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

Submission #1062: AnS's NES Little Mermaid in 06:48.4

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Little Mermaid
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Little_Mermaid,_The_(U).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 06:48.4
FrameCount: 24504
Re-record count: 1168
Author's real name: Андрей Стребков
Author's nickname: AnS
Submitter: AnS
Submitted at: 2006-04-23 13:56:33
Text last edited at: 2006-04-25 19:22:46
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (2937 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Recorded with FCEU 0.98.15

Completed in 6:30 (23421 frame)

Here's contribution to obsoleting Famtasia movies. Particularly for this run. I was really surprised to see in description field "This movie is aimed for speed and it should be hard if not impossible to beat." Back in 90s I used to walkthru this game at similar rate of time (as I remember - 8-10 minutes on real console). So, for tool-assisted speedrun it seems kinda far from perfect.

First, great amount of time can be cut by using B button to swim faster (very common feature for NES games, huh?) Pressing A during points counting also speeds up the process.

It took pretty much time to plan and optimize routes up to 1 frame accuracy. I remembered several old tricks (jumping from pillar to pillar without diving - at level 5 / throwing shell while jumping - level 3 / abusing boss collision detection - level 2 boss) - these were just common improvements any experienced player can do.

Now something more interesting. While experimenting with the game I found several nice glitches, but in fact only one saved good amount of time. Normally, player stops when attacking something. That's why common strategy is to avoid every enemy (sometimes it's even better to wait until enemy swims away from player's route), like in pacifist mode. But if you turn back same frame with pressing A button, attack will be released without stop (anyway, next attack is possible only after some time). This turning procedure is very buggy, actually. Another glitch (postponing boss battle) also refers to this procedure. As I see, developers tried to make specific "water" physics for turning movement, and they quite succeded, but left few loopholes.

As for planning stuff, first thing you may notice is that I spend a second at level 1 for taking first power-up - not so obvious decision. This power-up allows to press attack button 2 times less (enemies turn bubble immediately), therefore it saves much more frames later in game, where attacking is unavoidable (remember, there is a long pause between two attacks). It works especially good in boss battles. As for other power-ups, they are not so valuable to spend time for them.

So, combining this weapon upgrade with newly-found glitch (move while attacking) the game became a little bit more similar to horizontal shoot-em-ups (still, its genre is hard to define). Well, maybe it's one of those cute-em-ups but without anime thing involved.

As usual, I stopped recording during the last hit, it's 18 seconds earlier than THE END text appears. If you really think the movie should show it, here's second FCM (6:48 - 24504 frames), may be used for AVI.

Final detail, in second boss battle I show another little glitch (level music continues playing at boss room, soon after that player is invincible for 2 seconds while intro music is playing). Unfortunately, this bug doesn't help to save time, shown there only for fun. And it's only place to use this glitch without affecting boss appearance time (=>game timer).

Speaking of boss battles, I tried to make them rather entertaining and funny. The game itself is very unserious, and the movie follows its mood (but only at moments where player can't speed up the processm or where it's used to manipulate luck - still main aim is fastest time). Enjoy.

Truncated: Improves on a published movie. I'm accepting this under the condition that the alternative movie file (6:48) is used for encoding. Это твой первый издаваемый фильм, да? Поздравляю!

Bisqwit: Submission file replaced with the 6:48 one.

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