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Evander Holyfield's "Real Deal" Boxing () (genesis) [Any %] [Single Segment]

Decision: Reject

Reason: A significantly faster run exists on the net. While there is no explanation to the strategies used in the faster run, they appear to be legit.

This run will be available for a month. After that these link(s) will no longer work.
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Run Information

Evander Holyfield's "Real Deal" Boxing () (genesis) [Any %] [Single Segment]

Verification Files

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Edit history:
8BitSteve: 2017-01-10 02:42:24 pm
Video and Audio Look good.

Having played this game before I know it is very difficult to get round 1 knock downs at all. The fact that this run has all round one knock downs and the fact that none of the fighters get up from the knock downs is a pretty incredible feat in my opinion. The menu sections are reasonably fast.

Regrettably there is some time wasted to being knocked down by the other fighters.

Since the fighters seem to respond to your button presses and each fighter seems to have a random set of counter commands the RNG seems pretty heavy during fights. While this is certainly not 100% optimized during the fights I think it is well beyond a casual speedrun. I have also watched the TAS of this game and I honestly think it would take 6+ months of runs to come anywhere close to this time. My vote is for approve.
Edit history:
honorableJay: 2017-01-18 10:20:34 pm
The Dork Knight himself.
I do have a few questions for the runner before I make my decision. Here's the breakdown of the actual fights.

1: Mick Llonigan - 30 v 28 - Round 1
2: Billy Budd - 28 v 26 - Round 1
3: Dynamite Don - 26 v 23 - Round 1
4: Hot Rod Nils - 23 v 20 - Round 1
5: Alan Short - 20 v 17 - Round 1
6: Hunk Hughes - 17 v 14 - Round 1
7: J.D. LeForge - 14 v 11 - Round 1
8: E.Z. Ray - 11 v 8 - Round 2, 2 knockdowns to the player
9: Jim Jo Bone - 8 v 7 - Round 1
10: Craig Malone - 7 v 5 - Round 1
11: Dane King - 5 v 3 - Round 2
12: E. Holyfield - 3 v 1 - Round 1

I know the game has a ranking system and you can only go so far ahead, but what was the reason for the 9th fight against Jim Jo Bone? Was that to setup easier fights before Holyfield?

For the actual loop, it appeared you mainly used right hooks to the body followed by a right uppercut. Is this a guaranteed loop to knockout opponents on the first knockdown?

From E.Z. Ray onward, most of the opponents had more aggressive AI routines and would constantly block. Was there a specific reason to keep mashing the body blows?

Finally, I was wondering if there are other loops you could've used to save time. One loop I know of is a left jab to the body followed by an immediate left jab to the face. Since your focus is on speed and power, this specific loop is ideal as a backup because none of the boxers in the game can counter it. Would using such a backup mess up the first knockdown KO?
The Dork Knight himself.
Also, I just found a video on youtube that is estimated to be about 7 minutes faster than this run (going by finishing character creation to the final punch on Holyfield). While I can't say it's 100% legit, are the strategies worth looking into?

Edit history:
ktwo: 2017-01-25 01:35:52 am
I've invited the runner to this thread to comment on the youtube video, but since there has been no more comments, I'll write my own thoughts. The linked youtube video seems be able to keep the opponents down on the first knockdown and therefore win by quick knockout in most/all fights. The run is therefore even faster than the TAS. I tried to look around to see if there were a documented trick or cheat for this purpose, but couldn't find any mention of it. If the video was made by the Daniel T I think it is, I'm almost certain that it's legit. However, I've now also reached out on youtube to ask about this video. Let's see if that can bring some clarity.

Until we know more about the youtube video and whether it appears to be legit or not, we'll just have to keep this thread pending.
Edit history:
TheRedWizard: 2017-01-24 08:42:41 pm
Sorry to take so long to comment, life has been quite busy after the holidays with many things.

To answer mostly about the game and how the opponents work, every opponent you face has a "smart" AI where if you keep attacking the same way they are actually prone to block those attacks later on, but I have found that even with this, they are really vulnerable to how I play it. The reason why I constantly do body shots even if they block is because they will still take body shot damage and they will be more prone to head shots the more often you body shot them. Body shots overall have always been more effective than head shots because the AI auto protects it more than the body. And no, there are uncounterable loops at all. They work for awhile, but again like I said, more you use it, the less likely you can use it later on.

The Jim Jo Bone fight was the better setup as well. Early on, if you match up with fighters with higher speed than you, they will just plain out beat you with their speed. The early game is to set up the proper amount of speed and power balance to fight the top 5 bracket of players. It's really hard to obtain this if you don't, plus you want to make sure to take it easy after the "auto lose" fight as well to regain stats because you do lose a lot each fight.

Longer and longer you go without losing, the more smart and prone to have what I call an "auto lose" fight happens. In the example of the EZ Ray fight, he was my auto lose fight and will get quite ridiculous not only with blocks, but the speed of their attacks and power of their punches as well as the combos they do are different than a normal EZ Ray fight even at the rank he is at. Win or lose with the fight auto resets the "auto lose" fight until you fight more later on for the eventual 100% finish of being "The Greatest".

As far as the first round knockouts, there is a trick to do them but it's not based on attacking combos or anything of that sort. As far as trying different loops, like I said before, they are prone to block your attacks of that nature and doing my set has worked the best for it.

For the video in question, it's interesting that you even found something like this. A buddy of mine as well as myself looked and looked for anything that was a speed run in this game and in fact when I posted the categories for this game on the forums earlier, only a TAS was found and nothing to do with this video. 2nd of all, I have had multiple people watch it and myself included many times and the movements that this person is doing against opponents is way more fluid that you are really able to do as far as genesis is concerned. My conclusion for it is either emulator or maybe a TAS. Although I would rather not accuse it of not being legit, especially being the runner in question for it being a better run, this is actually faster than the TAS that was original found in the first place.

Lastly and I know this is long. The Daniel T video knockout of Evander is @ 15:29 and mine was @ 21:16, so 5 min and 46 sec faster, if legit, so not 7 min. If you take the full video, I leave mine all the way til you see Evenader telling you that you aren't the best, because this is an any % not a 100% run.

Hope this answers all the questions you had on it and please do feel free to have more if need be. This game is really known for it's weird AI as well as pretty bad controls when playing (For instance when you block an attack, it sticks you to blocking that side only making you vulnerable to any other attacks from the opponent and no you can't use this in your favor because the opponent is faster than you with the inputs). Either way, I am curious to know if this is legit because if it is and faster than a TAS, I give this person mad props.
Edit history:
honorableJay: 2017-01-24 10:34:16 pm
honorableJay: 2017-01-24 10:27:18 pm
The Dork Knight himself.
I get what you're saying about enemy AI getting more aggressive, but I don't believe in the auto-lose fight. I played the hell out of the game years ago and never once truly ran into a fight I couldn't win when I had good enough stats.

Most of the fights you see as auto-lose really exploit very key aspects of the game: punch speed, punch range, and recovery times. Let's use the infinite loop I mentioned before as an example. The punch combo goes (for a right handed boxer) left body jab, left head jab, then repeat. The key inputs are (if memory serves me correctly): Down, A, Up, A, Down, A, Up, A, and keep repeating. Once you're in the rhythm, and your speed is high enough (about 60-70% full should do) you'll be able to chain the attacks without getting countered simply because your opponent will take longer to recover from each hit than you take to connect. Besides the speed aspect, the only thing to worry about is proper positioning since this strat is only fully effective at max punch range.

Where this comes into play in a run is it's a safe backup strat in case you start getting pounded on. It can be used to push an opponent back against the ropes and gives you the opportunity to get in close for the devastating body hooks and uppercuts.

Also, when watching the run from Daniel T, even if it is TAS, his positioning for throwing the punches is a lot tighter. Every punch thrown is in the correct positioning to cleanly hit. I'm not saying that this is super easy to achieve, but definitely something to consider.

And the 7 minutes faster is fairly accurate since I compared the total time in each video from the end of character creation until the final hit on Holyfield. You're only looking at the video times on the final hit which is why you got just over 5 mins.
The Dork Knight himself.
One more thing: you guys keep mentioning a TAS for this game, but I can't seem to find a proper TAS. When I found the Daniel T run, I searched for a TAS but could only find a one from some guy named CheeseSticks which doesn't even bother with proper AI manipulation and fight optimization (more like someone playing a fight in real time over and over).
The Dork Knight himself.
If my research is accurate, Daniel T. is actually dtysonator. The youtube page that hosts the run I found ( even mentions that all the runs were done by dtysonator. Another page I found ( also links back to the same youtube account.
Edit history:
ktwo: 2017-01-25 01:47:14 am
honorablejay, it's strange how the TAS didn't show up in your searches, but Daniel T's run did. The TAS is literally the first hit when I search for game name + speedrun, while I couldn't find Daniel T's run at all, despite doing having done a few different searches. Anyways, here is the TAS:

TheRedWizard, just to make sure we speak about the same thing. While the game play is of course good in Daniel T's run, what's more remarkable is how he manages to make KOs out of the first knockdown, which is the reason his run is faster than the TAS. Can you think of any game mechanic that could influence the chances of the opponent staying down after a knockdown? Since it's done so consistently, there must be some kind of fairly obvious trick (or cheat code, but I find that unlikely considering who the other runner is).
@ktwo There is actually a trick to make it so if the opponent is knocked down, they basically stay down. There are actually 2 versions of it. One, you will knock them out cold basically and when doing this, the game freeezes and you have to restart the catridge all over again. This will also count as a loss when you come back into your career.

So for the trick. Everytime you reset the cartride on the game, there is a certain input of combinations for the character creation that will give you an advantage. The head, hair, skin color and trunk color. The character creation I picked is one of the combinations to make it so if you knock down the opponent, they stay down. The catch is, this combo doesn't work every time. I don't know all the combinations and how many there are, I myself found 2. So you knock the enemy down, if it's a auto knockout you move on to 2nd and make sure it is, then you have the go for the run, but there are times when the first fight was a fluke or you hit a combo where they ALL have to be TKO'd or they need 2 knockdowns to win.

The other run posted that's faster than mine is definitely using this trick and that is one of the inputs after testing it myself.
The Dork Knight himself.
Going by what we've found and what's been discussed, I think it's safe to say that this run needs a bit more polish. The premise is solid, but the execution in fights needs a bit of work. Even if Daniel T's run was never submitted here, it shows how much extra time can come off.

Decision: Reject

I do hope you take some more time with this and resubmit.
Decision posted.