Forums  /  Astérix (NES)  /  Goodbye
  itsme_baruch

Hello,

I came back from Patagonia, a wonderful place to discover. The silence of its trees, the outrageousness of its mountains, the pride of its birds, and me.

At some point in my life I seeked the goal of getting all the world records on Infogrames games. Actually, only old generation consoles Smurfs, Tintin, Lucky Luke, Spirou, and Asterix. So, I looked on this website the already existing records. I remember that on all the games listed, there were only two runs I didn't know if I could do better. The first one was the SNES Astérix & Obélix in Easy by Traviktox. Amazingly, this run has been improved since. The second one was the 5:56 by Kirua. I remember thinking : "Why would I play a game that, if ever I beat the record, I could only cut a few frames ?". How happy was I to cut a second ! Now, look where we are : 6 seconds. If I had been told that at the time, I would've think that there could've only been a major breakthrough. And yet, there was no major breakthrough. Even if Kirua's execution was excellent, all the little routing optimizations and the grinding made such a difference.

I had so much fun playing this game, but now is my time to stop speedrunning. It's very time consuming, and I prefer to spend less time on computer. Why would I sit here while the Tierra del Fuego rivers are flowing ?

Congratulations Mad_Max, you produced a wonderful run. I guess it required much work and stubborness. I like to believe that such a run wouldn't exist without my challenge, and I'm happy the game reached such a level. I wish you improve the run even further, so here is some knowledge maybe you don't have.

When you arrived on this game, I spent much time optimizing the route. I even did a human theory TAS to compare different strats. When you look at the TAS by Aglar & Randil (https://youtu.be/J49Yz9fR-SI), the major difference with a human play is the 3-2 strat, not using the OOB. At first, this strat seems unusable because of the multiple frame perfect jumps. However, I found a route that is hard but doable. At first, I was doing this :

, which is very hard, but saves 1s over the classic OOB strat. I spent very much time grinding for a run with this strat, and even got a run to 4-3... This strat is very hard because of the flame. It's not possible to manipulate the flame, it is based on a timer from the start of the level. If you step on it, it won't shoot, but doesn't delay the cycle. So I found another strat, faster and safer :

It saves 1.2s, and you reach sooner the flame so it's easier.

I wish you all good luck and lots of fun 🙂

NB : why do you punch at 2-2 start ? 😃
NB2 : if you need health, you could use my 5:52 strat on 2-1 2nd snowman

 
  Kirua

Hey baruch!

I have to say that when I worked on the game back then, given that I spent little time on it, it felt like I did a pretty good job routing a lot of things from scratch (TAS can only be used to some extent) and that the run produced was even cleaner than expected. Soon after I did realize a couple of things I overlooked and some dumb small time losses here and there, but even then I was imagining the run could be brought to something like 5:53.

So the fact that it's now sitting below 5:51 is extremely impressive for me as well and all the small optimizations that were brought by you and Max (obviously Max in particular is bringing the game to the next level right now but I know you also helped the process a lot) were really remarkable and by far exceeded my expectations. From my experience and all the games I've seen, I think it's fair to say that Asterix at the moment would rank among the most optimized games with small communities. I know that a while ago I had some interest in coming back to this because I felt that a little more could be done with it, but as it is right now it's pretty much at the lowest priority it could be for me, not because I don't like the game (not saying I love it but it was more fun than I expected at first to grind it) but because I don't think that I would have much (if anything) to contribute, and the game was already done justice by other people.

Well I say that but apparently there's still some sizeable improvements, although your videos aren't working (if you could fix that, I was curious to see what it was like). Even so, that's just curiosity on my part and doesn't change the desire to watch from a distance, and I'm sure Max on the other hand will incorporate them if they are reliable!

As for you, I can only wish you good luck on your next endeavours!

 
  itsme_baruch

Woops, switched from private video to unlisted, it should work now

 
  Kirua

Oh that's a really nice strat indeed!

 
  Mad_Max

Hi Guys !

Sorry for my late reply, I was in vacation in Taïwan and I came back recently. I did not log in to my speedrun.com account while I was there although I visited the Asterix leaderboard several times as an unauthenticated user in case Baruch had submitted a better run 🙂

First of all, I would like to say that I also thought that I could only improve the run by a few frames when I watched Baruch's run after I decided to speedrun this game in late 2018. The execution was good and there was just a small mistake during the boss fight which could be my chance if I grinded long enough. To be honest, I did not expect that Baruch would run the game again when I beat his 5:55, so I would have probably stopped running the game after I got 5:53.

Man, I was so surprised when you got a 5:52 and then 5:51 which was perfect in my opinion with the strats you used.
At that time, I was running the game in Medium and Hard modes, so I figured that I would go back to Easy when I am happy with my runs in these modes.

Once again, I thought you had stopped running the game because you had a great 5:51 run and I did not think you were interested in the other modes. Then, something fun happened, I was visiting the website to check the leaderboard just in case, and I was wondering if you were running other games so I went to your profile page and there was a twitch button that said "Live now". So I clicked on it and I saw you playing Asterix. I realized you had never stopped playing and moreover you showed the fast 3-2 strat (that is how I call it) and you seemed pretty good at it. To be fair, I thought about a strat like that when I watched the TAS by Aglar and Randil but I was not ready to try it because it seemed too hard and I was just starting to make speedruns of the game (I think it was November 2018).

If I recall correctly, you tried to have a full run with the fast 3-2 strat and then after a while you switched to Medium mode. I had run the game in this mode for several weeks and I was a bit pissed when I heard you saying that you were going to beat it easily, but I soon realized that you were right because I had not studied your recent runs and I had not done a good job on the routing. I was amazed by the efficiency of your routing method and I learned so much watching it, so you clearly helped me a lot to improve on this game. That's how I was able to get a 5:52 on both Medium and Hard modes and also a 5:50 on Easy mode.

From this point, my goal was to learn fast 3-2 and then incorporate it in my runs in order to reach 5:49 in Easy mode. That was such a tough challenge, you need to get to 3-2 with 4 wings and then do the fast strat and then finish the game with your heart racing at 170 bpm. Overall, I had 19 failed attempts with a successful fast 3-2 until I finally clutched one but very poorly executed at the end, so I only got 5:50.650. I managed to beat that shortly after with a 5:50.483 but I still had a hard time finishing properly. Finally, I reached my goal today with a 5:49 run including a fast 3-2 and a good finish (not perfect at all but that'll do).

I chose this game because I had it when I was a kid and I never imagined I would still be playing it more than 6 months after I started to speedrun it as an adult. I will probably take a little break from Asterix and speedrunning as well because as you said it, Baruch, it is very time consuming. By the way, I went to Patagonia (mainly Ushuaia and El Calafate) four years ago and I was really astonished by the landscape and the peacefulness of some places, so I can relate to what you wrote in your post.

Kirua, I did not mention you because when I started running the game Baruch was number 1, so I mainly focused on his run. That being said, I had watched your 5:56 run and eventhough there were a few time losses that could have been avoided, some parts were very impressive and perfectly executed. It is even more impressive given that you spent so little time on it.

Anyway, I am glad I embarked on this journey, Asterix is a very fun game to speedrun despite the level of difficulty and I hope more people will try it in the future. Again, thanks to you guys because the game would not be where it is today if it was not for you.

Finally, I would like to answer Baruch's question at the end of his post. I developped a bad habit while playing the game: every time I reach the end of a level, I keep the B button pressed and I validate the screen with the score by pressing A. The problem with this is that you need to actually press A again at the right time on the title screen that comes afterwards in order to start the next level. So basically, I need to mash the A button to start as soon as possible (I think Kirua had the same habit). By doing this you will never be able to jump while punching on the first frame of the level. It is not so important on most of the levels but 2-2 is different because you need to jump at the very first frame to be able to touch the edge of the platform and jump again just like you do. When I do it, Asterix has moved a bit further so when I jump I miss the edge and land on the platform below, so I need to punch during the next jump in order to slow down and reach the next platform, otherwise I will fall. By the way, I tried to do it your way on my last run just for the transition between 2-1 and 2-2, it worked but I probably lost a little bit of time between score and title screens.

NB: Baruch and Kirua, I live in Paris and maybe you do too, so it could be nice to grab a beer one of these days. Anyhow, I am sometimes on the XXL Arena Community on Discord (it is about Asterix games), so you can find me there and drop a word if you feel like it. Here is an invitation link (valid for 1 day): https:/​/​discord.​gg/​QDeAq8

 
  itsme_baruch

Oh nice 😮 Can't wait to see your run 🙂
I'd gladly join discord but the invitation link is no more valid 😛 Can you pm me on yt or twitch ?

PS : Sorry I'm cocky sometimes ^^ But I learnt my lesson when you rekt my records xD

 
  Mad_Max

Well I do not have a twitch account and I think the pm feature has been removed from youtube, so here is an invitation link that should be permanent: https:/​/​discordapp.​com/​invite/​HEkrfxG