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UraniumAnchor: 2013-12-13 02:16:42 am
SDAVerification: 2013-12-13 02:09:35 am
Game Page: Doesn't exist yet

Wizards & Warriors III: Kuros: Visions of Power (Any %) (Single Segment) [Large-skip glitches]

Decision: Reject

Reason: The run itself is fine, but the video has unfixable quality issues due to an improper capture

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

Wizards & Warriors III: Kuros: Visions of Power (Any %) (Single Segment) [Large-skip glitches]

Verification Files

Please refer to the Verification Guidelines before posting. Verifications are due by Dec. 13, 2013.

Please post your opinions about the run and be certain to conclude your post with a verdict (Accept/Reject). This is not a contest where the majority wins - I will judge each verification on its content. Please keep your verification brief unless you have a good reason otherwise.

After 2 weeks I will read all of the verifications and move this thread to the main verification board and post my verdict.
Edit history:
ktwo: 2013-11-30 08:24:50 am
I've played through this game both normally and with the route shown in this video. One exception though, I've never gotten the last boss glitch to work.

A/V: I'm not sure what it's called, but there is an issue with the video quality (see attachment). I have also a feeling there is some bobbing of some sort going on (don't know if it's related or not). I won't say that it otherwise looks fine, but I guess it's acceptable for NES-capture.
Legit: I can't get the last boss glitch to work. I'm following the instructions from the tas author, but to no avail. I play on emulator, so I don't know if it's some version difference, something I'm missing or if it's just very hard to do. I'm gonna give it the benefit of the doubt though and believe that it's possible to pull off consistently in real-time.
Category note: I agree that this should be labeled as with large skips. I'm not sure how to define the other category though. I guess it would have to complete all trials, but can the Malkil glitch still be used? With an obscure game like this, I guess that discussion can wait until someone shows interest in that.

Game play: What the... What on... earth was that you tried to do when jumping to the shop in the beginning?!?!?! Ok, let's move on... As a general comment, there are several hard tricks involved in getting this route to work and even some rng in a few places need to be on your side. For other verifiers, I'll point out what I (a casual player) experienced as particularly difficult:
- De-spawning the beehive (needs to be done twice). I don't know if there is some kind special techinique for this, but I found it damn hard. The runner pulled it off on the first try for the first passage and on the second try on the second passage. Very good imo (unless there is indeed some consistent method of doing this).
- Not getting knocked down when doing the damage boost on the flashing guy on top of the village. Once you get the feeling for it, it's not that hard, but still a bit tricky. It needs to be done twice and the runner managed it on the first try both times.
- Fighting the monster guarding the gold thief statue. The crowbar is an awful weapon for this, but once you enter the room there is no way of switching outfit (and it's only the upgraded thief that can enter windows). The runner uses a strat, which is really hard in real time. (starts at around 10:30) shows a better way of approaching this fight.
- Sequence breaking on the top right tower (for the second crystal) by bouncing off two enemies. It took the runner a few tries, but well within what's acceptable for the difficulty of this trick. By the way, the flashing guy just above is also a jerk and loves to time his throws so Kuros gets hit and knocked down.
- The two worms that guard the third wizard statue. The runner does an ok job. However, seems to not have noticed (or bothered with) that the patterns are always the same! As a speedrunner, you need to memorize such things. Annoying to learn, but necessary. It would have saved a bunch of time instead of like now trying to fight them ad hoc.
- The third wizard trial is absolute bullshit. Even though everything is perfectly scripted, the hit detection of those platforms is just mind boggling. The runner had one minor muck up, but that's acceptable imo. (The boss fight was crap though)
- The dragon guarding the last crystal is an ordeal with the wizard #1 outfit. It's incredibly easy to get knocked down and having to start the fight over again. And that's pretty much rng whether it will happen or not. Getting the hits to connect is also pretty luck-based. There will never be a perfect dragon fight in real-time, so not getting knocked down should be the main focus. The runner succeeds in doing this.
- The final boss (Malkil) is damn hard as wizard #1. The runner uses a glitch to skip the fight. As mentioned above, I can't get it to work and I don't know if it's because I'm doing something wrong or if it's just hard. Anyways, the runner finds the right pixel relatively quickly and pulls off the glitch on the first try.
I would say that anything that manages to deal with the above issues in a relatively fast manner is impressive. Overall, the runner did a good job here. On top of that there are a few more positive things to say (good positioning (pixel perfect?) on the first thief boss, getting a stun lock (rng) on the third thief boss, ...). Unfortunately, there are also several things that look pretty bad outside these critical sections. Stuff like running around replenishing health when there was never any danger of dying, attempting jumps that I'm pretty sure are impossible, unnecessary menu trips etc. If the runner wants to improve their time, I'll be available in the forum for discussing this and other time savers. I'm kind of the fence on what to say here, but for the sake of being more inclusive than exclusive, I hesitantly recommend an

ACCEPT (if the video issue can be fixed)

Yeah the video quality is mediocre.  Audio seems fine but the video is not great.  Bit unstable, colors are off.  Kinda reminds me of VHS.  I don't think it's bad enough to reject, but agree that if the bouncing can be mitigated that'd be great.

Seems like some of the execution in the town areas of this run is off a bit. Missed jumps.  But I don't know how hard the jumps are so it's hard to say if that's a killer or not.

This game seems so weird, that it's trying way too hard.  I feel like it's trying for a style and just misses the mark.  Is this Rare?  Music reminds me of Solar Jetman at times.  Ah, it is. So typical Rare then: awkward control but with a clear style  That tells me everything is probably harder than it looks.

Did notice it seemed odd to fight with that crowbar, but the explanation by ktwo makes sense.  He's a good substitute for runner's notes. Smiley

First thing that looks sorta like a mistake outside of the town areas, the thing needing a few tries at 11:40.  Again, I dont' know how hard it is.  I'll trust ktwo on that.

Oops, wrong costume at the first Wizard upgrade?

So then we glitch it almost a half hour in. That's rough.

Wow the ending, I get the feeling when he comes through this portal he'll BE Solar Jetman.  And then ktwo takes over the run. Smiley

So yeah, the run *looks* awkward and unpolished.  But knowing Rare, and taking ktwo's words into account, I feel like it's a lot better done than it looks, and knowing the last glitch is so key, it's got to be an accept.
Quote from presjpolk:
Oops, wrong costume at the first Wizard upgrade?
I assume you mean wizard trial #3 (at around 16:40). Actually no. The only way to open those doors is with the thief 3 outfit. So the only way is to enter, be rejected, change outfit and re-enter to take the trial. Don't ask me what the game developers were thinking when coming up with that solution...
Oh is that the second wizard upgrade? Guess I lost track.
It's the second in this run, but it's the third (gold) in terms of how the game tracks it. However, once you get a higher level outfit, you automatically get the lower level outfits of the same kind as well. I guess the developers didn't think that would be an issue (I think it's only possible with the skips shown here), so they didn't program anything special for that situation.
Audio is good but video isn't.  Hopefully that can be fixed, or at least improved because it's very borderline.  No cheating detected.

The controls in this game are really floaty, so I'd say that having some platforming mistakes in a run is all but inevitable.  I can excuse getting the extra health because it doesn't cost much time and seems like it was rendered unnecessary by good play.  I didn't get as far as the worms, but if their patterns are indeed 100% consistent, that's a pretty bad mistake.  The dragon fight could also be faster, but I can't blame the runner for playing that one safe because that fight just looks cruel.  And going for a precise glitch at the end of a single segment run of a game like this takes some balls.

For an initial submission of an obscure game I'd say this run is good enough in terms of gameplay, especially because of the first-try Malkil glitch at the end.  Video quality is making me seriously consider a "reject unless it's fixed" verdict though.  For now I'll give it a pass, but I'm going to give it another look tomorrow.
Not a walrus
Runner has been contacted about the video, hopefully it's fixable because it's probably a reject as is.
Edit history:
ddrmasterdude: 2013-12-03 05:37:43 pm
A few comments.  Im not to sure as to why the video quality is poor, as it looks fine in the original (I will look into it though)

The Malkil fight is really tough to pull off, and in fact I used a couple pause buffers (3 or 4 i think) to get the pixel right.  I have had countless game overs because of unsuccessful glitch attempts.  This was the only time I thought about buffering it though

As for the tower leading up to the palace jewel, I'm not sure if their is a way or not to manipulate the enemy spawn in the window. I'll do some testing with that.

Other than pretty bad platforming at times, I would say the biggest issues are the 2nd worm, and the 3rd wizard (fight only)  were both garbage.

Also I replied in the Private thread about the issue, hopefully we can get it resolved, and if not, I am more willing to do another run (or 500) of this game.

*edit- Also a lot of the little tricks (ie beehive despawn, and flashing guy in front of gold thief,  are tricks that  became easy over time and are now 2nd nature

*edit2- also I will give a billion cyber hugs to anybody who can explain why the thiefs occasionally cower (lean back). i have no idea why this happens, or how to manipulate it,
I'm glad there is apparently a solid original video file to go back on, because having looked at it again I would ultimately have to reject the current video quality.  Although I know next to nothing about encoding, there are plenty of people around here who do, and these kinds of issues have been fixed before.
ddrmasterdude, it sounds like you don't mind playing this game for a bit longer? If that's the case, I can go through the submitted video again and make a more thorough review. There are several things that can be changed to save time without adding any risk at all. I will only do it if you're planning to work on an improvement though (which I highly recommend, tbh).
yeah I plan on doing more attempts, I love this game (for now lol) and am willing to do more runs of it even if the video issue of this run do/don't get fixed
Also, i have a couple different versions of the video (HQ, SQ, and the original recording)  I sent a different one (the original this time) in as well, because it didn't have bouncing (at least not on my end) ,but then again, the HQ version didn't bounce on my end either.  hopefully this one will produce better quality results
Edit history:
ktwo: 2013-12-05 08:28:12 am
Ok, here we go. Maybe it's obvious, but as a general comment, watch the tas and try to immitate it as much as possible. Only choose a different route if it's for the sake of consistency. The time stamps are from your submitted video. Some of these are very minor, but everything counts and as long as they don't add risk, then there is no reason not to go for it.

0:30 - Please reset next time you get this start... :-)
2:48 - Unnecessary change of outfit. This boss is not hard with thief #1.
3:07 - If you stand a bit more to the right, you can get the last hit closer to door on the right.
4:44 - Start attacking. You'll get hit, but can hopefully get in a hit or two, which saves time in the end.
5:40 - As mentioned in my comments above, watch the twitch clip and learn the other method.
6:30 - There is an easier way to jump between these two houses. See the tas.
8:13 - You ask about how to stun lock the trial bosses. I don't know, but my guess is rng you can't manipulate in real time. The tas authors might have more info though, so you can always try to send them a pm over at tasvideos. There are no guarantees they will have any useful info, but it doesn't hurt to ask...
9:03 - Skip the extra food. I doubt any good attempt will be ruined because low health. If you absolutely want more health, there is more available food at 10:57 and 11:14.
9:23 - Not sure if this was an execution mistake, but you should jump straight from the top stair to the statue. The way back to the exit was also slow. See the tas for the fastest method (also very feasible in real time).
12:00 - Don't jump. Run off the ledge.
12:10 - The tas has a better way getting through to the lower part of town.
14:10 - The tas has a better way of descending through the cave system.
14:30 - The worms follow a pre-determined pattern. Once you learn them, this fight will be easier (and faster).
18:20 - Change to thief #3 here. It allows you a slightly faster route in the beginning (see the tas).
18:30 - This is a pretty tough jump. You can also use the ledge to the right even if that's slightly slower. For the sake of consistency, it might be worth it though.
22:19 - Jump instead of float. It's not a hard jump.
22:37 - Unnecessary jump.
23:50 - You can jump directly up to the platform on the right.
24:10 - My guess is that it's faster to start floating immediately and not make the last jump to the right side of the tower. It might faster your way in theory, but in practice I think you'll end up wasting time from the time spent jumping.
24:33 - You can actually open this door as wizard #1 (in fact, you can open all doors after entering the castle gate in any outfit).

If I'm bad at explaining anything, just ask.
Chiming in again to say that once I downloaded the video and played it in VLC it was much better - and yes, by that I mean acceptable.  Normally I do that right away when I notice such issues because browser plugins can be dumb, but for whatever reason my brain failed me on this one. embarassed
Thanks for the tips Ktwo Cheesy here are some of my comments on some of the things pointed out.

:30- totally agree with you
2:48 - I use the knight for bigger hit box, but I will test the thief out if it isn't noticeably harder
3:07 - safety strat because I've had him get to far too the right on the second to last hit
9:03 - I agree now with the food...if I'm gonna make speedruns I should focus on being confident on some parts
9:23 - it's about half and half on whether I jump from the step to the statue, I'll time it to see which is better.  Also there is a pixel-perfect jump which let's 
          me make it back up to the door with just one jump, but it is inconsistent for me. I'll practice that as well more
14:30- really? I only noticed patterns for the final section (the head) does the pattern change each time a section is killed off?  I'll research the patters if
          that's the case
24:33 - I know the final door can be opened with any character for that matter, I still used the thief because of the walk to the real king, and to malkil. 
            the wizard and thief are still at their respective speeds for this part.  I will check this though and see if it is any faster to just go in as the lvl 1

everything else-  yeah I just need to work more on platforming and better routes for tranporting through each area
I knew about the different walking speeds, but it somehow completely slipped my mind when commenting about the last door. My bad. I just compared opening the last door as thief and as wizard. The thief is indeed 1.5-2 seconds faster, so never mind my comment.

About the worms, their movement is sped up every time they lose a segment, but I haven't noticed that it would have any influence on their movement pattern. I haven't learned their patterns myself, so I won't swear on that it doesn't become random at some point, but my guess is that they won't. Their shots seem to be somewhat random though.
Not a walrus
From what I've seen of the original it looks like this is unfortunately unsalvageable, the blurring is present even in the original file. The bouncing seemed to come and go, not sure what to think of that.

Whatever program you used to do the recording might be to blame, since it didn't seem to interlace the file correctly. You might want to see if your capture device works with one of the programs recommended here. And post some quality tests in the Tech Support forum to make sure it's set correctly. Capturing interlaced footage is tricky. Smiley
Edit history:
ddrmasterdude: 2013-12-05 12:38:51 pm
ddrmasterdude: 2013-12-05 12:38:25 pm
it seems to appear that the video seems to be playing good for some people and bad for others,  my original recording looks fine, and the one posted in this forum runs fine for me as well.  Also it appears that when AlecK47 downloaded the video, it became better for him as well,  so I'm not entirely sure that the capture device is the issue.

However if it is still unsalvagable for SDA to accept it, then I will try some of the programs you listed above to see if I can produce a better result (both in video quality and game execution)

edit: I just realized you said it may be the capturing program, and not the device itself that may be the issue.  either way i'll try the suggestions given
Decision posted.
Clearly it sounds like it was looking different in different players...  Hopefully this can be re-done!
ktwo, how is it that you know everything about every obscure NES game?  You are a hero.

I'm sad to see this rejected for quality issues, though.  I'll have to give this run a watch anyways.  I'm pretty amazed that anybody can even beat this game.  :O
Not a walrus
Yeah, it's unfortunate, but even the raw file that the runner sent in can't be deinterlaced properly, too many spots have the ghosting that ktwo's screenshot shows.

I definitely encourage getting some help on the Tech Support board because it's likely that it can be fixed with the right software configuration when recording.
yeah it truly is a bummer.  but I can't say that i'm truly unhappy with the decision though, even if it had been accepted, there were far too many 'stupid' mistakes in the run for me to be very proud of it.

I'll keep working with the quality,  and also try to improve some strats as well.