Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #1008: Bisqwit's NES Solomon's Key "best ending" in 26:35.83

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Solomon's Key
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Solomon's Key (U) [!].nes
Branch: best ending
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 26:35.83
FrameCount: 95750
Re-record count: 28097
Author's real name: Joel Yliluoma
Author's nickname: Bisqwit
Submitter: Bisqwit
Submitted at: 2006-03-11 03:34:40
Text last edited at: 2006-03-12 00:44:46
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (6838 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Today's theme is: Oversimplification.

Solomon's Key is a puzzle game. It's a platform game too. There's a clumsy magician who… well, you all already know the story, because we already have one published movie for this game. An important aspect of this game is that you can create your own platforms, and destroy existing platforms. Which makes route selections interesting.

This movie plays all the rooms of the game, including the hidden rooms with Page of Time, Page of Space, and even a princess of some kind. (Fairy collection rooms were not included.) No warps were used. Due to those secrets, it accomplishes the best ending of the game.

I did not use death as shortcut this time. It raised some controversy when the first movie was made, and although the practice is commonly approved by now, this movie does not use it ― room 32 was affected most by this decision.

I started making this movie in November 2004, with Famtasia. I stopped it in February 2005 after temporarily losing the motivation, and the movie sat unfinished on the disk for 13 months until I finally played the remaining 17 rooms in one night.

I have tried to convert it to a FCEU movie numerous times without great success. I've even tried to begin it anew, but this game is a conundrum with its timings. Try twice and you'll never get the same timer readings at the end of the room. In other words, I can't reach my times in this movie when I try anew. Therefore, I apologize but this is a Famtasia movie.

What I mean by oversimplification should become clear as soon as you see my rooms 5, 39 or 42, for example. I have consulted a walkthrough regarding the secret rooms of this game, but otherwise, I assert that my unique solutions to some of the rooms are certainly not what the game authors intended.

(Movie categories indicated in bold.)

Room-by-room explanations

Room 1

Result: 9360
A simple room. The biggest challenge ended up being in the timer. It is very easy to get 9340 in this stage, and moderately easy to get 9350, but 9360 happens only if you have really good luck.

Room 2

Result: 9220
Another simple room. The winning strategy in this room is to collect the key during a jump that leads to the door, without landing on the platform.

Room 3

Result: 8070
This result is greatly faster than the previous movie, due to abusing collision detection with the electron ball in a narrow hole. The biggest challenge in this room is to avoid hitting the ghost when coming down the hole on the right side.
I got a fairy accidentally from an enemy kill once, and when I rerecorded that part after trying a couple of different paths, I ensured that I get that fairy again.

Room 4

Result: 9330
The path was simplified from the previous movie. Less magic, less jumping, more collision detection abuse.

Room 5

Result: 9230
This result is greatly faster than the previous, due to doing the jumps perfectly. Dana has two types of jump: fast and slow. They differ in the speed Dana lands on the upper platform. Accomplishing the fast jump is a matter of frame-perfect timing as when to face the brick.

Room 6

Result: 8410
Nothing surprising here.

Room 7

Result: 9050
A new, daring, oversimplified strategy won greatly over the result from last movie. Do not attempt this at home. You will fail. Thanks to the faster jumps, I was able to make it.

Room 8

Result: 9210
Nothing surprising here.

Room 9

Result: 8860 (extra detour to collect a Solomon seal)
Straight into the dragon's mouth. The strategy is very oversimplified, and relies on the exact behavior of the enemies and the time they selfdestruct.

Room 10

Result: 9290
I got 9300 in this room once, but I was not able to get it again. The possible results seem to depend on the results of previous rooms. The timer of this game is really awful.

Room 11

Result: 8730
Oversimplification strikes again. You are supposed to wait until all of the sparkling balls exit the tunnel before going to get the key. But that would have been too much of delay, so I decided to narrowly avoid death instead. Also, in the beginning of this room, I jump from thin air.

Room 12

Result: 8840
Nothing surprising here.

Room 13

Result: 8760 (with extra detour to collect a Solomon Seal)
Result: 4710 (after halving the timer) (with extra detour to collect a fireball)
The beginning of this room was oversimplified. You'll notice that Dana can fit nicely in the between of a dragon and his fire. In the end, you'll notice that Dana can fit nicely in a narrow tunnel with a sparkling ball. The same technique that was usde in room 11. (But Dana must be on the right side of the tunnel and the enemy on the left side; it won't work the other way.)

I deliberately collected a red timeglass in this room in order to halve the timer. This resulted in a faster thank-you screen.

Room 14

Result: 8650
A straightforward room with a hidden key. My faster jumping method wins much time here over the previous movie.

Room 15

Result: 8730
I was totally dumbfounded by this result. My previous movie had 8560 here, and I had great troubles in accomplishing that result two times. Now I drew a big marginal to that result. I'm not sure what made it so. An important part in this room is to manipulate the enemies so that they stay nicely out of my way.

Room 16

Result: 9300
Lots of close calls. Otherwise just accomplishing the goal in the straightest way possible -- i.e. oversimplification.

Room 17

Result: 8980
Result: 4340 (after halving the timer) (with extra detour to collect a Solomon Seal)
This room is fun to play, because it looks so impossible in the beginning. Fortunately I had some fireballs in store, which oversimplified the room greatly. The improvement in this room comes from realizing a faster way to break through the ceiling. Again, I took a red timeglass intentionally to make the timer shorter. I also luckmanipulated the enemy drops in this room so that I have now a super fireball in store for some later room.

Room 18

Result: 8950
Nothing surprising here. The perfect jumps made the result half a second faster than in the previous movie.

Room 19

Result: 8950 (with extra detour to collect a Solomon Seal)
Making fools of the dragons.

Room 20

Result: 8150 (with extra detour to collect a Constellation symbol)
It's a puzzle. You can't create bricks where the mirrors are.

Secret room

Result: 9200 (with extra detour to collect the Page of Time)
To reach this room, you need all the Solomon's Seals from previous rooms and the Constellation symbol from room 20.

Room 21

Result: 9000 (with extra detour to collect a Solomon Seal)
This is an oversimplified solution. You are supposed to go through the left edge of the screen, but instead I chose to slip between those blue torches.

Room 22

Result: 45450 (with extra detour to collect a super fireball)
This too is an oversimplified solution. I don't really know what the right solution is, but I am quite certain you aren't supposed to acrobate between those fires -- at least not without flattening them with the magic first. I collected a milk bottle in this room. It multiplies the timer by 5, but it was unavoidable. After this room, I have two superfireballs in store.

Room 23

Result: 8750
Oversimplified solution again. The two mirrors below the key are there to prevent Dana from climbing up the tunnel. Didn't prevent me.

Room 24

Result: 8990
Result: 4700 (after halving the timer)
I do not know how this room is supposed to be played, but I get the feeling that my route was not the intended one. Also, I took a red timeglass intentionally to make the timer shorter.

Room 25

Result: 9350
No surprises here. Optimized with jump precision.

Room 26

Result: 9560
Result: 4720 (after halving the timer)

My route is simple. Also, I took a red timeglass intentionally to make the timer shorter.

Room 27

Result: 8640
Super speed sparkballs. I used a super fireball in this room, although I didn't like to.

Room 28

Result: 7580
Unless you count my sketchy maneuvers around the blue torches, there's nothing surprising in my route in this stage.

Room 29

Result: 8960 (with extra detour to collect a Solomon Seal)
Quite straightforward route, with many close calls with enemies.

Room 30

Result: 8120
Result: 3490 (after halving the timer)
I hate this room. You see, Solomon can't jump over a 1-block hole if there's a ceiling right above that hole. But, he can't create bridge there if there's an item in that hole. So he has to collect the item before he can create a bridge. I skipped all jewels that I could, but this is still a long and boring room, and very tedious to play. I took a red timeglass, which halves the timer, intentionally to make the thank-you screen last shorter time.

Room 31

Result: 8760
A torch puzzle combined with super speed demon faces. Except for a certain really close call, there are no surprises in this stage that I can think of.

Room 32

Result: 9180
Oversimplification strikes again. Last time I used death in this stage as a shortcut, but not this time. But I managed to create another not-quite-right solution for it anyway. As usual, I don't quite know what is the right solution after all, but I think it involves the right side and bottom of the map, which I did not visit.

Room 33

Result: 8180
This result is greatly different than in my last movie. It might look trivial, but it really took some work to find it. This puzzle is complicated, because the spark balls usually travel exactly where you don't want them to be, and thus you must be avoiding or locking them away most of the time.

Room 34

Result: 8510
The plot of this room: Try not to die while the ghosts break through a way for you. Of course, I did not die, but I sure made it look like I could at any moment. The improvement consisted of destroying two diagonally unaccessible blocks in the center and better timing of the jump curve.

Room 35

Result: 8790
I actually got the result 8840 once in this room, but after I fixed something in room 33 and came back to this room, I was not able to get that same result again. It has something to do with the demon faces appearing from the mirror and not appearing. So this is almost the same result as in the previous movie, now.

Room 36

Result: 7400
A straightforward room not as straightforward as it looks. I used my last super fireball in this stage to clear the way, and I was supposed to get another super fireball in return from an enemy (the blue vase), but for some reason, it didn't register.

Room 37

Result: 9290

Room 38

Result: 7670
Making things fluent was the key to ~4 second improvement in this room.

Room 39

Result: 8870
Without using fireballs, this room is probably impossible to play in real time. This room has more close calls than all of the rooms together before this.

Room 40

Result: 9240
The first room I had never seen before. It's technically a very simple room, which however requires fast reflexes and good planning.

Room 41

Result: 8750
I compared a few paths and chose the fastest. Upon reviewing, I'm not 100% certain whether this is the fastest possible path after all.

Room 42

Result: 8720
A greatly oversimplified result. In the beginning of this room, I jumped from thin air (glitch), which allowed me to drop the two torches that would otherwise have required me long detours to accomplish the same thing.

Room 43

Result: 8570
A straightforward solution.

Room 44

Result: 6060 (with extra detour to collect a Constellation symbol)
This puzzle required some thinking. I think my solution to this room is fairly normal, if you don't count my sketchy maneuvers around the blue torches.

Secret room

Result: 8770 (with extra detour to collect the Page of Space)
To reach this room, you need all the Solomon's Seals from previous rooms and the Constellation symbol from room 44.
Finishing this room is simple. It is the Page of Space that is tricky. In order to be able to break the lower brick of the triangle, you need to powerup your magic wand at the door. Otherwise, when you break the top of the triangle, you can't get out. Only the top and bottom bricks of the triangle are breakable.

Room 45

Result: 7960
An oversimplified solution with lots of close calls.

Room 46

Result: 8600 (with extra detour to collect a Solomon seal)
Nothing mentionable in the strategy.
Note that I must collect the Solomon seal before the door is opened. Otherwise I can't get on the top of the door.

Room 47

Result: 7640 (with extra detour to collect a Solomon seal)
Sketchy oversimplified maneuvers with the blue torches. I don't know what the right solution to this room is, but I'm fairly certain this wasn't it.

Room 48

Result: 7020
Same comments as in room 47. I suppose the middle of the room was supposed to be visited, but it wasn't needed in my path.

Princess room

Result: 8760
To reach this room, you need all the eight Solomon's Seals.
Finishing this room is tricky. First. you must cast a magic at both of the guardians (the red flames). Then you can break the exterior of the cage.
To break the interior, you need to cast a brick (or at least attempt) into the inside of cage. After you do that, you can break the left edge of the cage. The room ends when you hug the princess.

Solomon room

Result: 8900
Last room of the game. It's difficult. To break the last wall, you need to cast a magic at the mirror. To open the book, cast a magic at it.

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