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

Submission #1344: adelikat's NES Zanac in 03:26.22

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Zanac
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Zanac (U) [!].nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 03:26.22
FrameCount: 12373
Re-record count: 1852
Author's real name: adelikat
Author's nickname: adelikat
Submitter: adelikat
Submitted at: 2006-11-15 19:16:00
Text last edited at: 2010-01-02 22:07:52
Text last edited by: adelikat
Download: Download (6331 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
This is my 3rd Zanac submission. It is technically an improvement of the published run by 24sec but about 19sec of that is from stopping the .fcm sooner.

Quick word about the goals (which are slightly different from last): 1) Aims for shortest avi time 2) Aims for shortest .fcm time when not interfering with 1)


The boss fights were improved by my discovery of "the trick". I will explain:

a) Zanac was 8 weapon types number 0-7 all of which can be upgraded to more powerful versions. Weapon 6 is a plasma gun that destroys everything on the screen. If you upgrade it 6 times you will get 1 shot that will turn all ships into blue landers.

b) blue landers are 1-ups, not useful in time attacks but if you shoot them enough they turn into red landers.

c) red landers increase your firing speed. A full upgrade will allow you too shoot once per frames (which is twice as fast as rapid fire using the auto-fire button).

d) In the previous run I didn't max the rapid fire because I didn't have time to upgrade weapon 6 that many times before the boss except I discovered something about the "happy faces"

e) Happy faces, when shot, automatically upgrade your weapon to its max. It can't maximize weapon 6 however since weapon 6 doesn't shoot a projectile. However if you time it right you can shoot weapon 6 and your "pea-shooter" weapon so that it registers as a weapon 6 upgrade. There are 2 happy faces in "arer 12". I use this to upgrade my rapid fire and destroy the bosses much faster.

When to end the movie

There are actually a lot of choices for this game! :O I came up with these possibilities: 1) shortest input time regardless. This would involve stopping as soon as I fire the final shot that will destroy the boss. The problem is that the boss has a 255 frame destruction animation, at which point there are still enemies on the screen that can kill you which can look sloppy

2) stop as soon as the boss if officially destroyed. Well you still have control of your ship as the score is tallied, including adding your extra lives to the score. This doesn't result in the shortest avi time unless you can minimize your extra lives. Also, you "warp" out of the level at the end. So if your ship is not at the bottom of the screen when this happens, it will make for a longer avi time

3) destroy boss, move to the bottom of the screen and stop the run. Still doesn't factor extra lives in.

4) wait until you no longer have control of your ship and make sure you are at the bottom of the screen (this was done in the previous run).

I went with a modified 2) Destroy the boss and use the destruction period to commit suicide (lowering the amount of extra lives). Due to the speed in which I destroyed the boss, I could only do this once. After destroying my ship, I moved to the bottom of the screen and stopped the .fcm immediately.

Warped run? what?

Like the previous run, I use a code (reset the game 13 times) to initiate a level select. The really long gray screen at the beginning is from me "mashing" reset as fast as possible. Yes, this is a "cheat code" but was deemed acceptable. Partly because it is mentioned in the instruction manual and mainly becuase the alternative is to have a 37min, repetitive auto-scroller that offers little that this shorter run does not.

Why is this a good game to TAS?

1) Zanac is underrated in its amazing music. I rank the music easily in the top five all time NES sountracks. It is equal, if not superior than that of the megaman series or the castlevania series. The one downside of the warped run is that you don't get to experience all of the tracks. 2) This game features hords of enemies but absolutely no lag. Considering this is one of the older NES games, this is quite impressive. Especially when you consider some of the newer, "more advanced" games lag when ANYTHING happens in the game (*cough* mm3 *cough*). 3) The game is a VERY fast auto-scroller, this helps keep the interst going.


This game is on of the more classic examples of video game engrish. The title screen features "game desinded by". You don't start on "area 1" but "arer 1". Not technically engrish but it is also interesting that destroying the alien boss makes you MESSIAH of earth :P


  • Uses fceu .16
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Uses deaths (new category)
  • Genre: shoot-em up/auto-scroller

Truncated: Accepting as an improvement to the previous version.

adelikat: Processing

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