Here is El Viento in under ten minutes.
The goal of this TAS was to come up with something that merely looked more polished than my previous version, but then I figured out that the previous version was really, really unoptimized. Here's a 40 second improvement. The main thing I did differently was.. well, I used Frame Advance, when I didn't before. Hopefully it shows!
I also owe Upthorn a lot of thanks for fixing Gens up to be quite an emulator.
- Uses Gens 9.5b
- Aims for the fastest completion
- Takes damage to save time: Some enemies and projectiles won't slow Annet down, and some can't be avoided (especially during boss fights). Also, a lot of enemies have a habit of blowing up with a big, dramatic, pixely explosion, and those create lag and are general eyesores, so I avoid having that happen when possible. The bats are a good example of this. If you're wondering why Annet gets raped by bats a couple times in the final stage, this is why.
- Abuses a programming glitch in the final stage, where dashing nonstop makes Annet run through doors.
Again, there's a mini-boss in the first stage consisting of four "Bonnie & Clyde" style outlaw cars, all of which must be blown up before Annet can proceed. The strategy for this section is a bit tricky, due to a couple factors:
- Annet's boomerangs travel only slightly faster than her running speed, so if she attacks an enemy from behind, then runs away, it'll take a while before she gets her boomerangs back.
- At this stage of the game, magic recharges very slowly, and fireballs can be thrown only every so often.
As much as I would have loved to blow up the cars without having to stop moving, it wasn't possible. Even with frame advance, the strategy ended up being more similar to the previous version than I hoped it would. One of my goals was to make it to the end of the screen just as the last car exploded, but that turned out to be impossible without slowing down the run in the process. Oh well.
For the Tank boss, the strategy was to stay close as possible and attack. If Annet touched the tank in any way, it pushes her back, so she can't jump on it or anything.
The boss of Stage 2 has an invulnerability period after she takes a hit, but she can be hit with a fireball and a boomerang at the same time. Frame advance made this quite a bit easier.
In stage 3, I went ahead and used a few explosive barrels to kill some enemies. While the explosions did cause lag, they still got the enemies out of the way in a productive fashion.
Again, there's no way to stop the third dragon miniboss from going off-screen. I use this time to run over and kill the first dragon.
The cell boss of Stage 3 took forever to figure out. Due to its nature, it's still hard to be sure if I used the perfect strategy, but I tried a hell of a lot of other strategies. It's amazing how often the weak point kept becoming inaccessible at just the wrong moments.
The beginning of Stage 4 had the biggest strategy change when compared to the previous version. I thought that running from the hang glider guys would cause them to chase you, but apparently that's not the case, if Annet runs fast enough! I saved so much time on this section alone.
The first part of Stage 4 consumed a lot of life, and defeating the boss of the stage also consumes a lot of life, so it's really fortunate that the stage is pretty full of health upgrades, which aren't too terribly out-of-the-way. I got two large health upgrades, and two small ones.
I get the Wind-cutter spell in Stage 4 as well. The spell can sort of pass through walls, though only the top and bottom of the "blade" can. I use this limited advantage a few times in Stage 4. It also cuts through enemies like Samus's Plasma Beam, but has a disadvantage in that Annet can outrun it. Nevertheless, it comes in handy a few times when there's a line of enemies that can't be quickly taken out with the boomerangs and fire spell alone. When these situations come up, I always wait until Annet is right up against the enemy before releasing the spell, due to its slowness.
Stage 5 is where the stupid exploding bats first appear. I actually manage to make it through the entire run without killing one. So if you haven't played the game before, or seen previous versions of the run, then take my word for it: killing these bats results in a huge explosion, for no reason whatsoever.
Toward the end of the stage, a couple plants appear. They can both be quickly defeated with the Explosive Fireball magic, but I opt to jump through them. When the plants explode, it does cause quite a bit of lag, but it isn't major, so it didn't save a great deal of frames, but it looks more impressive.
Again, the boss of stage 6 is not random. Right left right right.
Stage 7 is the explodiest stage ever. I discovered that jumping over some of the enemies is actually slightly faster than destroying them with the laggy explosion, but unfortunately, the shots fired from them cause the big explosions as well, so if they're left alone, they can (and do) create just as much (or more) lag anyway.
Stage 7's boss fight was surprisingly hard to work out a strategy for. It's hard to stay lined up with the weak spot, and the player is forced to attack from a distance. Ultimately, the homing spell proved to be the best spell to use, even though its aim is pretty erratic when fighting bosses. Basically, I cast the spell, then tried to find positions where the shots would actually hit the target, and also combined it with boomerang shots. I'm pretty satisfied with the result.
Again, Annet has to wait for one of the darned elevators in the final stage. The elevators only have to be a few pixels off the ground before Annet can jump from them and reach the floor above!
The final boss is another small section of the game that took longer to do than half the run.
- A discovery I made in this version of the run: He may APPEAR to take damage as soon as his head appears, but he actually won't until his neck becomes fully extended. This discovery helped save a lot of time and energy.
- His movement is not random, so there's no way to prevent him from hiding his head below the floorboards like big jerk. Essentially, this is the time to charge up the Explosive Fireball attack. There was actually one instance where the explosion from the spell was able to reach his head while it was hidden, which was pretty cool.
All in all, it was fun to go back to this game.
: Accepted as an improvement to the current movie.