Treasure of the Ocean Cave

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Treasure of the Ocean Cave
Star Info
Course Jolly Roger Bay
Height Above Ground 312
Course Records
TAS World Record 18.30[1]
RTA World Record 31.93[2]
ABC Minimum 1[3]
ABZ Minimum 2.5 (2.5/0/0)
For a tutorial on speedrunning this star, see the RTA Guide

Treasure of the Ocean Cave is the third star in Jolly Roger Bay. The star can be collected by swimming down to an underwater tunnel, which has a cave at the end. In the cave, the star can be activated by touching the chests in a specific order- top, left, right, bottom (when viewing the front of the chests).

TAS History

Treasure of the Ocean Cave History
Date Time Improvement (Frames) Improvement Author(s) Save Description/Notes
2009 Dec 12 28.90[4] bobmario511, sonicpacker
2010 Feb 10 25.83[5] 92 sonicpacker
2010 Apr 6 19.13[6] 201 sonicpacker
2010 Apr 27 18.97[7] 5 Mario2009SM64 (Run has been lost)
2010 Jun 27 18.67[8] 10 ぱすた
2012 May 1 18.43[9] 7 Mickey/VIS Part of the 2012 120 TAS
2013 Sep 23 37.16[10] SM64 Shindou Edition TAS Project Although not a global World Record, this is the Shindou World Record. It's notable for the lack of BLJs
2017 Oct 21 18.33[11] 3 Superdavo0001 Saved 2f by staying out of the water for an extra frame. Saved 1f by activating the final chest earlier.
2017 Oct 31 18.30[12] 1 Superdavo0001 Chose a better angle for the jump-dive from the 2nd to the 3rd chest
2020 May 16 17.77[13] 16 Eru Conserved speed from BLJ to open the chests faster
2020 May 18 17.63[14] 4 Superdavo0001 Entered water later and improved the movement at the chests

TAS Strategy

The TAS starts by collecting the metal cap, returning next to the BLJ spot. The combination of stop+punch-trick+long jump allows Mario to reduce his speed so that he can strain back far enough, which is faster than a quickturn long-jump combo. Speed is gained via BLJing in the low ceiling spot under the rock, starting with -15.99 speed. This area used is quite precise with the BLJ being done at an angle which keeps Mario stuck for as long as possible (to get more speed). Mario breaks out of the ceiling when he reaches -826 speed. From there, the BLJ becomes a slope-BLJ, and so pause-buffering allows for more speed gain, up to a final speed of -1855.

After the BLJ, Mario turns around (clockwise) to move towards the water. By making Mario face into the wall slightly, he can still move but doesn't move quite as far. This is just enough to allow Mario to stay out of the water for an additional frame, while only losing a small amount of distance. Since entering the water divides Mario's speed by 4 (with the metal cap), this means he has 1 more frame at full speed. This ultimately saves 2 frames (the theoretical max is just under 3 frames here). Mario then enters the water, losing 3/4 of his speed, but he can now turn around in the water. He turns towards the area above the hole that leads to the chest star.

When Mario reaches the edge of the water, he enters the ceiling hitbox above the top of the hole, causing him to downwarp into the cave. He then exits the water and turns as sharply as possible anticlockwise to enter the cave. Inside the cave, Mario clips through a wall, cutting a corner and saving time. He then clips under the raised platform with the chests. He eventually reaches the wall behind the chests, pushing on it for 1 frame which kills his speed. To start moving back towards the chests, Mario kicks against the wall, giving him negative speed.

During the kick Mario passes the first chest, activating it. He then turns to face the second chest and jumps. During the dust-frames he (barely) reaches the chest, activating it. He then turns towards the third chest and jumps before dive/recovering. He will have to turn back the other way to face the correct angle to activate the chest later, so the angle chosen must balance allowing Mario to turn for as few frames as possible while still allowing him to actually reach the chest (without losing too much speed through straining). Davo saved a frame here by using a better angle than the previous run.

Mario then turns left to reach the required angle to activate the chest, using the chest's hitbox to hold him in place, before turning right again to head for the next chest. Once he reaches the required angle to activate the chest, he dives into it, activating it immediately. Davo saved a frame here by diving earlier than the previous run and hitting the chest earlier. After that, Mario collects the star. The optimal way to do this is to GP above it at the right time so you reach the bottom of its hitbox when it becomes collectible.

ABC Strategy

Since at least 2007, Treasure of the Ocean Cave has been known completable with a singular A press, used to grab the star.[15] To this day (and despite "progress" on the star), this star still requires an A press to complete. By course order, it is the first star to require a press for collection.

There have been a few dead-end strategies for this star:

  • Hyperspeed- Utilizing hyperspeed, it is theoretically possible to launch yourself onto the star, avoiding the need to jump. It was shown by pannenkoek2012 that 500 speed would be sufficient to reach the star.[16] Superdavo0001 showed more recently that this speed could be reduced- first reducing the speed to 400[17] and later to 280 (with a maxed estimate of 275)[18]. Although significantly more feasible than 500, these speeds are notably above the max speed available in the course. A new hyperspeed method/application would be needed to make this work, otherwise, the speed needed would need to be greatly reduced again.
  • Water Shell Cloning- Typically to clone with a water shell an instant loading zone is required, such as in Dire, Dire Docks. It was shown by bad_boot that a loading zone would not be needed if there was a way to activate timestop while keeping control of Mario in the course with a water shell.[19] Cloning would allow Mario to clone either goombas or the star directly. If a timestop glitch existed in JRB this would solve the star, however, there is currently no known way to do this.
  • Spawning Displacement/Speed Conservation into the Demo- Using spawning displacement/speed conservation, it is possible to desync Mario during the demo sequences.[20] One of these sequences exist in JRB, opening the possibility. However, no way to activate the star, even with an ideal placement, has been found. Even if it would be, it seems feasibly unlikely to be possible within the constraints of the ABC.