims and test certain strategies. I finished a test run of the sims up to becoming Level 10 (high enough to enter Northwall). I managed to save four construction phases over Sir VG's run, and I may be able to save another if I can build two more houses in the beginnning of Bloodpool and/or Kasandora. Also, it looks I may not need that extra square in Fillmore after all. When I visited it after finishing Marahna, Fillmore was still able to go through one good-sized construction phase. I can also see where I may be able to eliminate unnecessary roads in Aitos, Kasandora, and Bloodpool (not that much of what I build in Bloodpool is very out of the way, so it wouldn't save much time in that case). I'm gonna do a second test run with some changes, based on the first test.
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I was working on my test run for the simulation of Fillmore and Bloodpool yesterday. I also think that the one extra road may not be necessary in Fillmore; it takes too many frames to get it. The other extra roads in the south are okay since there are three of them together and it doesn't take that many extra frames to get them. I also removed one construction cycle in Fillmore over your WIP, and I am working on optimizing Bloodpool right now.
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I'm guessing you went ahead and built another "cheat road" to the south after the first one. I tried that a bit earlier and was able to leave Fillmore on the same phase that the Hero reached Level 2, the bare minimum to leave Fillmore. I haven't tested going through Bloodpool after leaving Fillmore like that. Maybe you could put up a WIP when you're done?
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You guys have me torn over this. On one hand, it's exciting to see what can be done with this game and to see a much needed improvement to the published TAS. On the other hand, I love being able to say I have a published record that's faster then a TAS. BTW, when you guys are done with the normal game, make sure you do a run on Professional!/Special mode. While Professional! is faster, Special is considerably more challenging and I think would be a lot more fun to see. (And save files between the US and Japanese versions for unlocking this are interchangeable.)
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I'm not sure how much the sim improvements will be applicable to a real-time run. Some of the improvement stems from cheat roads, but a fair bit also stems from being able to gather souls more quickly in the beginning of each sim. I tested Bloodpool a little while ago, and was able to get to the last civilization level in one less turn. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that I get to leave Bloodpool sooner, but it does mean that when I leave Bloodpool has 16 more people, which is enough to save one phase later on. EDIT: here's what I've got so far for my second sim WIP. It's up to the end of Bloodpool, but I'm going to redo Bloodpool and see if I can get away with removing any roads. Go ahead and fast forward through the action sequences, unless you'd like to see me play really badly :). Sim WIP 2 Bloodpool
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Question -- what are these "cheat roads" you've been talking about?
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Normally when building towards a monster lair, one's instinct is to not go off on any tangents but instead go straight to that lair. But sometimes you can go on a brief tangent and build a piece of road somewhere else in order to reach another lair faster once you're finished with the one you're heading toward. Look at the beginning of Fillmore in my Sim test. Notice that I build pieces of road both up and down right at the beginning even though I'm heading towards the two North lairs. That way, when I head towards the south lair later, it'll take one less turn because by then, someone will have built a house or field on that square which I put a road on earlier.
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IMO, forget about the sims, and by association and in accordance with the no saved data rule, forget about the American version completely. Just play on the European version so you can get into Action-Mode only from the get-go. I mean really, who cares about the simulation mode? :P It's boring, it's slow, and even with all the technical stuff that can go into it, it'd still be a pain to watch compared to the action sequences.
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System Error wrote:
IMO, forget about the sims, and by association and in accordance with the no saved data rule, forget about the American version completely. Just play on the European version so you can get into Action-Mode only from the get-go. I mean really, who cares about the simulation mode? :P It's boring, it's slow, and even with all the technical stuff that can go into it, it'd still be a pain to watch compared to the action sequences.
Says the person who plays the slowest version of the game out there. :P God walks with a limp in the European version. ^^;;
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I am convinced that removing the extra construction cycle in Fillmore will end up being faster overall. If for some reason the extra cycle had to be made up in another town, Fillmore would be building up alongside the other town. My current WIP is unoptimized, but when I get some free time this week, I am going to TAS the Fillmore simulation. I like the idea of using the strength of angel item and the bomb item to get a higher soul counter on Bloodpool and other towns; I never thought of that. Now I have an idea for Bloodpool that I want to try.
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System Error: Look again at the rules: "However, there are certain games with unlockable modes that can only be accessed if a save file (or an otherwise "dirty" SRAM) is present. If you really wish to submit a movie made on such mode, you will need a verification movie first. Any input file that starts from power-on (for example, a previously submitted or published movie for that game) and creates the exact circumstances for your submission to sync will generally do. Note that you don't have to optimize the verification movie: it only serves as a save or SRAM generator that makes it possible to claim the legitimacy of your effort." So it looks like someone could submit a run of Special or Professional mode if they also submitted a movie that plays through the game to unlock the mode. Runs that start from saves have been accepted before (e.g., the Chrono Trigger New Game+ run). EDIT: in any case, I'm on a roll and would like to see just how fast the sims can be done, even if we eventually just end up with a run that does Special mode. EDIT: A copy of the growth spreadsheet for my first sim test run http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p9d2yHwYpAENushcg3Dv-dQ That last phase will be gone in this next test run now that I have more people in Bloodpool when I leave on the same phase as before. Looking at the spreadsheet, it doesn't look like leaving Fillmore earlier will help, not that I think it would be harmful either. Or maybe I'm missing something.
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Given that without the sim segments, Actraiser is just a meh platformer, I say do the sims. They're really the most significant feature the game has.
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zidanax wrote:
System Error: Look again at the rules: "However, there are certain games with unlockable modes that can only be accessed if a save file (or an otherwise "dirty" SRAM) is present. If you really wish to submit a movie made on such mode, you will need a verification movie first. Any input file that starts from power-on (for example, a previously submitted or published movie for that game) and creates the exact circumstances for your submission to sync will generally do. Note that you don't have to optimize the verification movie: it only serves as a save or SRAM generator that makes it possible to claim the legitimacy of your effort." So it looks like someone could submit a run of Special or Professional mode if they also submitted a movie that plays through the game to unlock the mode. Runs that start from saves have been accepted before (e.g., the Chrono Trigger New Game+ run).
The thing about ActRaiser's save file is that it works just like Symphony of the night. 99.9% of the contents of the save file don't matter. All you have to do to unlock professional/special mode is start the game, save at some point, then beat it. Mode unlocked. The rule is (I think) more aimed at games like Chrono Trigger where stats and junk carry over to a NG+ run. Just my feeling on things.
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I would rather see my run improved first before a Prof mode run comes into fruition possibly. I think 5 mins at least could be shaved off. So I'm interested seeing the results. The run is 5 years old for crying out loud.
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dunnius: I can see how getting out of Fillmore quicker might be good, since the extra turn spent in Bloodpool gets more population growth since Bloodpool is at it's highest civilization level at that point instead of just the 2nd. But in order to get the people to build a house by the river in Fillmore, I had to manage to collect 24 souls on the second turn. I did it, but I ended up taking advantage of the fact that moving while moving the construction square around doesn't drain the timer. Not exactly the most efficient way to do it, and I'm not sure the overall population gain will save a phase. Have you found a good way to get through Fillmore with the minimum of turns? Maybe you should upload a WIP if you've got one? WIPs can be uploaded to http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php
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Eh, I guess there's a point about finally putting the five-year-old run out of its misery. If a Professional run can be accepted, go with that over the European version. I'd love to see a Japanese version professional run, though, if only for the higher difficulty.
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OgreSlayeR wrote:
I would rather see my run improved first before a Prof mode run comes into fruition possibly. I think 5 mins at least could be shaved off. So I'm interested seeing the results. The run is 5 years old for crying out loud.
Of course, that's totally understandable. Good to see you around still. Also, you forgot to mention that your run was beaten by a non-TAS run. :P (Yes, I'm enjoying saying that while I still can.)
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I care about the sims...
Derakon wrote:
Given that without the sim segments, Actraiser is just a meh platformer, I say do the sims. They're really the most significant feature the game has.
That. It's an interesting game because it's a hybrid. Also, the lack of magic would slow the bosses down rather painfully, I.M.O.. After all, what kind of godmaster just runs around killing critters instead of nurtu-wait, don't answer that.
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zidanax wrote:
But in order to get the people to build a house by the river in Fillmore, I had to manage to collect 24 souls on the second turn.
I used the fifth construction cycle for the people to build on the square by river. After that, I built over to the final lair. It isn't really slower for me since my path requires two "direct the people" to get to the final lair. Also, the construction counter is the same for all towns so waiting for the people to get to the lair does not lose frames. However, you are right that the people should build on that square earlier because it means that there is more time in the first cycle of Bloodpool to increase the soul counter. Also, the blue dragon monster lair would be destroyed before the fifth construction which means more population since that improves the houses to be build. I have some ideas in Fillmore to accomplish this. I haven't had a chance to start on the TAS, but now I am really excited about this.
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Dunnius: I would really appreciate if you would post an SMV--it's much easier to understand your strategy when I can see it in action! On another note, I haven't changed my Fillmore strategy yet, but I realized that I could get to the upper-left lair in Bloodpool earlier without losing much time to moving the construction square or whatever you call it. Thus Bloodpool reaches its highest civilization level earlier. That makes the population grow more quickly enough in Bloodpool that, in combination with managing to get one more house in the first construction phase in Kasandora, I managed to leave Kasandora one turn earlier. I also managed to leave Marahna one turn earlier, for a total of two turns saved over my 1st WIP. So that you guys can see what I'm doing, here's my 2nd WIP: Note that I didn't bother to fine tune some little things like how many roads actually need to be built to get the growth we want without making excess roads. You'll notice some missed arrow shots. The action sequences are played in real time. The point is to figure out the best general strategy for each sim, since what you do in each sim has a "ripple effect" on how things go in the later sims, which makes it a pain. And a spreadsheet of this 2nd WIP.
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