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#637792162013061522 - Rockman 2 Basic Master - Snake 406 frame improvement

Rockman2BM-snake-406frame.fm2
In 03:23.00 (12227 frames), 11814 rerecords
Game: Mega Man 2 (NES)
544 views, 59 downloads
Uploaded 1/31/2022 8:56 AM by warmCabin (23 files)
This movie file contains Shinryuu's improvements in Gemini, which I forgot to encode. He reduced lag and killed the second penguin without stopping.
Snakeman's stage is now done with a super fast new zip that doesn't involve the yoku blocks. We also added a couple extra Gemini scrolls to save even more time.

#637789489750540174 - Rockman 2 Basic Master - Gemini 176 frame improvement

Rockman2BM-cabin-176frame.fm2
In 01:53.00 (6778 frames), 26852 rerecords
Game: Mega Man 2 (NES)
1 comment, 597 views, 49 downloads
Uploaded 1/28/2022 6:42 AM by warmCabin (23 files)
Here's how I saved time. See the YouTube description for more details.
  • Killing the penguins
  • Keeping to the ground. Walking is faster than jumping.
  • Jumping higher to fall faster past walls.
  • Careful lag reduction on the Galaxy Man dudes
  • Killing tadpole eggs to save a TON of lag
You can probably shoot the remaining two eggs and save a frame or two, unless that's really laggy. I forgot to try.

#57070174403385324 - Mega Man 2 Zipless - Cabin Route

cabin_route.fm3
In 18:47.64 (67770 frames), 64141 rerecords
Game: Mega Man 2 (NES)
7064 views, 550 downloads
Uploaded 8/6/2019 3:42 AM by warmCabin (23 files)
My route for Mega Man 2 zipless. It's the fastest of the three I considered, so it's the one I'm continuing with. It beats the RTA route by 104 frames, and aglasscage's route (Metal late) by 46 frames.
The route:
Q M B F H A W C
Comparison Video showing all three routes side by side
I made an improvement in Heat, which is contained in this movie. I didn't feel like implementing it twice and re-encoding both movies, so both this route and aglasscage's route are 8 frames faster than what you see in the videos.

#57070172610851898 - Mega Man 2 Zipless - aglasscage Route

aglasscage_route.fm3
In 12:22.31 (44612 frames), 15694 rerecords
Game: Mega Man 2 (NES)
7016 views, 582 downloads
Uploaded 8/6/2019 3:42 AM by warmCabin (23 files)
aglasscage's route for Mega Man 2 zipless. It beats the RTA route by 58 frames, but loses to mine (Metal early) by 46 frames.
The route:
Q B F H A M W C
(lol ham)
Comparison Video showing all three routes side by side
I made an improvement in Heat, which is not contained in this movie. I didn't feel like implementing it twice and re-encoding both movies, so both this route and my route are 8 frames faster than what you see in the videos. This movie file is actually only 50 frames faster than the RTA route.

#57070171144531459 - Mega Man 2 Zipless - RTA Route (v2.3)

rta_route.fm3
In 18:52.50 (68062 frames), 86620 rerecords
Game: Mega Man 2 (NES)
7046 views, 541 downloads
Uploaded 8/6/2019 3:42 AM by warmCabin (23 files)
The classic RTA route for Mega Man 2 zipless. It turns out it's way faster to use Item 1 in Air, even though almost every other stage becomes slower in the process.
The route:
A Q M B H F C W
Comparison Video showing all three routes side by side
Compared to v2.2, I saved a bit of time with an early switch in Metal, which broke the frame rule. This time was ultimately lost in Bubble due to bad RNG. I did some more optimization and cleanup, which saved no time.
This is not the perfect version of this route, though. I've saved 58 frames in Crash due to optimization and better understanding of offscreen ladder grabs. There's no real reason to apply these improvements to an obsolete route, so I'm not going to.

#52299635407908344 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.2 (Part 2)

mm2_zipless_2.2.fm3
In 19:01.05 (68576 frames), 83746 rerecords
Game: Mega Man 2 (NES)
8584 views, 722 downloads
Uploaded 1/3/2019 7:28 AM by warmCabin (23 files)
The Robot Masters are done! On to the Wily stages. This movie actually plays through Wily 1, but it's pretty rough right now. I didn't encode it.
Compared to my previous userfile, this movie finishes Crash Man's stage and does all of Wood. But there are also some changes to the earlier stages, which are detailed below.

Metal Man

Switching at the beginning of the stage always saves 13 frames. It turns out that shooting the drill only saves 9 frames...so the early switch is worth it. This plus a slightly better Item 2 placement at the end were enough to break the menu frame rule and save 8 frames! Hooray! But the rest of the run got desynced...

Bubble Man

I was able to copy and paste inputs for this stage with minimal changes. But there was a problem: when entering the boss room in an optimal way, I could not get good RNG, resulting in a much slower fight. I had no option but to slow my entry by a health bar frame rule (a confusing feat due to underwater lag), which caused me to miss the menu frame rule. Normally I'd be sad about that, but it actually synced the run back up, meaning I didn't have to redo any more stages!

Flash Man

Shinryuu showed me that you can abuse the ice physics to get perfect subpixels every time you need to turn around. I did that, as well as optimize the tin can man section a little bit. Unfortunately, this was not enough to break even a health bar frame rule.

Crash Man

In addition to finishing the stage, I found a nice timesave in the second screen. It appears slower, but my first Item 2 despawns much sooner, which is what makes it faster. This saves 12 frames, which gets transformed into 16 by the frame rules. I also saved a lag frame by facing left for no reason, so I actually saved 17 frames.

Wood Man

New content! I love new content!
Watch as I defeat the first Friender. There's a frame perfect ladder grab there that lets me avoid hitting the first ledge, and get my fireball in sooner. It only saves 2 frames, but it's still pretty cool.
I'd like to point out that my boss fight is one frame faster than the published Any% TAS. Does it beat a frame rule? No. But who cares about those? :D

#51038834863691531 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.2

mm2_zipless_2.2.fm3
In 13:41.67 (49382 frames), 64878 rerecords
Game: Mega Man 2 (NES)
9269 views, 796 downloads
Uploaded 11/7/2018 12:44 PM by warmCabin (23 files)
I've added several new tricks, and played my way through Flash and a good chunk of Crash. Enjoy!

Air Man

If you've been following this run, you can skip this. Nothing's changed.

Quick Man

Implements Visan's ride, a sick new Item 2 strat! Thanks to Visan for inventing this, and ellonija for telling me about it.

Metal Man

I did some weird Item 2 stuff to save a couple frames. Even when doing frame perfect jumps, conveyor belts slow you down for a frame; Item 2's do not. Also, conveyor belts apply their speed to you for one frame when you bonk them from below, gaining you a pixel each time it happens.

Bubble Man

Different RNG prevented me from doing the pacifist strat against those shrimps :/ I had no idea how lucky I was when I first did that! The pacifist strat only saves time because it involves a 1-frame jump, whereas the Metal Blade strat requires a 2-framer.

Heat Man

Now home to one of the least impressive frame perfect tricks you'll ever see: the first Item 2 throw.

Flash Man

New content! This is optimal to the best of my knowledge.

Crash Man

I decided not to encode it just yet, but a good chunk of Crash Man's stage is played in this userfile.

#50737928605177965 - Visan's Ride

visans_ride.fm3
In 05:59.49 (21605 frames), 46775 rerecords
Game: Mega Man 2 (NES)
9423 views, 762 downloads
Uploaded 10/24/2018 11:30 PM by warmCabin (23 files)
Invented by Japanese runner Visan, this strat saves 51 frames over my previous buster strat. A frame rule eats 3 of these frames, but still.
Branch 8 is the buster route, branch 9 is the Item 2 route (or just don't load any branch). I didn't encode it, but in this file you can see that Metal Man's stage doesn't desync at all, even if the boss fight does.

#50726496611103426 - Quick Man Freezing in Place

quickman_freeze.fm3
In 04:25.34 (15947 frames), 45313 rerecords
Game: Mega Man 2 (NES)
1 comment, 9502 views, 831 downloads
Uploaded 10/24/2018 11:09 AM by warmCabin (23 files)
I stumbled across this weird little glitch when redoing this fight. I thought I'd upload the movie in case anyone wanted to take a look at what causes it.
It actually extends his invincibility by a few frames, which means I sadly can't show it off in my TAS.

#50491715316358744 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.1

mm2_zipless_2.1.fm3
In 09:58.68 (35980 frames), 38845 rerecords
Game: Mega Man 2 (NES)
9786 views, 797 downloads
Uploaded 10/13/2018 9:23 PM by warmCabin (23 files)
I managed to get ahold of Shinryuu on Discord. Even though he's retired, so to speak, he's been more than willing to talk shop, answer questions, make suggestions, and all that good stuff. It's been a ton of help. Thank you, Shinryuu!
Persuant to these conversations, I tried some new stuff, much of which ended up saving no time, but much of which did. I'll go stage by stage and tell you what's new.

Air Man

A frame perfect menu on the title screen which I was previously unaware of lets me get into the action one frame sooner. It throws off RNG (and some other stuff) though, so say goodbye to all those extra lives :( Another small optimization in the fan fiend section lets me get to the end even sooner, for a total of 2 frames saved...but I had to throw it all away to RNG. The rest of the run doesn't even desync if you paste in the old inputs. But in case it does later, I've decided to swap out the time/entertainment tradeoff (which doesn't actually lose time) for a perfect segment. You never know!

Quick Man

The stage is the same, but the boss fight plays out a little differently. Shinryuu pointed out that these fights don't end on a timer, but rather, as soon as Mega Man teleports fully offscreen. As such, it saves time to end the fight as high up as possible. By ending the fight on the upper ledge, I manage to make the previous frame rule and save 8 frames. I actually sacrifice a frame to get up there, but the frame rule is indifferent to it. Most NES Mega Man games have some property like this.

Metal Man

The Item-2 section has been updated. By using the Item-2 lower down, I'm able to hit the ground sooner and save some time. A slick mid-air weapon switch allows me to dispatch the scrubbing bubble guy quickly, rather than waste frames jumping over him.
Metal Man himself doesn't put up much of a fight. Actually, I discovered some interesting properties of his AI. Metal Man will jump in two situations:
  1. When you get too close, he jumps to the other side of the room (I call this violating his personal space).
  2. When you press B (a bullet does not necessarily have to spawn), he jumps at a height determined by RNG.
What happens when these two conditions occur on the same frame? Well, it turns out the B press one takes priority! So, with frame perfect shots, you can keep him on one side of the arena no matter how close you get. This is probably already known, but it's nice to put it into writing.

New Stuff

In addition to these improvements, there are two new stages for you to enjoy! Once again, these comparisons are to my Zipless v1.0 TAS.

Bubble Man

 Stage save: 38 frames
 Boss  save: 18 frames
 Total save: 56 frames
Where did all this come from? Well, for starters, there's the terrible double frame rule for Bubble Man's health bar. It's already been discussed on I think finalfighter's website, so I'll briefly summarize it: health bars tick up every 4 frames, but being underwater makes that not happen every 5 frames. It's easy enough to manipulate once you know about it, but I did not get lucky on v1.0.
However, this only accounts for 4 frames. The rest is simply due to sloppy play. For instance, in 1.0, I did a jump with a Metal Blade and let the throwing animation play out after I landed...just holding right. I also killed the hermit crab in the first room instead of taking damage from it (the faster method), improperly dealt with a throwing animation at the end, and let a bit of lag through at various points. Plus, I didn't know that double death saves time, so I didn't look into it; that accounts for 16 of the 18 frames saved in the boss fight!
In this version, I'm particularly proud of the part before the second angler. There I'm able to jump (the timing is frame perfect) and shoot the shrimp, completely avoiding the throwing animation which we resign ourselves to in realtime runs.
As I write this comment, I've discovered a 4-frame save in Bubble. However, I need a 7-frame save to beat the next frame rule. Still seems worth pursuing, though.

Heat Man

 Stage save: 50
I didn't finish this one yet. I kinda didn't feel like doing the boss fight... But I managed to save 50 frames in the stage, which is kind of hard to believe! Here's how I account for that:
  • Poorly timed jumps and weapon switches
  • Wasting time before shooting the Item-2 at the 3rd pillar
  • Wasting an Item-2 energy early on kills 19 frames of super fast movement
  • Sprite flicker during the switch to bubble.
Note that, for whatever arcane, terrible reason, the underwater lag actually persists from Bubble Man's stage, but only during the teleport-in animation. As luck would have it, I got a lag frame on the first jumpable frame for this stage...so I can probably save that. I'm actually right on the cusp of a frame rule for the Bubble fight, to the point where I cannot afford to waste a single frame.