As a side note, this kind of speed run has become more popular in the recent years for a combination of reasons:
- First, it's difficult to improve on the regular world records since they're so optimized (just have a look at Quake Done Quick and its sequels).
- Second, the emulators available to the speed running community have evolved. They now include better ways to track what's happening in memory.
- Third, the games themselves are understood better (as recently exemplified by the Super Mario 64 full reverse engineering).
So it's creating a whole new genre of runs that simply isn't about execution anymore.
If you're interested in the topic, you might like the Super Mario World speed run that uses a similar technique (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gECESOoU8Es), or the recent work on removing randomness from Wind Waker runs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hs451PfFzQ).
Although this one is unlikely to ever be performed by a human!
This sounds to me like a variant of "using glitches/sequence breaks isn't how the devs intended it to be played".
Arguably, setting up for these glitches and exploiting them in real-time (i.e. not TAS) using only a controller is still "execution".
Did we watch the same video?
It was completely about execution. You still need to be exceptionally good at the game to get those frame-perfect setups.
For anyone else who was intrigued, I found this was a good overview of what's been going on in Quake speedrun community: https://youtu.be/43d8fICz6gM
The only thing I'm not clear on: even knowing exactly what you're doing... how likely is it that you could pull this off in real-time? Did the player have to do this 10 times? 100? 1,000?
To answer your question of "how likely is one to pull this off" for those three, the Pokemon one requires no almost advanced execution, other than turning off the console at a precise point to corrupt the save data you otherwise just need to follow a simple (though long) series of steps. The Mario one requires some pixel-perfect precision, and runners often used hacked ROMs that display coordinates in order to train. The Zelda one requires exact angles to be held on the analog stick, and I've heard of people creating guides out of cardboard and rubber bands in order to help them achieve the angles more reliably.
Sorry that I don't have any video links on hand, but you could almost certainly find examples of these in the GDQ archives.
EDIT: Found a good video for the SMW example, by SethBling, which actually goes a step further and manually reprograms SMW into Flappy Bird: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB6eY73sLV0
EDIT 2: Here's an excellent explanation of the Zelda ACE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdRJWDKb5Bo
I've heard that a decent drummer can hit a note within 15 milliseconds of the mathematically correct point on average, and that makes it plausible that you could use rhythm as a cue to hit within the 20 milliseconds that this would require.
But obviously this would become less likely to succeed as the length of the game continues and timing errors that affect the soundtrack compound.
For example, Guilty Gear XX's "one frame jump" is required to escape some pressure strings. This requires one-frame precision (1/60th of a second), pushing "Barrier" on frame 3.
If you push Barrier on frame 1 or 2, you're grounded and won't jump. If you push Barrier on Frame 4, it doesn't make a difference (because your character's animation is the same by frame 4). Its literally a 1-frame button timing.
Street Fighter IV had a fair number of 1-frame combos as the bread-and-butter for many characters. These 1/60th of a second links may be character specific (since all enemy hitboxes change based off of their relative sizes). They're also position dependent, because wall-bounce vs corner combos are a thing in most fighting games.
Most people, with enough practice, can execute this. Just most people don't realize that they can. This isn't even elite musician level.
Now what the expert fighting game player can do, is do the 1-frame link reliably during a tournament while the crowd is yelling and overall in a distracted environment.
I find that easily believable. I think human reactions can be very fast and very precise if there is some kind of feedback - e.g. a clue, pattern or rythm to latch onto.
What I find harder to imagine is precision without any feedback - e.g. a human player pressing a button after exactly 15 milliseconds, without any kind of clock.
...but as you say, there may actually be some clues.
PAL is 25FPS, no?
The NES, and many other early computer/game systems, don't bother sending an interlaced display. Basically, they omit the half scan line at the end of one frame that positions the next frame lines in between the prior frame.
That's what 288p is.
And the result is half the vertical resolution but at full frame rate. 50fps
Pal, intended for viewing movies, television broadcast does output that half scan line for the full vertical resolution, and the result is a full frame is seen every other frame.
That's what 576i is.
Twice the vertical resolution, half the frame rate or 25fps.
> And the result is half the vertical resolution but at full frame rate
This is incorrect. It would be correct if you said “full field rate” here. The PAL standard is 50 fields per second. Two fields comprise one frame.
Now as to the NES specifically, this link breaks down more precisely the game’s FPS (tl;dr, it’s neither PAL or NTSC’s frame or field rate exactly):
Yes, that article is right about the timings. The signal standards were abused in small ways to improve graphic quality, get speed and more.
Similar things happen in NTSC land too. Those deliver 60 fps. Many TV sets will permit further abuse and deliver NTSC with more PAL like timings to get 50fps, but still with NTSC color encoding.
An Amiga and Color Computer 3 can both do this. It is correct to do in some parts of the world too. I have done it in video signal projects.
Whether my comment is incorrect depends on POV.
From the NES pov, and how gaming generally thinks of frames, its fine.
From the signaling POV field is more descriptive.
Consider when there is no interlace, what happens to the concept of a field? There aren't any. Just frames, as in one complete image completely displayed.
Many people think in simple frames per second terms. This is why many, particularly those who grew up during retro times, will say PAL 50fps. To them, PAL does in fact deliver 50 complete frames per second.
Edit, oh yes! I do see where I should have said field early on. Too late to edit now. Basically, when the half scanline is not part of the signal output, fields go away.
When it is, there are fields and they get displayed sequentially, interlaced fashion, one full frame displayed every two fields.
That doesn’t make it correct, but I agree now in retrospect and thus edited my post.
(Also, agree re: intro part to your reply. The problem I have is when factually correct comments without anything wrong about them get greyed out)
Yes, not worrying about it improves it. Strange world sometimes, isn't it?
not saying you are bad. No judgment here. And that's the point. I basically don't do judgment and treat you the same way whether I see upvotes or not. That really improves things.
And again, it is just advice.
Interlace requires there be one half scanline.
Whether there are an odd or even number of scanlines can impact color phase shifting, depending on whether the source signal is phase shifting the color burst.
Older machines, such as the 8 bit Apple 2, did not phase shift at all so color artifacting would be predictable and useful. Even vs odd scan lines would affect precise frames per second only.
Mega Man 1 has an ACE category as well which is really interesting. I think Nudua explained it somewhere. (On my phone, but a quick googling should help you.)
Edit: Btw, the aforementioned explanation of how to do the Mega Man 1 Credits Warp (through ACE) can be found here: https://nudua.com/mm1/
Speedrunners usually list their number of attempts in the top right corner of their splits window. In this case, it says 16/3904. My read of that is that this is his 3,904th total attempt at speed running this game (I have seen runners with attempt counts at over 40k). The 16 is probably attempt count for this specific session/stream, but I'm not as sure of that.
The only ship no one seems to be able to win consistently is the Stealth B. That makes sense, though, because starting with no shields and the very slow glaive beam makes for a very difficult start.
The speed run is literally doing low level assembly code manipulation to pull off this time apparently.
Worth a watch even for people who aren't into gaming.
SMB3 also has an interesting tool assisted speedrun (non-human doing the inputs) where fast inputs on the second controller cause an overflow on the input buffer allowing for the game to be beaten basically instantly from the start screen.
If you like this because of the interesting stuff done to abuse the game The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time has pretty much been a history of "and then a quicker way to corrupt the game was found".
It's not always about going fast either, challenge runs also get a lot of very interesting results from a lot of dedication. Super Mario 64's A Button Challenge (try to beat the game with as few A presses as possible) has tons of outrageously complex tricks with amazing explanation videos. One in particular caught people's attention to the point it became a meme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpk2tdsPh0A though it's not actually the most technically impressive to come out of that endeavor.
A full A press involves both pressing and releasing the button. If you press the button during one level, hold it down, and then release it during another, then only half of the button press can be counted against each level. Otherwise you'd be double counting it.
A lot of advanced combos and tricks use negative edge.
It also reminded me of this video which shows Flappy Bird being code injected into Super Mario World, by hand... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB6eY73sLV0
I believe Mitch was the first person to do this trick in RTA.
And Colbert was speaking and distracting him during some of the most important part of the run and cut off before even really showing his win. What a shame.
But once you are at this level, it is the other details that requires grinding:
The thing that sets the run from TFA apart from this run is the hammer bro manipulation that easily fails AND the luck of having good hammer bro movement (6% chance) after the manipulation is done.
Getting those two things on top of good execution is what requires thousands of tries for these top players.
It’s absolutely gold: https://youtu.be/2sGN3peODwY
It’s fantasy, but I’d love to see a “miyamoto-and-team watch five classic games be hyper-optimized speed-run“, although the distance may be too great. Part of what makes the ign series enjoyable is that the programmers have intimate knowledge of two worlds: the code, and the gameplay
All I can say is that I wish I combined my passions for programming and gaming much earlier in life.
If you like this kind of video, I highly recommend Summoning Salt's World Record Progression videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtUbO6rBht0daVIOGML3c8w
They don't always dig deep as the original video post, but the discovery of glitches comes up often and the videos are incredibly well done.
Write-up of solution:
The speedrun world is almost like a scholarly domain, with all the usual bickering about terminology, whether this qualifies as that, and so on. I would be interested to read an ethnology of the community.
Right. Like the most recent 100% runs of Ocarina of Time, which use glitches to obtain items early and break the sequence of the game, while still obtaining every item from its source eventually making them still legitimate 100% runs.
You'd think "100%" and "glitchless" were synonymous, but they're not anymore!
they never wore! it all depends on the community definition. you can have 100% glitchless and 100% with glitches. or you can have both have the same category. it all depends on what the runners define.
I don't really understand it, but it really blows my mind what some people think of.
That said, what's impressive to me is the amount of time and energy individuals are willing to expend on this sort of thing. Speed runs in general, the sheer time investment and dedication. There's a sand mandala aspect to it all.
And agreed on speedrunners! It's not something I could ever do myself, but it's one of my favorite aspects of gaming.
That world is basically a biblically-inspired computer simulation which gets corrupted when Apollo 8 crashes into the celestial sphere. Also boiling a goat in its mother’s milk causes a segfault for some reason the developer can’t quite explain.
“MOST OF IT RUNS ON SAPPHIRES ON PATHS, BUT I USE RUBY ON RAILS FOR THE DATABASES.”
I quite enjoyed this story, thank you for sharing it.
If you like this kind of explanation be sure to watch the "0.5 A presses" Mario 64 speedrun video, which is equally interesting as far as getting into the hidden guts of the game: https://youtu.be/kpk2tdsPh0A
I'm not saying this kind of thing isn't impressive -- because, duh, it's amazing! I just don't think it should count as a record. Or at least it should have it's own category.
For me it just crosses a line between exploiting a side effect or minor bug, and... well, this.
If I could somehow glitch physics at the quantum level in real life, to instantly warp me to the finish line of a race, is it fair?
Is it in the _spirit_ of the race?
It'd be incredible, sure, and on paper, yes, you went from point A to B faster than a cheetah. But it's no longer a race concerning the physical fitness of the contestants. It's about systemic exploitation.
I guess this question bleeds into the idea of physical augmentation and enhancement, and quickly into some Deus Ex stuff, if you push it enough.
Love the hack, just pondering the ethics of it being a record.
100%: "Beat the game, entering and completing every stage and Hammer Bros. fight"
Any %, warpless: "Beat the game as quickly as possible without using any wrong warps or warp whistles. Warp whistles may be collected but not used."
Any %, no wrong warp: "Beat the game as quickly as possible without using any wrong warps."
Any %: “Time starts on pressing Start on the title screen.
Time ends when Mario is visible in the princess' chamber. If the game crashes, the run is invalid."
The run shows is an Any% run.
When I got back to my desk I looked into a bit and was happy to see it all categorized nicely.
I withdraw my questioning, and am quite happy everyone's represented. ;D
Does the fastest lap record for some track take away from any sprinting record?
Even if there was a running race and car race on the same track I don't think anyone would have any issue differentiating between the various records that would exist.
I mean, I marginally gave a shit about a lot of these games now that I'm old (even though I owned all of them as a kid), much less about speed runs, but after watching his videos by chance, I suddenly care again ... and maybe even a lot more for the endeavour of speed runs.
And that's the hallmark of a good documentary.
if you like videos like this, pannenkeok2012 does super in depth analysis of everything Super Mario 64
The thought behind it is, that we as brains churn through everything and as we are that many and we are connected so well, we just churn through games which have been released 32 years ago by doing everything you can do with it.
Just a few days ago i saw a video where they used debug code to manipulate the game state and one of those things was a sprite fix, as there is a bug in super mario bros. 2 where the last frame was skipped and the memory fix fixes that.
The same happens with more complex 3d games as well, like thx to nvidia tools frame analysis of games exist on yt. Nice to see all the render pathes explained step by step.
I think it would be a lot of fun! Maybe some MOD maker can make that!
Weird it's only the original Super Mario Bros. game and only available from October to March.
Didn't know it was already created on the DX...never owned one before.
*upon a search a Modder created this a year ago called Mario Royale (better name then 35) https://www.ibtimes.com/super-mario-bros-35-has-elements-201... . They shut him down and created their own .. surprised no one at Nintendo thought of this nor ask the modder for help.
Lame, Nintendo lame!
Put another way: if you said, “you wouldn’t get this if you wrote it in Java”—well, sure, but that’s because you wouldn’t get anything, because the JVM wouldn’t fit and couldn’t run on the target platform.
Just spent an hour watching, great stuff on both channels
The phoon too much for zblock bunnyhop fragmovie video  still makes me laugh even like 10 years later
This video is an interesting demonstration of 2 things - human ingenuity and the scope of improvement even when it is not obvious!
Besides, I have learned stack exploits, but I had never expected they could also be used in an NES game.
> I believe there is an incredible number of counterfeit doctrines and antichrists (Greek word that literally means counterfeit messiah), some more obvious and some more subtle. Islam being one of the most obvious ones.
(It's a reference to Islam at least. Not sure how calling it a false doctrine is Islamophobic; seems like a pretty standard Christian take.)