Having the powers of flight and spindashing, Tails blasts through Sonic 1, leaving Sonic and even the mighty Knuckles eating dust in almost all levels of the game. This movie was made with Pu7o's Tails in Sonic 1 hack, version 2.1.1.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Gens 9Z
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes no damage
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Ignores delays caused by bonus effects

Comments

This impressive hack by Pu7o places Tails into Sonic the Hedgehog 1. Being a marked improvement (and complete rewrite) over the earlier version by drx, it underwent two revisions during the making of this movie to make Tails' flight and swimming work exactly like they do in Sonic 3 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
This was based on the Sonic and the Knuckles runs of Sonic 1. But differences between Tails and Sonic (spindash, flight and even hitbox size) and between Tails and Knuckles (flight vs. glide/climb) made some routes impossible while enabling others. Overall, the two-tailed game wrecker blasts through the game leaving everyone else far behind.
The biggest time saver was the abuse of the Sonic 3 enforced screen boundary for Tails' flight: whenever you start flight (or boost) at or above the top of the stage, vertical speed is set to zero, preventing horizontal speed loss due to drag. Thus, you can maintain a given altitude and horizontal speed for as long as Tails' can fly. The use of this technique is marked below.

Timetable

LevelTime
Green Hill 10:16:34
Green Hill 20:15:15
Green Hill 30:28:25
Marble 10:13:23
Marble 20:14:19
Marble 30:27:08
Spring Yard 10:18:41
Spring Yard 20:15:38
Spring Yard 30:38:49
Labyrinth 10:24:39
Labyrinth 20:24:08
Labyrinth 30:27:08
Star Light 10:17:19
Star Light 20:10:11
Star Light 30:29:27
Scrap Brain 10:21:22
Scrap Brain 20:19:13
Scrap Brain 30:08:45
Final1:12:58
Total7:23:22
The table shows the in-game timer values. The value after the final colon indicates the in-game frame counter, and is restricted to the [0-59] range. It is updated every frame (except during lag frames), and increments the in-game second when resetting to zero.

Stage by stage comments

Green Hill Zone 1

The flight and subsequent braking at around 0:09 avoid losing some time to jumping, and manipulate the position enough to make the most of the triple-jump boost at the loop and allow a bugged vertical speed drop after the tube which saves me some 4 frames of drag around 0:13:56. That flight is above spindash speed, and that speed is kept until the end.

Green Hill Zone 2

Alas, the ease with which Tails could enter the wall even for casual players at the start of this stage means Pu7o added some extra walls to prevent it. Thus, Tails has to go through by sheer speed. This is one of 3 levels in which Knuckles is faster than Tails, and the only level in which Sonic is faster than Tails.

Green Hill Zone 3

Same route as Knuckles. Some bits of flight here and there make Tails slightly faster.

Marble Zone 1

Same basic route as Knuckles, as using the cave zip from the Sonic run is slower. Using flight at 0:04:48 allows me to reach the slope at 0:06:44 with tremendous horizontal speed, resulting in a very high vertical speed. Pixel/subpixel manipulation allows me to hit the slope at 0:12:28 in very favorable conditions for that last jump.

Marble Zone 2

Same basic route as Knuckles, as the Sonic route is much, much slower. Abusing slope, Tails can fly to the top of the walls with minimal speed loss and without having to bounce on the bees. Letting go of the spindash even a frame before 0:07:35 hits the wall and stops; immediately after, subpixel manipulation allows me to hit the ground at an optimal slope change to fly up the wall.

Marble Zone 3

Same basic route as Knuckles, as using the cave zip from the Sonic run is slower. Delaying flight at the start results in a very large speed gain. I have to jump/brake at the top of the wall for the second spindash to avoid losing time. Some braking after the ground is done allows me to abuse slope when I hit the ground below and set up another optimal slope change at the final slope before the boss. The boss is killed perfectly: Robotnik can't be defeated even a frame earlier.

Spring Yard Zone 1

Starts more or less the same way as Knuckles, but uses the Sonic trick when getting the speed shoes (Knuckles can stop with glide there). I avoid rolling down the slope at around 0:07:00 to retain control when I jump 12 frames later; this allows me to lose less speed due to drag because of the enforced screen boundary abuse.

Spring Yard Zone 2

With some (massive) improvements courtesy of Upthorn, this level abuses the enforced screen boundaries only slightly: at the beginning, to keep most of the speed up until that big slope which I roll down. Slope jumping and abuse of changing slope lead to insane speeds for the rest of the level.

Spring Yard Zone 3

Sadly, Tails can't fly above the wall because of the enforced screen boundaries. It is also impossible to reach those moving sprites at 0:05:xx fast enough to not have to wait. Tails isn't fazed, and abuses the enforced screen boundaries to end the level very quickly. Even taking the speed shoes as Knuckles and Sonic do isn't enough to compete with Tails here. Flight saves the day further by allowing Tails to defeat the boss ultra fast. This level has some improvements by Upthorn, and is the only level other than the Final Zone to take more than 30 seconds.

Labyrinth Zone 1

Not much to say. Knuckles can use glide to great effect in this stage, saving about 1.5 seconds over Tails due to not having to wait as long to reach the ground after the several jumps.

Labyrinth Zone 2

A better start, and the shortcut from the Sonic run allow Tails to do this level faster than Sonic or Knuckles. This level has some improvements by Upthorn.

Labyrinth Zone 3

Swimming allows Tails to reproduce the shortcut used by Knuckles. It also allows Tails to enter the shortcut more efficiently, and to improve it markedly by not having to wait for the screen to catch up.

Star Light Zone 1

Flight allows me to touch the bridge a few frames earlier. Subpixel manipulation at the wall at 0:03:24 to 0:03:47 allow me to gain great speed by jumping at 0:06:54 and slope jumping afterward and still clip the edge at 0:07:36, allowing me to reach the ledge without using flight or the spring. Slope jumping and flight give me a high speed at the end.

Star Light Zone 2

Spindash and slope jumping give me some insane speeds to work with. Add in the enforced screen boundary abuse to keep most of the speed. The result: I have to do some braking at the end of the level so that the screen can catch up enough that I hit the end sign.

Star Light Zone 3

Slope jumping, enforced screen boundary abuse and subpixel manipulation (about 0:12:00 to 0:12:20) afford some insane speeds. Flight then allows me to slaughter Robotnik.

Scrap Brain Zone 1

Following the Knuckles route, as the Sonic route ends up being slower. Flight makes this route much more effective.

Scrap Brain Zone 2

Running through the fire at the beginning allow me to hit the gear in a way that I can gain absurd vertical speed in that jump. I use the Sonic shortcut, but improve it with judicious spindashing. At around 0:11:xx, I could brake faster or release the spindash earlier; but I would just bump into the saw and lose a lot more time than I do waiting a little bit. I then abuse the changing slopes and fly until the end. Stage transition is very optimized too.

Scrap Brain Zone 3

Using spindash and flight to improve on the shortcut from the Sonic run gives an insanely short time for this stage.

Final Zone

This is a single frame slower than the Knuckles version of the stage. I can't figure out where this frame is coming...

Other comments

I wish to send a big thanks to Upthorn: not only for several extremely useful suggestions for improvements, but also for actually improving 3 levels and for making a special version of Gens with camera hack for this ROM.
Possible improvements: It might be possible to improve Green Hill Zone 3 by one or two frames up until the boss, and maybe by another frame in the boss fight. Labyrinth Zone 1 might also be improvable by some 2 frames. And I think that it may be possible to gain a couple frames in the boss fight of Star Light Zone 3. I have tried to make these improvements in many different ways, but always ended up failing, though.
Suggested screenshot:

NesVideoAgent: Hi! I am a robot. I took a few screenshots of this movie and placed them here. I'm not sure I got the right ROM though. (I tried Sonic Spinball (U) [p1].gen, which was the closest match to what you wrote.) Well, here goes! Feel free to clean up the list.

mmbossman: I am rejecting this submission because it is extremely similar to the Knuckles hack of Sonic 1 that is already published, with a detailed breakdown here. Although this run is both well done and entertaining, it is lacking in unique content, due to the fact that spin-dashing is identical, and flying is only minimally different than gliding. Best of luck on your next project, marzojr, you have some good TASing skills, so please take this decision as constructive criticism.

mmbossman: This submission has been given another chance at publication. If you feel it should be published, instead of returning to the grue, please post WHY in the thread. Similarly, if you do NOT think this movie should be published, post WHY.

mmbossman: People really like this run, so I'm reverting my previous decision. Accepting as a new run, to be placed in 'Concept/Demos' (at least for now).

ShinyDoofy: Will publish "soon".

marzojr
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For the record, I agree with the decision (and the reasons behind it) and I knew full well that the run was most likely headed this way when it was submitted. This didn't prevent me from working on it, as I wanted to have a Tails TAS even if it were never published; that several people liked it was an added bonus.
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It's very cool of you, actually. By the way, what would you think about doing a glitchless S3&K run with Sonic solo? That kind of run has been in high demand since who knows when, but Upthorn isn't up for it.
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I suppose that the point I wanted to make is that because the reason "it looks extremely similar" was given as the main reason for rejection (it was the first reason mentioned in the rejection message), this could set up a bad precedent. For example some of the Super Metroid runs look quite similar to each other, and at least I wouldn't want good runs to be rejected for that reason alone...
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Warp wrote:
For example some of the Super Metroid runs look quite similar to each other, and at least I wouldn't want good runs to be rejected for that reason alone...
Um, that is one of the reasons the most recent SM run was rejected. Technically, there could be a 6,7,8,9,... 100% completion of SM, with certain glitches, without certain glitches, saving animals, not saving animals, and etc until we are insane. The line needs to be drawn somewhere. The decisions made in both cases were well justified and made sense. This isn't a records site. Its a site for showcasing interesting and different tool-assisted videos.
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I guess Tails is to young to have his own TAS :(.
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marzojr wrote:
For the record, I agree with the decision (and the reasons behind it) and I knew full well that the run was most likely headed this way when it was submitted. This didn't prevent me from working on it, as I wanted to have a Tails TAS even if it were never published; that several people liked it was an added bonus.
Like moozooh said, that is very cool of you to have that mind-set, and I very much appreciate your open-mindedness. Like I said, I hope you continue to TAS, as it looks like you have a good understanding of it.
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As you can see, this movie has been returned from the grue for another shot at publication. Please post what you think about the movie, and why it should be published, or why it should remain rejected. Poll votes will not be considered, only responses in the thread. This submission will remain on the workbench for one month to gather further opinions, then a second judging decision will be made.
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This was one of the few runs that I didn't agree with the judging decision. I followed it's development from marzojr's first WIP to the final publication and I liked it more and more. Mostly because the first thing you think about when you hear Tails and speedrunning is flying, and just flying all the time is boring. Luckily that's not always the case with this run(most places just use it for 1-2 sec), and the places flying is used helps to differentiate it from the other Sonic 1 runs.
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This run is technically awesome, virtually as fast as possible, I've seen all the WIPs and I doubt that Marzojr, especially with the aid of an expert Sonic TASer like Upthorn, left out any major improvement. Under the previous system, this would get a technical rating of 9.9 from me, and a very high entertainment rating as well, since I love all Sonic games and this hack isn't an exception. This run should be published in my opinion. But I can be objective and see other point of views as well, it would be a lie to say that this is different than the Knuckles TAS. The best thing, in my opinion, would be to have both of them published anyway to increase the variety. But should that not be possible, I'd say obsolete the Knuckles TAS in favor of this, since it's not as optimised.
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So I don't particularly care what happens with this one (should probably mention I don't care too much for the whole batch of "these get another chance at the workbench!"); probably published in the concept demos alongside that Knuckles one.
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As far as I'm concerned, this takes the nice Sonic 1 levels and plays through them at a speed that's generally much more entertaining than Sonic himself can manage. Assuming you have a skip-ahead button to skip the bonus tallies, then, this run is more than entertaining enough to stand on its own. Given the existence of the Knuckles run, I say they should both be published, and their descriptions should refer to each other, so viewers can pick which second-string hero they want to watch.
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Voted yes, simply because it is indeed blazingly fast, entertaining and that KiS already got an entry.
IST
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Now this is a move in a positive direction for the site. :D Will this run in the latest Gen RR, or do I need to dig up an old one?
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I enjoyed the run, certainly more entertaining than the published StH1 run we have (imo) I say yes, publish it with the concept demo section with the Knuckles run.
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IST wrote:
Now this is a move in a positive direction for the site. :D Will this run in the latest Gen RR, or do I need to dig up an old one?
Pu7o wrote:
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Fast bouncing and flying around. The autor made cliever use of the flying ability Yes vote. And.... Kinda makes me want to see a S3&K Tails run
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OmegaWatcher wrote:
Fast bouncing and flying around. The autor made cliever use of the flying ability Yes vote. And.... Kinda makes me want to see a S3&K Tails run
Yeah, me too(even though it most likely won't get published considering that this one didn't on the first try).
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I suspect that a Tails-only run of S3&K would not be much different from the Sonic & Tails run, seeing as Tails can carry Sonic when he flies.
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Derakon wrote:
I suspect that a Tails-only run of S3&K would not be much different from the Sonic & Tails run, seeing as Tails can carry Sonic when he flies.
But Tails can disappear when Sonic runs faster than him. Also, some glitches have to be triggered as Sonic+Tails. A Tails run of S3&K wouldn't add much to what we already have.
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Thanks for the link, Wockes, thanks for the encode Pu7o and nineko. Niiiice run. This is one hell of an entertaining video. I can't comment on the technical qualities of the run not being a speed runner or being familiar with the game, mind you... I vote yes. it's just damn fun to watch.
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Derakon wrote:
As far as I'm concerned, this takes the nice Sonic 1 levels and plays through them at a speed that's generally much more entertaining than Sonic himself can manage. Assuming you have a skip-ahead button to skip the bonus tallies, then, this run is more than entertaining enough to stand on its own. Given the existence of the Knuckles run, I say they should both be published, and their descriptions should refer to each other, so viewers can pick which second-string hero they want to watch.
This is my opinion. I would also add that, even though the Knuckles run is not optimized to the same level as this one, because the gameplay for Knuckles is so different from the gameplay for Tails, the characters should not be allowed to obsolete each other under any circumstances.
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I think that this run, in its own right, is technically and stylistically too good to be rejected on either ground. On the other hand I don't think that this should obsolete the Knuckles run. The Knuckles run is a more interesting movie because it is a game that really should have existed (rather than blue sphere) and therefore is a much more interesting hack than this one. The runs, however, I think are different enough for them both to be published in the concept demos category. There's more to this run than just flying over everything and there are tricks not seen in the currently published runs.
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This run is really excellent, and despite there being a lot of "fly overs," it is mostly entertaining, and I think a lot of people would enjoy watching a video that they would otherwise never see. I'm glad you're reconsidering this, and I think it should be, at the very least, a concept demo hack. Glad to see the site is loosening up on some of the most restricting rules.
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saw this on the 'tube amongst Pu7o's videos just wanted to give my yes very well done!
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This gets my yes vote purely based on Green Hill Zone 3. Amazing.