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

Submission #1519: Randil & CtrlAltDestroy's NES Mickey Mousecapade in 07:23.68

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Mickey Mousecapade
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Mickey Mousecapade (U).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 07:23.68
FrameCount: 26621
Re-record count: 21966
Author's real name: Johan Södling & Chris Strake
Author's nickname: Randil & CtrlAltDestroy
Submitter: Randil
Submitted at: 2007-04-13 17:02:48
Text last edited at: 2007-05-02 20:38:10
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (3538 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
This movie is 2310 frames (35.5 seconds) faster than the the currently published movie by Michael Fried. Mickey Mousecapade is a simple, but hard, platformer. Since it only has 5 levels, it makes a short TAS.

Level 1, 2, 4 and 5 were played by Randil. Level 3 (except the last area) was played by CtrlAltDestroy.

CtrlAltDestroy also contributed with many tricks and ideas, as well as feedback during the making of this movie.

Important note about playback: If this movie desyncs for you with FCEU 0.98.16, try playing it in FCEU 0.98.15 instead. The desync is probably because we used a soft reset to manipulate the enemies in the first room.

About comparison between this movie and the published movie: I used the .avi of the published movie when comparing times. This is because I don't like playing movies in Famtasia, and I have some trouble with desyncs in it. This is why the improvement times aren't very accurate, but I tried my best.

Luck Manipulation:

The is a lot of luck manipulation involved in this movie. By entering a room on different frames, you can manipulate where the enemies spawn. You can also manipulate boss movement by entering the bossroom on different frames.

So, sometimes you may notice that we wait a frame or two before entering a new room. This is to get the enemies where we want them to be.

Also, because manipulating luck takes time, it's sometimes faster to go with "bad luck", I.E. having enemies spawn on bad places. For example, if it takes 15 frames to manipulate luck in order to get the enemies where you want them, but it only wastes 10 frames by having them in bad places, we go with having "bad luck". I hope that wasn't too confusing.

Lag reduction:

This game suffers from heavy lag. Some examples are the bear-fights on level 3 and the boss on level 4.

The game lags when there are too many moving objects on the screen. This includes shots that travel through the air. We tried hard to reduce lag by, for example, killing enemies as soon as possible.

It's because of the lag that we don't fire as many shots as Micheal Fried did. This is especially noticable on level 1.

Level 1: Fun House - gained ~28 seconds.

In the room that you start in there is a locked door on the right wall. The key is found in a chest behind a witch. The goal in this level is to get this key, and then unlock the door and enter it.

  • Around frame 1400 we pick up Mickey's weapon. When exiting this room, we used a technique that CtrAltDestroy found, called the "leave-early trick". Basically, the trick is that we keep Minnie to the left of Mickey by jumping in a certain pattern. By doing this, we can exit the room about 10 frames faster.
  • Around frame 2500 we pick up a key. This key opens the door behind the cat. Without this key, you can't open up that door. That's why we pick it up.
  • We kill the cat in this run. This is to avoid getting hit by him on the way back. This saves about 30 frames.
  • Around frame 4000, you'll see that we go down instead of left, this skipping Minnie's weapon. This obviously saves a lot of time, about 18 seconds. Later on however, we will lose some time because bosses take a little longer to kill with only Mickey's weapon.
  • Around frame 4800 we reach the witch-boss. You don't have to kill the witch, you just need to grab the key. That's why we don't kill her in this run, which saves about 2 seconds. We just walk right under her after picking up the key. :) The "leave-early" trick was pulled off here too, keeping Minnie on the first floor the whole time, allowing us to leave a little earlier.

Level 2: The Ocean - gained ~0 seconds.

This is a straight-forward level. Just get to the end of the level and kill the boss. That's it. We gain a few frames by reducing lag on this level, but we also lose some frames on the boss fight because we don't have Minnie's weapon.

Level 3: The Woods - gained ~2 seconds.

The Woods is quite a maze actually. We take the same path as Michal Fried did, since it's the fastest.

  • You can find hidden fairy's on a few places in this level. They're invisible at first, but if you fire 8 shots on them they will appear. Fairies turn you invulnerable for a few seconds before flying away. If you touch an enemy while having a fairy the enemy will die. We used fairies a lot on this level to kill the bears faster. We also manipulated luck to make the bears throw less stones.
  • We also used a fairy to instant-kill the boss on this level. By touching the boss while having a fairy, he dies instantly.

Level 4: The Pirate Ship - gained ~3 seconds.

This is pretty much the same as level 2 - a straight-forward level, just run through it and kill the boss. Just like level 2, we gain quite a few frames by reducing lag, but we also lose some frames on the boss fight because we don't have Minnie's weapon.

Level 5: The Castle - gained ~1.5 seconds.

There isn't much to comment on here. By optimizing movements, manipulating luck and reducing lag we manage to improve this level by about 100 frames. Just like level 2 and 4 we lose some frames on the boss.

  • The "leave-early" trick is pulled off here too, when getting the key. The key goes to the final boss room.
  • There is a fairy in the room before the last boss, but it took way too much time to manipulate luck to make it appear. Also, even if we could make it appear without wasting too many frames, it would still waste some time to get it. So, in conclusion, if that fairy could appear without us having to waste several seconds, it would save time to get it to instant-kill the last boss. Both me (Randil) and CtrAltDestroy tried hard to get this fairy, but without luck.

Useful Memory addresses:

  007D: Mickey's X-position
  007E: Minnie's X-position
  007F: Mickey's Y-position
  0080: Minnie's Y-position
  00C2: Your HP
  006F: Screen's position - useful on sidescrolling levels.
  00F0: How many times a secret has been hit. 8 will reveal it.
  003E: How many times a door has been hit. 8 will open it.
  0792: Boss HP. Each time you hit the boss with a shot, this value will decrease by 16.

Bisqwit: Replaced movie file. Randil wrote: It was informed to me in the submission thread that I forgot to press start at the end of the movie to get to the The End screen, and this update supposedly fixes it.

adelikat: Accepting for publication as an improvement to the published run.
adelikat: Processing...

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