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The Mega Man tool-assisted speedrun is a much-revised tool-assisted speedrun of the video game Mega Man of which the current (eighth) version is made by Joel “Bisqwit” Yliluoma and Yashar “AngerFist” Nasirian, in which the game is finished after 0:16:10 of input.[1] It is considered to be the most typical example of tool-assisted speedruns and is the result of the iterative refinement of techniques and routes collected over two years of time, and exploits many glitches in the game.

Joel Yliluoma, the co-author and submitter of the run says in the submission comments, “It has become increasingly difficult for even an expert player to comprehend what is going on in this movie.” As an example of the ever-growing “toolbox” available to tool-assisted speedrunners, the latest version of this run used a custom emulator extension to display various internal game data including the position and velocity of the main character at sub-pixel accuracy, and a machine player to try thousands of different combinations of actions to get particular items to drop or manipulate the behavior of an enemy.

Development history[edit]

This tool-assisted speedrun has seen many revisions, the current 0:16:10 record being the eighth.

April 2003: 0:21:52[edit]

The first version, published on April 27, 2003, was made by “もりもと” (“Morimoto”), a Japanese runner, and finished the game in 0:21:52.[2] This run was, like typical of early tool-assisted speedruns, very unrefined, even though the playing style was far beyond that which unassisted speedrunners can attain.[2]

July 2004: 0:18:21[edit]

Since it did not use any esoteric techniques, it was possible for Joel “Bisqwit” Yliluoma to get the time down to 0:18:21 on July 6, 2004, which was the fourth version of the run (two preceding versions were unpublished).[3] Bisqwit stated in the movie submission commentary[3] that the movie took three months to make and had been rewritten many times upon discovering different strategies. It featured the first instances of running techniques that are impractical to perform in unassisted speedrunning. The largest amount of saved time was made possible by a major glitch that was found in the physics engine of the game; namely, it was found that traveling through solid platforms (such as walls and ceilings) is possible.[4] More on this (generic; found in many other games) glitch, dubbed “zipping”, can be found in the Techniques paragraph.

Route planning sheet for the Bomb Man stage in the sixth version of this run

October 2005: 0:16:58[edit]

File:Luckman.png
BisqBot, a robot designed to aid the creation of tool-assisted speedruns, finds the shortest path towards a desired powerup in Mega Man

The most significant update came to be on October 2, 2005, when Yliluoma updated his well-known run to just 0:16:58.[4] This was an astonishment even for the experienced viewers and makers of tool-assisted speedruns, as the previous version already seemed nearly perfect. A lot of work had gone into the run, as noted in the movie's description given by Yliluoma: “The making of this movie took 8 months — most of which was spent planning how to play the Bombman stage.” As seen on the image to the left, a lot had indeed to be considered in the running of that level.

Besides simply taking a huge amount of time to plan out, this movie also sported something never seen before in the production of runs: a bot that plays parts of the game. Yliluoma had programmed a bot, named “BisqBot” (after his own pseudonym, “Bisqwit”), to play out small parts of the game during which random powerups had to be found.[5] Since, due to the nature of tool-assisted speedruns, players need to go through an intensive trial and error session in order to get the right powerup during the making of their run, Yliluoma felt that a lot of time could be saved by letting a bot perform such tedious jobs. In order to program the bot, the ROM of the game had to be disassembled so that the code responsible for producing powerups could be analyzed. The resulting program, attached to the emulator's source code and then compiled along with it, could play the game “randomly”, finding out which pattern of input could spawn the desired powerup, with the realization that some input would give it a better chance. Approximately eight seconds were fully played by BisqBot.

March 2006: 0:16:10[edit]

Finally, the most current version that is available today was published on March 29, 2006, this time by Joel Yliluoma and Yashar “AngerFist” Nasirian.[5] Yet more techniques were discovered, older ones refined and performed at different sections of the game.

Media[edit]

All published revisions of this speedrun are still available for download. Only the latest version, however, can be downloaded in video format; the others are kept in the emulator's native movie file format for the reason of disk space. The links to the latest version's video may be found on the movie's description page on TASVideos. The older versions can be found at the obsoleted version links.

There is also an example video of this speedrun for the description of the glitch usage of tool-assisted speedruns in general.

{{Multi-video start}}
{{Multi-video item |
  filename      = <!--Non-free image removed: megaman1610_fireman.ogg--> |
  title         = Glitches in Mega Man tool-assisted speedrunning |
  description   = The tool-assisted speedrun of [[Mega Man Classic|Mega Man]] in which the game is finished in 0:16:10, by Joel “Bisqwit” Yliluoma and Yashar “AngerFist” Nasirian, abuses a large amount of glitches.[http://bisqwit.iki.fi/nesvideos/movies.cgi?id=515] The authors' “toolbox” allows them to recurrently abuse an almost impractically difficult trick which makes fast movement through walls, floors and ceilings possible. (5.08 [[Megabyte|MB]], [[ogg]]/[[Theora]] format). |
  format        = [[Theora]]
}}
{{Multi-video end}}

See also[edit]

  • Speedrun — play-through of a computer or video game, in which the whole game or a select part of it, such as a single level, is played with the intent of completing it as quickly as possible, optionally with certain prerequisites
  • Tool-assisted speedrun — a speedrun in which one uses tools such as slow motion and re-recording.
  • Re-recording — the act of using a save state while recording a tool-assisted speedrun
  • Notable games for speedrunning — an extensively documented list of noteworthy games for speedrunning purposes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ TASVideos contributors (2006). "NES Mega Man (USA) in 16:10". TASVideos. Retrieved May 12, 2006. 
  2. ^ At this moment, no unassisted speedrun has come close to Morimoto's time of 0:21:52; almost none of the techniques thought up beyond that version are impractical in unassisted speedrunning and thus cannot be used to save time over his route. The current unassisted record stands at 0:24:00 by Trevor Seguin.[1]
  3. ^ All movies on the TASVideos site are to pass a community vote to see if it is believed to be interesting enough for public display. As such, people are required to write commentary to go with their movies, usually for some basic explanation of the strategies and tactics that were used to create the movie.
  4. ^ Yliluoma, J. (2004). "Submission #64". TASVideos. Retrieved June 23, 2006. 
  5. ^ More information on randomness in games can be found in the Tool-assisted speedrun article.

External links[edit]

  • Mega Man in 16:10 - the movie page of the 16:10 tool-assisted speedrun by Joel “Bisqwit” Yliluoma and Yashar “AngerFist” Nasirian. The full movie may be downloaded from this page.
  • Mega Man in 16:10 submission comments - the commentary of the authors on their run.