TASVideos

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

Submission #1147: adelikat's NES Whomp em in 11:39.45

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Whomp em
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Whomp em (U) [!].nes
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 11:39.45
FrameCount: 41967
Re-record count: 17213
Author's real name: adelikat
Author's nickname: adelikat
Submitter: adelikat
Submitted at: 2006-08-05 21:14:42
Text last edited at: 2010-01-02 21:21:10
Text last edited by: adelikat
Download: Download (4588 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Finally, I am finished. This has been my project for several months now. This final version is 2173 frames (36.21 seconds) faster than Walkerboh's published movie.

About the game

I first saw this game from walker's run when I was looking for a famtasia run to improve.

This is a gem of a game for TASers. It is relatively unknown but is action packed, and has loads of strategic and route planning possibilities. It is much like megaman in that you take the levels in any order and get weapon power ups from the boss. Two of the weapon power ups are a cloud for flying and a throwing spear which you use to create ledges. Much like rush power-ups in megaman, these add to the route possibilities; allowing creative shortcuts. The game's best moments are the vertical zones in which the character must 1) fall and avoid ledges as much as possible, or 2) ascend up ledges as quick as possible. These areas are very interesting to watch and plan.

In addition, enemies can be manipulated to drop important power-ups including a magic potion (functions the same as energy tanks in metroid), a flint spear head that increases your attack power, and a head dress that increases your defense.

This is a very difficult & time consuming game to TAS though, ESPECIALLY the vertical sections. This is my second run through of the game.

Improvements

A number of optimizations led to the 30 sec improvement.

  • Route change. I got the cloud and spear first in order to maximize the shortcut possibilities of these items. Almost all levels benefit from the spear especially.

  • Flint spear head. The bosses can all be beaten in 5 hits with the spear head upgrade. The optimal weapon for each only kills them in 6. Since the bosses have a whopping 75 frames of invulnerability time, this is quite an item! I manage to manipulate it from enemy kills (which cost a little time, but only 10-20 frames). The first boss you meet would take 9 hits without the spear. That is a 300 frame difference!

  • Using the throwing spear to get enemy drops without losing time. Certain (very few) enemies can be killed in one hit from the spear. When I encounter these enemies, I shoot the spear from a distance and manipulate the drop that I want. That way I don't lose time getting them.

  • Using the throwing spear to ascend vertical stages quicker. By "extending" ledges with the spear, I am able to minimize horizontal movement in these areas, thereby speeding up vertical movement.

  • Having all 3 magic potions for the final boss. The dragon weapon is the best weapon for the boss but uses up 1 heart of your life. It use it the most, I make sure to have maximum energy.

  • Having as much energy as possible at the end of each level. You energy is filled up at the end of each level which costs time. So, while taking damage often saves time, it has to be balance with the cost at the end of each level. Also, I can manipulate hearts from enemies (and hidden ones).

  • Jumping of ladder instead of walking off. This is a minor improvement of about 4 frames. But it adds up over the course of the run.

  • Jumping as much as possible before grabbing a ladder. This saves at least 6 frames on each ladder.

  • Using enemies to propel me higher than normal. I use this to reach a few ledges quicker.

  • Finding hidden items. By jumping in the right spots, you can make item appear (kind of like Adventure Island). Some of these you can get without losing time. Other are worth the time lost (like magic potions).

  • Other misc minor improvements.

Summary

  • Uses FCEU 0.98.16
  • Aims for fastest time.
  • Take damage to save time.
  • Manipulates luck.

I hope you enjoy watching it.


adelikat: Feels weird accepting my own submission but the demand is high enough. Accepting.

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