A tool assisted run is one made using an emulator where the frames have been slowed down to input the most precise inputs possible for a favourable outcome. The TAS bot then records the inputs and they can be played when the game enters a specific seed to complete the game in various ways.
TAS runs are usually speedruns or completion runs (or both) and can provide some of the most interesting gameplay as you can actually see a video game played to perfection.
Here is a selection of some of the best TAS runs we’ve ever seen streamed.
What makes the best TAS run?
Honestly, the answer is simply the games you know and the games you love to play. There’s nothing that will impress you more than a TAS run of a game you know of already. So, we’ve tried to make this list a generic one covering a few of the most popular games ever made so there will be at least one you’ll be hooked on.
Best TAS Speedruns
Sonic 3 & Knuckles 100% by marzojr
A frame perfect run of Sonic 3 & Knuckles on the Genesis/Mega Drive which includes getting all emerald and super emeralds. Once you’ve seen this run then any human run of this game is obsolete.
Super Metroid 100% by Sniq
Super Metroid is one of the most famous games to speedrun due to its tight controls and the game’s ability to give the runner a bit of freedom with tricks. This TAS run exploits every possible trick to produce an exhilarating example of just how great this game is.
Portal in 5 Minutes
SourceRuns managed to finish Portal in just 5 minutes. This run is a borderline fun run due to just how bonkers the movements are and the full exploitation of the games physics engine.
Celeste All Berries
Celeste is a modern retro platformer where frame perfect movements are needed to be competitive. It’s one of the best games to run quickly. But what if ALL the movements were perfect? Well, take a look at this run from SGDQ 2019.
Super Mario 64 1 Key
This is a legendary TAS speedrun showing how Super Mario 64 can be completed with just 1 key and in 4 minutes.
Supra: Year of the Dragon 117%
Quite possibly one of the most entertaining TAS runs you could watch. The beautify of it is that it’s not all breaking through walls and glitching constantly but just frame perfect gameplay.
Best TAS Fun Runs
Family Feud (SNES)
Get ready for the most ridiculous quiz game you’ve ever seen. The TAS tool fools the game with answers like “I bathed Keanu Reeves” and “Bra licker” and keeps getting the answers right. It has to be seen to be believed and luckily you can, right here.
There is clearly logic here so that tool is guaranteed to get at least one word right from having a long enough answer that all the letters from an acceptable answer is included.
Sonic 3 & Knuckles Ring Attack
What we love about this TAS run is both that it’s unique and the second is the glorious zoomed out camera you get. This truly marvellous tool assisted run sees Sonic collect every single run across all 12 stages of the entire game. A feat a human is never likely to achieve.
Remember Brain Age? The game which everyone had to have with the Nintendo DS which got you to answer with the stylus and then you’d find out your brain age? Well, prepare to have your mind blown when you see how the TAS tackles simple mathematics by drawing images ranging from Zelda to Doom Guy and get every single answer right.
This went down as one of the all time great GDQ runs.
There’s no great mystery, however. The game wasn’t programmed superbly and over the course of drawing a complicated image, the answer would inevitably have been drawn in the midst of it.
Streets of Rage 2
Technically a speedrun but the utter ingenuity and madness seen in this two TAS player SoR2 run makes it an absolute treat to the senses.
International Superstar Soccer (SNES)
Carnage from start to finish. A Legendary TAS playground.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis The Mercenaries
If you’ve ever played RE3 on the PS1 then you’ll know the speedrunning capabilities are great thanks to things like the dodge mechanic, RNG with item locations and the various choices you can make. However, I think the true joy of a TAS run can be experienced when you throw in time combos on top as can be seen in the Mercenaries side game.