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July 1, 2005 6:35 PM   Subscribe

Bisqwit's NES Time attack videos site has been mentioned before, but the site and the time attack community have both grown quite a bit and the redesigned wiki-style site deserves another look. The site now has tool-assisted runs of SNES, Genesis/Megadrive, and GB/GBA games in addition to the rather comprehensive NES collection. You can now check out and vote on submissions, view works in progress, or learn the motivations and methodology, and dare I suggest, make one yourself - but be you aware, it is both difficult and addictive. For "speed runs" - as opposed to time attacks - of newer games and older games without using emulators, check out the Speed Demo Archive (runs listed here) . And you thought you could beat Contra fast...
posted by BlackLeotardFront (15 comments total)
very nice. i haven't looked at many time attacks/speed runs since I made that other fpp. It's nice to see bisqwit changed the name from time attacks to "Tool Assisted Console Game Movies" as well as expanding the site quite a bit.
posted by puke & cry at 7:12 PM on July 1, 2005 [1 favorite]

how does this work? I don't understand the concept here. All I am getting is that games are being rerecorded. Please explain.
posted by derangedlarid at 7:56 PM on July 1, 2005

The idea is to complete a game as fast as is possible - not even "humanly possible" but just as fast as possible. Various glitches, tricks, etc are used that are completely impossible for a person not playing frame by frame and the result is, IMHO, very entertaining - mostly for games that you know and have played.

If it's not your bag thats cool too, I just thought I'd let people who do like it know that it's still being done, and better than ever at that.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:04 PM on July 1, 2005

I used to hold the record (12.5 min) for speed run on Super Mario World for snes. Got beaten by a Canadian kid, Alexis. I think the new record is 10.5 or some ridiculous thing.
Anyway, I was the first. *weeze* Now I'll go play some shuffleboard with the ladies.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:12 PM on July 1, 2005

*waits patiently on 500mb Metroid Prime file to download*
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 9:17 PM on July 1, 2005

looks like the server is deadish. Although the polite request to come back in 10 minutes is novel.
posted by delmoi at 10:04 PM on July 1, 2005

Is the file of the guy beating Mario Brothers really quickly available as a quicktime (or otherwise Mac-viewable) file anywhere? I really want to see it.
posted by interrobang at 12:01 AM on July 2, 2005

For the record, the new Super Mario 64 speed demo (it's about 1:01:32) is like watching Jesus sit down and kick your ass for a cup of wine.

It's right here:

That's a "70" star version. There's a "16" star version because of two amazing cheats you can do.
posted by jscott at 12:53 AM on July 2, 2005

those cheats are awesome.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:58 AM on July 2, 2005

Jesus, it took me months of playing off and on to beat Mario64 the first time through, and only to 70-odd stars, not the full 120 stars or whatever it is.

Not to mention the original Metroid, Super Mario Bros, or any of the Super Mario Worlds. That SMB3 time attack is ludicrous.

Heh, right now, I'm working on completing 100% of Pilot Wings64. Uh, why? I like it. It's fun and kinda zen.
posted by loquacious at 1:26 AM on July 2, 2005

Thanks for the link. I'm fascinated by speedruns-- both the idea of a "perfect game," as though God were playing, and also the exploits and tricks used by people with emulators & savestates at their disposal... really imaginative stuff.

In their explanation of their aesthetic, the NESVideos guys say:

Entertainment comes when the video is:

* Variable (not slow, not boring or repetitive)
* Surprising (does things you'd not expect)
* Skillful (handles awkward situations efficiently and creatively)

When I first read this, t reminded me of Hardy's comments in A Mathematicians Apology (highlights mine):

What `purely aesthetic' qualities can we distinguish in such theorems as Euclid's and Pythagoras's? I will not risk more than a few disjointed remarks.

In both theorems (and in theorems, of course, I include the proofs) there is a very high degree of unexpectedness, combined with inevitability and economy. The arguments take so odd and surprising a form; the weapons used seem so childishly simple when compared with the far-reaching results; but there is no escape from their conclusions. There are no complications of detail - one line of attack is enough in each case; and this is true too of the proofs of many much more diffcult theorems, the full appreciation of which demands quite a high degree of technical proficiency. We do not want many `variations' in the proof of a mathematical theorem: `enumeration of cases', indeed, is one of the duller forms of mathematical argument. A mathematical proof should resemble a simple and clear-cut constellation, not a scattered cluster in the Milky Way.

Like mathematical beauty, not everybody is going to get the beauty in speed runs. But I've definitely downloaded some (super mario 3, arkanoid) and watched all the way through just for sheer entertainment.
posted by jcruelty at 1:40 AM on July 2, 2005

Oh and when I said "speed runs" above I meant "time attacks."
posted by jcruelty at 1:43 AM on July 2, 2005

Ok, I just watched the 16 star cheated Mario64 speedrun, and that's just certifiable. That guy is like a 'Yahoo!' ninja or something.

I spent way, way too long trying to get that damn rabbit out of the basement, and here he is using it to pop through locked doors. That and the wall-jumping through wall glitches, backwards jumping through locked doors and up endless stairs and shit.

What's even more disturbing is you can still see a few spots to shave off a few seconds, places where he had to retake jumps and retrace and stuff.
posted by loquacious at 1:51 AM on July 2, 2005

Just to mention, loquacious, that the cheats and hacks are often the results of a lot of cross-pollination of ideas between a bunch of people playing it; it just happens to be that that current guy is the fastest to run through them. But there's definitely a learning curve going on, with approaches traded, and analysis. They debate which stars get them the quickest through.

The one that would make your shorts fill is the "Quake Done Quick With a Vengeance" collection (I forget the URL and it's late): There are levels in there with completion times of EIGHT SECONDS. I still get a chill seeing some of them.
posted by jscott at 3:35 AM on July 2, 2005


my (imagined) super metroid prowess has been soundly parked where it belongs.
posted by flippant at 9:33 AM on July 2, 2005

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