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

Submission #1469: Alter's GB Metroid II - Return of Samus in 1:09:55.67

Console: Game Boy
Game name: Metroid II - Return of Samus
Game version: USA/Europe,r1
ROM filename: Metroid II - Return of Samus (UE) [!].gb
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 1:09:55.67
FrameCount: 251740
Re-record count: 258
Author's real name: Hans
Author's nickname: Alter
Submitter: Alter
Submitted at: 2007-03-04 15:06:39
Text last edited at: 2007-03-04 20:15:20
Text last edited by: Alter
Download: Download (21537 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:

Alter`s Metroid II 100% in 1:06 (ingame timer) / 251740 frames

There is no previous run of Metroid II published.

This run aims for the fastest time with 100% item completion, including optional and unneccesary items (such as the springball, all beams and energy tanks.).

The emulator used is VisualBoyAdvance 1.7.2 rerecording v19.3. The run starts from power up.

The game

Not as popular as Super Metroid or the GBA games, Metroid II is still a game liked by many for it`s unique atmosphere and the famous Metroid game play. Many things are similar to other Metroid incarnations, while others differ (weapon acquisition, physics...). I loved the game as a kid, so I decided to try my first TAS with this.

Techniques used

First of all, the "Select-glitch" (A glitch that allows the player to open unintended paths by pressing start & select in rapid succession) has not been used. No programming errors are abused, however I am not sure if some of the techniques are actually intended by the programmers, or are glitches (see below).

The Morphball

By far the most important item for speeding the game`s completion up in Metroid II is the morphball. It is the fastest way of horizontal movement (walking, jumping and the spiderball all being slower, in that order), so whenever possible (or feasible) horizontal movement is done with the morphball.

The morphball has several drawbacks:

  • The main weapon cannot be used
  • Morphing into a ball takes one to two frames
  • Falling more than 1 block causes the ball to bounce, resulting in slower movement (which can be cicumventet by unmorphing for one frame)

Another property of the morphball unique to Metroid II (compared to other Mertrooid games of course) is mid-air-unmorph-jumping(tm). When leaving the ball form while jumping or falling, Samus can start a jump for a few frames, just as if she was standing on solid ground (spinning is not possible however). This allows for some interesting movement. This might be a glitch rather than an intended feature.


As jumping is a rather slow type of horizontal movement (but the fastest vertical) it is avoided as much as possible. That means, all jumps take place in an as short time as possible, which is not easy in this game. Before Samus passes half her maximum jump height, the jumping movement can be canceled by releasing the jump button. But if she passed half maximum height, she will execute a jump at maximum height, which takes time if in horizontal movement.

Several techniques are used to avoid that:

  • Kneeling before a jump reduces maximum height
  • Using the morphball in various ways (jumping, falling, spiderball) before a jump
  • Taking damage to gain height before the actual jump

Taking damage

Just like the mid-air-unmorph-jump when Samus takes damage from any souce but acid, she will be able to jump without being on the ground (and be repelled away from the source of damage before that, pushed upwards). This is used whenever possible and feasible while moving upwards. This might also be a glitch.

Every time an energy tank is collected Samus`s health is fully replenished, which makes collecting health from enemies unnecessary (still happens sometimes, but at random).


Hardly any enemies except the obligatory Metroids are killed in this run, so weapons aren`t used much. I still collected all beams in their original locations because of the 100% goal. Only the icebeam is required to beat the game, and I change back to the ice beam as soon as possible after collecting all beams. By far the most used weapon is the missile, necessary for killing Metroids. I use missile refill stations sometimes instead of getting missiles from enemies, which doesn`t cost me much (if any) time overall.


Apart from the rerecord VBA version I used Maximus`s TAS Movie Editor to splice together the final movie.

Notes and thanks

This is my first "serious" TAS, so I`m sure there`s room for much improvement. Please criticize away.

Making the movie was fun & tiring, I understand the effort behind it much better now ^^

I think it became a fine run, I hope Metroid fans will enjoy it as I enjoyed the other Metroid TAS.

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