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

Submission #1119: Scumtron's NES Ninja Gaiden in 10:52.68

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Ninja Gaiden
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Ninja Gaiden (U).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 10:52.68
FrameCount: 39161
Re-record count: 33001
Author's real name: PS
Author's nickname: Scumtron
Submitter: Scumtron
Submitted at: 2006-07-10 14:54:14
Text last edited at: 2006-07-10 15:40:51
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (2735 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

This should be my final submission for this game. Clocking in at 39161 frames (10:52:41), it’s 587 frames (9.78 seconds) faster than the run it obsoletes. Some of the time saved came from better precision and new or changed hits (I get hit 18 times in this run, 7 more than in the previously published run. 10 of those hits are new or are significant improvements to old hits) but most of it came from a couple glitches I stumbled upon, which I will explain below. I also occasionally pick up bonus point bags in this run. This is contrary to my stance against superfluous input, but I felt it made the game flow better in a few places.

Act I: 24 frames faster

Interesting fact about this game: Ryu can’t kill anything with a jumping attack upon the first unsheathing of his sword; he can cut down power-ups though. That’s why I attack the air on the first jump. 10 frames faster here, mostly from grabbing a wall instead of taking a hit. I’m not happy with how I kill the 3 boxers at the end of the level, but doing it how I wanted would’ve made the boss fight 1 frame longer.

Boss, "Barbarian”
I bet nobody thought this could be done faster; I sure didn’t. If you kill him with one jump, you’re not doing damage for 18 frames at the peak of the jump. Two jumps = 17 frames faster, but I lose 3 frames due to the timer.

Act II: 124 frames faster

I’ve hardly changed a thing here since my first frame-by-frame run, but I get to the next screen 5 frames faster now by boosting off the little platform on my way up to the ladder.
3 frames saved here. Jumping off the ladder a frame sooner is the first, and jumping inside that funky platform in the middle sooner gets the other two.
Pressing right on the frame the screen loads moves Ryu enough to the right to make the second jump one frame sooner.

Nothing new here really… I kill more football players though. (I have nothing against people who play football)
Here’s the first significant usage of up+down+left and also the biggest single improvement in this run. Going over that wall saves 93 frames! Oh yeah, 1 frame saved by pressing right when the screen loads too.
9 frames saved here, and I even climb a ladder by holding up. Unfortunately that’s necessary since once I’m inside the pillar there’s nothing to grab if I jump off.

Boss, "Bomberhead”
He might appear to be taller than the first boss, but it’s the same deal again. 17 frames saved. I also wait 2 frames to press start here to save time later and to make an overall better looking run.

Act III: 37 frames faster

One of the few places where forward movement wasn’t lost for anything and I have to go and screw it all up, but it’s all for the greater good. I throw out an extra four shuriken so my power will be divisible by five and waste a couple more frames to alter enemy behavior in 3-2. 6 frames lost

14 frames saved by bouncing off a knife. (this is what the 2 extra frames in 3-1 were for) Throwing those fire wheels doesn’t slow me down any. With that sinbad out of the way I can jump a frame earlier since I don’t have to turn around first.

Boss, "Basaquer”
As much as I liked this fight how it was, it had to be improved. Using up+down+left I kill him 23 frames faster and save another 6 frames by ending the fight with 0 power.

Act IV: 37 frames faster

3 frames saved by avoiding trap floors and 4 frames saved riding a bullet to the next screen.
Climbing up the inside of the wall and getting a little help from a bird saves 15 frames.

3 frames saved by not jumping onto the front halves of mine carts. Killing that pumpkin-head with down+b actually isn’t any slower since to avoid killing him I’d be forced to jump onto the front of the cart.

5 frames saved by wobbling up the inside of the wall.
Getting inside the wall and jumping of the right side of it is 9 frames faster. It may not be pretty but it’s the best way to do it. Prove me wrong!
Nothing new here, but I thought I’d mention that the hit here is one of my favorites. It’s pretty easy to take advantage of in actual play and is a pretty good time saver.
I save 1 frame here by jumping off the ladder one frame sooner and 5 frames by climbing the orange pillars. Unfortunately axe-jerk’s behavior costs me 1 frame.

Boss, "Kelbeross”
Same old two-frames-of-input boss fight here. I press start 4 frames late for the same reasons that I waited after level 2.

Act V: 221 frames faster

One hit from a pumpkin-head stick is 12 frames faster than 2 hits from a bird and looks approximately one thousand times as slick.

I pick up a couple power ups that for some reason I never grabbed before here, which saves a few frames later. Jumping over the wall gets me out of here 13 frames faster. It could be another 15 frames faster if I didn’t need the jump n’ slash.
25 frames saved by getting inside the wall.
14 frames saved by going over the wall to the exit. Bouncing off a different cannon isn’t any faster; I just wanted to kill more stuff.
Numerous small improvements add up to 11 frames saved here.

1 frame saved by pressing left sooner. 13 saved by going through a wall. 36 saved by going over a wall. Fun stuff.
Saved 3 frames by getting off the ladder a frame earlier. Saved 5 frames by bouncing off a club. When I kill the last jet-ninja causes that club to be in the optimal position.
Saved a couple frames by not using down+b and 37 frames by going over the wall. Taking the hit from the football player means I get over that wall 4 frames slower than what would be optimal, but to avoid it I’d have to pick up the invincible fire wheel. Not an option.
41 frames saved by going over the wall. 1 frame saved by not using down+b.

Boss, "Bloody Malth”
Nothing new. Unlike like the first two bosses, the one jump kill remains optimal here.

Act VI: 144 frames faster

1 frame faster than the published run here since I don’t have to avoid an axe. I let a bird chase me around to try to spice things up a bit but 6-1 still remains the least enjoyable part of this run in my opinion.

Saved 23 frames here by summoning a jet-ninja to carry me to the exit.
24 frames saved by going through the wall. 9 frames saved by going over the wall with up+down+left. 3 frames saved by taking out the cannons with the windmill star (jumping through that part with jump n’ slash meant waiting 4 frames in the air to avoid grabbing the wall). Lost 1 frame by killing an axe with the windmill star but at least it looks neat.
8 frames saved by going through the wall. Using the windmill star here doesn’t slow me down any since otherwise there would be no input on that particular frame.
I save 12 frames here by finally taking advantage of a ridiculously obvious hit and 1 more frame by getting off the ladder sooner.

Here I summon a bat to give me a little boost and get to the next screen 5 frames sooner.
A new path means 28 frames saved.
Getting a boost from the bird saves 8 frames and I take advantage of pauses between wall jumps to unload some excess ninja power I picked up in the 6-2d massacre. Also, 3 frames saved by doing stuff better.
Identical platform to the one in 4-3 here, 9 frames faster. Unfortunately, without the jump n’ slash, I can’t get through the final gauntlet without slowing down so I grab the hourglass. Just think of it as the calm before the storm.

Masked Devil
Using the fire wheel here is 6 frames faster than the jump n’ slash since you can start dealing damage so much earlier. Yay.

Guardia de Mieux goes down an amazing 4 frames faster than before. 3 of those are because I waited too long to jump at him before and 1 comes from using up+down+left so I don’t have to turn around before making the second jump.

The Demon
This fight can’t be done any faster, but I think I made it look better than ever. The body isn’t vulnerable until 121 frames after you gain control. It doesn’t matter when or even if you kill the head (but it does tend to get in the way if you don’t). So I just waited to kill the head until as late as possible.

That’s it. I’d like to thank Slotermeyer for posting his WIP, which showed me some a couple improvements to levels 1 and 2 I hadn’t considered. This project was at a standstill at the time and those improvements revived it.


Bisqwit: Awesome and what not. Processing :)

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