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#57070174403385324 - Mega Man 2 Zipless - Cabin Route

cabin_route.fm3

Uploaded 8/6/2019 3:42 AM by warmCabin (21 files)

For Mega Man 2 (NES)

In 18:47.64 (67770 frames), 64141 rerecords

6556 views, 508 downloads


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.

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#57070172610851898 - Mega Man 2 Zipless - aglasscage Route

aglasscage_route.fm3

Uploaded 8/6/2019 3:42 AM by warmCabin (21 files)

For Mega Man 2 (NES)

In 12:22.31 (44612 frames), 15694 rerecords

6510 views, 535 downloads


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.

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

rta_route.fm3

Uploaded 8/6/2019 3:42 AM by warmCabin (21 files)

For Mega Man 2 (NES)

In 18:52.50 (68062 frames), 86620 rerecords

6530 views, 495 downloads


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.

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

mm2_zipless_2.2.fm3

Uploaded 1/3/2019 7:28 AM by warmCabin (21 files)

For Mega Man 2 (NES)

In 19:01.05 (68576 frames), 83746 rerecords

8016 views, 678 downloads


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

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#51038834863691531 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.2

mm2_zipless_2.2.fm3

Uploaded 11/7/2018 12:44 PM by warmCabin (21 files)

For Mega Man 2 (NES)

In 13:41.67 (49382 frames), 64878 rerecords

8737 views, 753 downloads


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.

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#50737928605177965 - Visan's Ride

visans_ride.fm3

Uploaded 10/24/2018 11:30 PM by warmCabin (21 files)

For Mega Man 2 (NES)

In 05:59.49 (21605 frames), 46775 rerecords

8924 views, 720 downloads


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.

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#50726496611103426 - Quick Man Freezing in Place

quickman_freeze.fm3

Uploaded 10/24/2018 11:09 AM by warmCabin (21 files)

For Mega Man 2 (NES)

In 04:25.34 (15947 frames), 45313 rerecords

8985 views, 788 downloads


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.

Noxxa on 10/24/2018 3:34 PM
That's actually not a glitch. Quick Man actually has a "guard" action, although it's really rare for him to do it. You can see he has an unique sprite for it.

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#50491715316358744 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.1

mm2_zipless_2.1.fm3

Uploaded 10/13/2018 9:23 PM by warmCabin (21 files)

For Mega Man 2 (NES)

In 09:58.68 (35980 frames), 38845 rerecords

9271 views, 754 downloads


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.

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#49606539655244104 - Silver Surfer 3rd Quest Genocide - Level 1

silver_surfer_S4FHFB.fm3

Uploaded 9/4/2018 12:39 AM by warmCabin (21 files)

For Silver Surfer (NES)

In 02:56.72 (10621 frames), 6713 rerecords

4696 views, 899 downloads


A fun little TAS I whipped up. This whole game is an auto-scroller, so the only goal is to be as entertaining as possible until the boss fights. I don't know if I can maintain this level of energy over a 30-minute run, but we'll see. I feel like the first stage is pretty fun to watch, at least!
This movie plays the first level; the fm3 contains a bit of level 2, which I decided not to encode.
A movie of this game was already published back in 2012. The authors decided to go for a pacifist playthrough (feel free to laugh at my title, Undertale fans), which wasn't very popular among the viewers. It got rejected, only to be resurrected and locked in the Vault. A lot of the comments said, "why not use the third quest (hardest difficulty) and kill all the enemies instead?" So, 6 years later, that's what I've decided to do.

Goals

The goal of this run is to kill the maximum amount of enemies. But, since you can sit at the boss of this stage and kill piranhas forever, this number is technically infinite. Therefore, I've implemented it as a secondary goal, i.e., kill as many enemies as possible without losing time.
Note that most bullets have health and can be destroyed like an enemy. For the purposes of this run, these do not count as enemies. Nobody wants to see the Silver Surfer farm bullets for a half hour!

Potential Misunderstandings

Here I've laid out some questions you might have about this movie:

You used a password! Isn't that against the rules?

Not in this case! The password S4FHFB is only used to unlock the hardest difficulty mode.

Why do you waste so much time on the password screen?

The characters can only be incremented/decremented every 16 frames, but the cursor can be moved every other frame. I took advantage of these properties to input the password in the most confusing way possible.

You let some bad guys get away!

Believe me, I know :/ In the first stage, it's just not possible to kill every enemy; I picked the path that would let me kill the most. I tried using my bomb, but the enemies up top are too strong to die to one bomb. By the time I get more, there are no more branching paths to mess me up. I'm sure they will come in handy in later stages, though.

Techniques

Finally, I want to detail some techniques I used.
  • Pressing left every other frame causes you to sit still relative to the world. But you have to do it on the correct frames, otherwise you'll end up moving left.
  • Most of the time, start only needs to be held, not pressed, for the menus.
  • Bullets can only be shot every 5 frames.
  • The orb moves before shots are fired, so you can press AB on the same frame and still have the bullets change directions. I use this every time I need to press B for maximum excitement!
  • Power-up drops are not RNG. Certain enemies are set to always drop certain power-ups. I suppose this isn't that big a deal if you're already killing everyone anyway.

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#49364838704578513 - Mega Man 2 - Zipless v2.0: Part 2

mm2_zipless_2_part2.fm3

Uploaded 8/24/2018 3:24 AM by warmCabin (21 files)

For Mega Man 2 (NES)

In 05:59.19 (21587 frames), 16989 rerecords

10320 views, 777 downloads


Quick Man

   Stage save: 36  (0  from previous)
   Boss  save: 69  (51 from previous)
   Total save: 105 (51 from previous)
I've saved an additional 51 frames off the boss fight (69 from v1.0), so I've started my notes and my encode here. I utilized a more aggressive manipulation strat to keep him pinned over on the left side, taking damage twice to facilitate this. Due to the damage boosts, it loses 27 frames to a theoretically perfect 19 frame boss fight...which I'm convinced does not exist.
I made an interesting discovery along the way: Quick Man's supposed RNG jumps (where he jumps 1-3 times) are actually the product of him getting stuck in the wall (video to be uploaded soon), which plays out unpredictably--but it's not RNG. This only applies to the outer walls, so if you see him charging up against any other ledge, you know you are about to see 3 jumps.
Also, he always shoots boomerangs on the second jump, so that should help if you're unsure of how many jumps got stuck in the wall.

Metal Man

   Stage save: 40
   Boss  save: 10
   Total save: 50
In v1.0, it slipped my mind that you can save time by shooting the drills. But not this time. The second drill actually saves much more time; rather than jump over two drills, I'm able to stay on the super speedy conveyor belt the whole time.
I also improved the Item-2 usage. In v1.0, there was an awkward landing where I hand to hold still for a second and jump over the springy guy, but here, I managed to land just to the right of him. This move is just barely possible, at least for the frame I used Item-2. Let me explain:
When dismounting an Item-2, it's not necessarily best to just hold right. By letting go of right and even pressing left at certain times, you can influence your position to be a pixel or two further to the right. My current approach is to try randomly until it works...
But even this is not quite enough. The rightmost possible position still results in a collision with the springy guy! That is, unless you're 8-aligned.

Becoming 8-aligned

All the velocities Mega Man can move at (walking, jumping, knockback, conveyor belts...) have subpixel velocities that are multiples of 16, or 0x10. This means your subpixel position will always end with a 0 (in hex), making you 0-aligned. It may seem impossible to change your subpixel alignment, but there is one object that lets you do so: an accelerating Item-2. When an Item-2 is starting to accelerate, and you land on it in just the right way (going to the left), you'll get your subpixel set to X8. If you can keep it that way until the Item-2 fully accelerates, you will now be 8-aligned. This essentially means you can be 8 subpixels further ahead at any given point in time, which is just enough for me to land to the right of that springy guy! I think I'm going to play around with this section a bit more before I move onto Bubble (doing Bubble and Heat before Flash saves 4 frames in menuing, by the way).
Like my other two discoveries, this was something I found totally by accident while doing playaround/TAS fidget stuff.
Fun fact: This Item-2 section saves 9 frames over inputs copy/pasted from the 2010 TAS! The main reason is that they don't take full advantage of their Item-2; that is to say, they let it run out when they are not on the rightmost tip. And I'm not talking about that weird 8-alignment stuff, either: it's a couple pixels. This happens because they use the Item-2 soon enough that it runs out just after the tin can man jump, which doesn't give them enough time to catch up after landing.
The 10 frames in the boss fight are just due to better understanding of the game mechanics. 5 of those frames are from just the first hit, which I jumped too high for in v1.0.

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