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

Submission #1513: Cardboard & JXQ's NES Bionic Commando in 14:03.38

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Bionic Commando
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Bionic Commando (U).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 14:03.38
FrameCount: 50603
Re-record count: 48060
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: Cardboard & JXQ
Submitter: JXQ
Submitted at: 2007-04-06 19:02:28
Text last edited at: 2019-06-13 01:40:49
Text last edited by: adelikat
Download: Download (4018 bytes)
Status: published
Click to view the actual publication
Submission instructions
Discuss this submission (also rating / voting)
List all submissions by this submitter
List pages on this site that refer to this submission
View submission text history
Back to the submission list
Author's comments and explanations:


  • Emulator used: FCEU 0.98.16

  • Genre: Platform
  • Aims for fastest time
    • Takes damage to save time

  • updated: moozooh's suggested screenshot (the greatest screenshot in the history of the world)

Version Change

Note: This run uses the (U) version of Bionic Commando. The previous movie by Genisto used the (J) version.

The initial reason was to include the hilariously bad dialogue. It has been said that the (J) version is the "harder" version, but we have found that to be not entirely true. There are quite a few differences, some which made the (U) version faster, and some which made the (J) version faster.

Regarding a ROM version change, the Rules page states the following:

If there is already a published video, do not use a different ROM than what it uses, unless the new movie is obviously better for reasons that are not only caused by the version change, or the ROM is superior (or a language change), and you can show how it should be compared to the existing movie.

Since the previous run was done with the (J) version, a direct comparison of end times is not an informative enough way to measure the differences in play. So, we've separated the differences into four categories and totaled them up.

In-level difference - Gained 1463 frames

This is the (mostly) directly comparable improvement gained during each level. Time was gained from better technique for many sections, especially the bosses, as well as retracting more with the grappling hook, which moves the guy a bit faster at the exchange of slightly less distance and less landing control. Time was also gained by keeping the 3-way gun for Area 7 instead of restarting the level.

Some of the in-level difference was due to in-level changes between the two versions, such as different enemy or platform placement. A rough estimation of this difference is between 60 and 90 frames.

Text speed difference - Lost 3185 frames

The text boxes scroll slower and hold more words in this version.

Scene change difference - Gained 110 frames

Minor differences in the number of frames between two controllable scenes, such as the title screen and room transitions. This was usually faster in the (U) version.

Map route difference - Gained 1741 frames

Slower text changes the relative position of the trucks during a given route on the world map, because the helicopter does not begin traveling to another area until the text "Ok. We'll move." is fully displayed, but the trucks begin moving immediately after selecting "Transfer". This allowed for better route on the world map, with more direct routes to some areas, as well as playing one less overhead stage. (This same route in the (J) version will enter six overhead stages.)

Total difference - Gained 129 frames

If you'd like to see a complete spreadsheet of this data broken down for each segment, please ask.

Cardboard's comments


JXQ's comments

The Bionic Commando (J) run on this site has been one of my favorites ever since I've been here. It sometimes felt odd obsoleting it.

This game is remarkably stable to hex-edit in early improvements found into a run that is farther along. This game is remarkably unstable with FCEU while rerecording in a laggy area, such as 6, 9, 10, or 11.

Thanks to Cardboard for being my partner, and to Genisto for his previous run.

Truncated: This movie has a better route and much better playing in the levels than the previous movie.

In response to all the arguments about the version switch: I dislike version switches. If it was up to me, the rules would state that all movies be played on (U) versions, unless it didn't exist or (E) or (J) included a glitch or shortcut or game element not in the (U) version. That way we wouldn't have any of this nonsense, or people switching ROMs just because the intro or dialogue is shorter, which has no bearing on the quality of play.

Also because i dislike version switches, I'm glad that this movie has now changed back to the "real" version, which the first published movie was made with, before it changed to the (J) version for no good reason at all.

Bisqwit: I don't think we have reached a concensus about whether this should obsolete the J version or not. I'm putting it on delayed. And, I disagree with the assessment of "no good reason at all"; in my opinion, Feitclub's reasoning re: J version was good.

BoltR: Since there is no rush to make a decision about this movie, and it's just causing an argument; I am setting the status to Needs More Info. We can wait until the updated (J) version is complete and pick up the debate from there. Blame version changing.

Bisqwit: Setting back on accepted, and to obsolete the current J version. However, the question what happens when the next J version is submitted, is still open. Some say only U versions should be accepted from here on, and some say any faster version regardless of version should be accepted. There may be someone who also thinks the next J version should be published alongside, but it doesn't seem to be a likely option. Such decision however does not need to be made until such movie exists and is submitted. However, if this movie is still in the workbench at that time, it will be delayed because then also its fate is in question. (We don't publish movies that already have their obsoleter in the workbench.)
Bisqwit: Processing.

Similar submissions (by title and categories where applicable):