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

Submission #1087: Luke's NES Super Turrican in 08:38.7

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Super Turrican
Game version: Europe
ROM filename: Super Turrican (E).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 08:38.7
FrameCount: 31122
Re-record count: 12191
Author's real name: Luke Gustafson
Author's nickname: Luke
Submitter: Luke
Submitted at: 2006-05-24 08:24:11
Text last edited at: 2014-04-05 04:04:16
Text last edited by: Guga
Download: Download (6793 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

This beats the Famtasia run of this game (using the same settings) by 6189 frames (103 seconds).

Game summary

Super Turrican is a somewhat popular series of games, and this is the NES version. It was created by one guy--the programming is quite good but the game design is not. The levels are huge, but tend to be linear. There are quite a few weapons, and a number of interesting maneuvers.

Your gun can get quite a few powerups throughout the game, although a speed run doesn't make much use of them. You also have a flamethrower, which activates after holding the fire button for a while. You have a limited-use weapon that shoots fireballs in many directions. I call this weapon the "Special." It does the most damage of any weapon, and proved to be extremely useful for killing bosses. However, the Special attack can't be fired until all the fireballs from the previous Special have disappeared.

Your most potent weapon, however, is changing forms. I call it ball form, but really you look like a sawblade. While in ball form, you're immune to most types of damage, and you damage any enemy you go through. It's also the fastest form of travel. The downside is, you can't jump in ball form.

There are 4 difficulty settings. However they only affect enemy HP and don't change the run at all, other than making boss fights a little longer. So I elected to use the default difficulty of 2, as the Famtasia run did.

If you enjoy the process of frame-optimization, you'll love this game. There are many ways to perform every jump, and it's rarely obvious what will be fastest. Sometimes a 1-pixel difference in position will translate into a couple frames saved or lost.


I decided on NTSC because: that's what the Famtasia run used; the game runs fine; and it doesn't even output any more scanlines while in PAL than in NTSC.

Older versions of FCEU (I used the 98.16 I released a couple months ago) don't properly detect PAL/NTSC settings from the movie. If the movie doesn't sync in your FCEU, it's because it's trying to run in PAL mode. Try deleting the "(E)" from the ROM name and it should work.

Some tricks

I couldn't find any interesting glitches in this game, but there's a lot of subtle tricks to save frames.

The most obvious trick, probably intentional, is that you can jump after leaving ball form, even if you're not on the ground.

While in ball form, you bounce after dropping to the ground. But you can prevent that by switching out of ball form for 1 frame. I use this "bounce-canceling" frequently.

Conversely, you can often force yourself to bounce while in ball form. By going over an edge and then coming back, you'll bounce. This is not present in the Famtasia movie and saved me quite a bit of time. You can clear small gaps without leaving ball form, and you can do an extra high jump by bouncing, and then jumping at the peak of your bounce.

Damage boosting: When you take damage, you are instantly propelled about 8 pixels horizontally.

Note for future runners: to monitor boss HP, look at memory address 43F.

Level Notes

In total, I saved 6189 frames over the Famtasia run. Since I don't have Famtasia (and Famtasia doesn't have a frame counter), the frames saved per level are estimates.


Frames saved: 125

Uses a Special wastefully (it does save a few frames, but it could probably be put to better use). Fortunately that's ok. I have extra Specials later in the run.


Frames saved: 156

Lots of jumps and bouncing tricks made this level difficult to optimize. At the very end, I stand up and exit ball form, because for some reason, that lets me exit the level a few frames earlier.


Frames saved: 650 (mostly on boss fight)

Right away in the level, I avoid bad bounces in ball form by standing up for 1 frame, and then going right back into ball form.

The boss absorbs 1 hit per frame. I use two Specials on him to get maximum damage per second. (After this boss, there are minor graphical glitches in the level.)


Frames saved: 61

Around frame 7000 I intentionally snag an edge to regain maneuverability (after falling for a while, you lose your ability to control horizontal movement), which allows me to take a slightly faster route.


Frames saved: 128

At the beginning of the level, I move right just enough while falling, so that I don't snag the first edge but can get on the second ledge. Without the early right movement, I wouldn't be able to get the second ledge. This innocent-looking maneuver is actually very frame-precise and wasn't present in the Famtasia movie.


Frames saved: 914 (mostly on boss fight)

This boss, unlike the others, absorbs any number of hits per frame. So I jump inside of his hitbox and rapidly fire my Special. He absorbs all the hits, taking 720 damage in no time!


Frames saved: 40

This has a lot of elevators and so is nearly an autoscroller. Strangely, as long as you get your neck above the platforms, the game will pull you up.

I take advantage of the slow platforms and kill a bunch of extra baddies. I manipulate the drops to get more Specials, which will be handy for the bosses!

Around frame 13400, I jump down a platform because the screen has actually scrolled too high, and the game glitches if I stay on it.


Frames saved: 266

Nothing special here. It's a large level but very linear.


Frames saved: 370 (mostly on boss fight)

Again, I use a Special to kill the boss much more quickly than the previous run.


Frames saved: 176

The ground is uneven in a lot of places in this level, so there's a lot of careful bouncing while in ball form. I actually ran into a health problem late in the level (frames 20200 onward) so had to hesitate a few frames once in a while to stay alive.


Frames saved: 156

Around frame 22100, I get the only opportunity in this run to show a secret block, which are revealed when you shoot them and give you powerups.


Frames saved: 422 (mostly on boss fight)

Like 3-1, another elevator level. This boss actually has less HP than the others, so it only takes a second to kill him with a Special. The boss doesn't spawn until the screen has scrolled all the way up, so I jump to make it scroll faster.


Frames saved: 658

This is the only map in the game that really has viable alternate paths. I wasn't convinced that the Famtasia run used the fastest route, so I actually mapped out (almost) the whole level. The result is a slightly faster route. I also save some time by bouncing off of some bad guys' heads. I had to manage my health carefully because there are many spots where you either have to kill an enemy or take damage.

This was the only map where I found use for a high-jump trick: force yourself to bounce while in ball form, then jump while at the peak of your bounce.

Because I take a shorter route, I kill less bad guys and fall behind the Famtasia run in score. Oh well.


Frames saved: 1104 (mostly in boss fights)

A short level with 2 minibosses at the end. At frame 28000 I jump really high, because the screen has to scroll up before the boss appears. Both the bosses in this level were annoying to do because they jump around so much, avoiding most of the Special attack.


Frames saved: 963

The final boss. First you have to break the shield. The shield absorbs any number of hits each frame, so I autofire my Special to kill it quickly. The actual boss is slow to kill because he has a very small hitbox. I can only hit him with a small fraction of my Special attack, but using the Special still gives the most damage per second. Once I run out of Specials, I kill him with my flamethrower in a very unexciting manner.

adelikat Accepting.

A good improvement over an existing Famtasia run.

Bisqwit: Processing.

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