Exarion

Gen 3 spinner mechanics

Mar 30th, 2016
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  1. TABLE OF CONTENTS
  2. I. Intro and mechanics
  3. II. Movement speeds
  4. III. Bag manip
  5. IV. Running manip
  6. V. Pause manip
  7. VI. Loading manip
  8. VII. Other methods
  9.  
  10. ----------------------
  11. I. Intro and mechanics
  12. ----------------------
  13.  
  14. Spinners in Generation 3 are much more cooperative than spinners in other generations. For every spinner, there is at least one manipulation method that ensures a safe pass. The manipulations vary greatly in speed, consistency and difficulty.
  15.  
  16. Each spinner has four values that correspond to directions they can face. The values can have duplicate entries; for example, a spinner may have the values UP, UP, LEFT and DOWN rather than the conventional UP, LEFT, DOWN and RIGHT. When a spinner chooses a new direction, it is random -- so 25% for each of the four values. The new direction can be the same as the current direction; for example, the spinner can be facing left and roll the value LEFT, thus not spinning at all.
  17.  
  18. Upon being loaded, a spinner will randomly choose one of four frames on which to choose a new direction. The frequency of these frames depends on the spinner's type. The game pauses the frame count when you are inactive in the overworld (i.e., paused, in battle, taking a phone call, picking up an item, etc.).
  19.  
  20. Frame 1 Frame 2 Frame 3 Frame 4
  21. Type A 32 64 96 128
  22. Type B 32 64 128 192
  23. Type C 32 48 64 80
  24.  
  25. Note that a spinner's type is different from their directional values. A spinner with frames 32, 48, 64, 80 and the directions LEFT, LEFT, DOWN, RIGHT would be referred to as a "Type C tridirectional spinner."
  26.  
  27. Let's say a spinner is type A, has the directional values UP, UP, LEFT an LEFT, and is loaded facing up. On the 32nd frame after being loaded, they have a 1/8 chance of spinning to face left (1/4 to spin on 32nd frame * 1/2 to choose LEFT). On the 64th frame, the chance is slightly greater, because they could have chosen UP on frame 32, which reloads them and gives them a chance at another 32-frame spin.
  28.  
  29. Spinners are loaded when any of the following events occurs:
  30. - They first appear on the map (see Section VI for more details)
  31. - You open the Pokedex, Pokemon menu, bag, trainer card or options menu (see Section III)
  32. - You exit a battle
  33. - They choose a new direction
  34.  
  35. Running to nearby tiles causes spinners to choose a new direction. If you run to a tile 1D, 2L of them, for example, they will choose LEFT if that directional is available to them. If you try to run past a spinner, they will always catch you.
  36.  
  37. ----------------------
  38. II. Movement speeds
  39. ----------------------
  40.  
  41. The mechanics in Section I show a weakness in Gen 3 spinners -- they cannot spin during the first 31 frames after they are loaded. To take advantage of this window, it's important to know how many frames each type of movement takes.
  42.  
  43. Movement type # of frames
  44. Walking 16
  45. Running 8
  46. Surfing 8
  47. Mach Bike (1st tile) 16
  48. Mach Bike (2nd tile) 8
  49. Mach Bike (3rd tile) 4
  50. Acro/FRLG bike 6
  51. Turning from motionless 8
  52. Turning from motionless (Acro/FR bike) 1
  53. Bonking 1
  54. Mounting bike 3
  55.  
  56. You become motionless when you manually stop movement, enter a battle or enter a cutscene in which a map is loaded. To remain in motion when interacting with an overworld object, such as an NPC or item ball, continue holding a directional input until a dialogue box appears.
  57.  
  58. Bonking, mounting the bike and opening the main menu can be used to emerge from a motionless state without wasting 8 frames to turning. Let's say you run north to talk to a trainer and you need to travel west after the battle. You'll exit the battle facing up, and if you simply hold left, you'll lose 8 frames to the turn. But if you hold up for 1 frame and then left, you'll lose only the 1 frame from bonking (note that the bonk will take as many frames as you hold the direction for). Similarly, you can hold left and then press Start or Select after 1 frame to combine opening the menu/mounting the bike with the turn, thus removing 7 of the 8 frames it takes to turn.
  59.  
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  61. III. Bag manip
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  63.  
  64. This method works in all Gen 3 handhelds for every spinner.
  65.  
  66. As explained in Section I, spinners are loaded whenever you open the Pokedex, Pokemon menu, bag, trainer card or options menu. In other words, these actions freeze the spinner for 31 frames. So if you open the bag one tile before the tile on which you need to pass them, you will always have a safe pass, even if you need to turn first. If you're biking or Surfing, you can manipulate from farther away.
  67.  
  68. Movement type Turn? Maximum # of tiles away
  69. Walking Y 1
  70. Walking N 1
  71. Running Y 0 (running causes spinner to see you)
  72. Running N 0 (running causes spinner to see you)
  73. Surfing Y 2
  74. Surfing N 3
  75. Mach Bike Y 1
  76. Mach Bike N 3
  77. Acro/FRLG bike Y 5
  78. Acro/FRLG bike Y 5
  79.  
  80. Opening and closing the bag takes a little more than 2 seconds, which is slow compared to other manipulations.
  81.  
  82. ----------------------
  83. IV. Running manip
  84. ----------------------
  85.  
  86. This method works in all Gen 3 handhelds once you have the running shoes.
  87.  
  88. Because running manipulates a spinner's direction and thus resets their clock, you can safely pass some spinners simply by running to a certain tile. For example, if you need to pass a spinner on the right, and running to 1D, 1R causes the spinner to face down, you can run to that tile and then safely walk or bike past them.
  89.  
  90. Now let's assume that same spinner faces right when you run to 1D, 1R. You'll need to stop running one tile farther down, which means if you tried to walk past them, they could catch you with a 32-frame spin. However, if you mount the Mach Bike within 4 frames, you'll have a safe pass, as biking two tiles takes only 24 frames. If you need to turn on the mounting tile, the window is 3 frames. The FRLG bike has even more flexibility, allowing safe passes from four tiles away.
  91.  
  92. The latter manipulation, known as run-into-bike, is usually the fastest available, but it requires the most practice.
  93.  
  94. ----------------------
  95. V. Pause manip
  96. ----------------------
  97.  
  98. This method works in all Gen 3 handhelds for most spinners.
  99.  
  100. The premise for pause manip is that human reaction times are not enough to consistently walk or Mach Bike past a spinner during the 32-frame window between potential spins. Because these movements take 16 frames, you would need to react within 15 frames to safely pass. However, if you were to press Start immediately after a potential spin frame, such as 32, you could observe whether the spinner had spun, and if they hadn't, you would have a safe pass as long as you paused within the first 15 frames (7 if you must turn). This is a relatively fast manipulation because opening only the main menu takes less than half a second.
  101.  
  102. Pause manip is most practical when you can running manip a spinner from three tiles away and don't yet have the bike. Running sets the spinner's clock to frame 0, and after walking two of those three tiles, it will be at frame 32. Press Start, and if they've spun, repeat the manipulation. If they haven't, safely walk past.
  103.  
  104. Pause manip can be used even if you can't run (e.g., indoors), but you need to pay close attention to a spinner's clock. This requires knowing exactly when they are loaded (see Section VI) and keeping a rough frame count in your head.
  105.  
  106. Note that pause manip does not work on Type C spinners, as they can spin on frames 48 and 80.
  107.  
  108. ----------------------
  109. VI. Loading manip
  110. ----------------------
  111.  
  112. This method works in Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald for a few spinners.
  113.  
  114. When spinners first appear on the map, they face the same direction every time. The map differs from your character's point of view, so a spinner might be loaded even if you can't see them. Specifically, they are loaded 7 tiles away when you approach them from below, and 9 tiles away when you approach from above, left or right. Naturally, a spinner is deloaded if they disappear from the map.
  115.  
  116. Since a full-speed Mach Bike travels at 4 frames per tile, you can breeze past spinners from below unless they are loaded facing the direction on which you need to pass them. If you take extra steps, or if any of the 7 steps are not at full speed, you will pass them too late.
  117.  
  118. Thanks to the Mach Bike's blazing speed, this manipulation is fast even if you have to take extra tiles to deload them.
  119.  
  120. ----------------------
  121. VII. Other methods
  122. ----------------------
  123.  
  124. If you're confident that your reaction time can consistently be 15 frames or fewer, you can forgo pause or bag manip. Also, if you're Surfing or using the FRLG bike, your window for reacting increases to 23 or 25 frames, respectively. However, you should almost always use running manip when possible, as this doesn't involve waiting for a spinner to turn away.
  125.  
  126. If a spinner is near a required trainer or an encounter tile, it may be possible to use the battle as a form of bag manip. This may require bonking into the required trainer after the battle (see section II).
  127.  
  128. Sometimes a spinner is positioned awkwardly or needs to be passed so many times that a YOLO pass, aka a pass done without manipulation, is worthwhile. A YOLO pass risks a small chance to hit the spinner (usually 1/8, but it varies). As an extreme example, consider a spinner with 1 Pokemon who gives valuable experience and money and needs to be passed 8 times in the run. It's clearly better to YOLO the first few passes, because if you were to manip him each time, then hit him on the eighth pass, you would lose a lot of time manipulating him for very little gain.
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