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

Submission #1562: Kyrsimys's NES Kid Icarus in 22:42.23

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Kid Icarus
Game version: USA/Europe
ROM filename: Kid Icarus (UE).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 22:42.23
FrameCount: 81734
Re-record count: 11725
Author's real name: Olli Uuskoski
Author's nickname: Kyrsimys
Submitter: Kyrsimys
Submitted at: 2007-05-16 13:04:50
Text last edited at: 2007-06-08 16:23:49
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (13551 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
In short: Kid Icarus in 22:42, approximately 1:14 faster than the published run. Biggest improvements include using a new trick discovered by Celeri to shoot arrows very rapidly, making boss fights extremely speedy. Because of this, only 2 strength upgrades need to be collected. Damage taking was optimized and a new trick involving completing a level and dying at the same frame was also used to gain some seconds. A more detailed description below.

The long version:

I used FCEU 0.98.15 to create this movie.

  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Uses no passwords
  • Uses death (?) to save time

I’m not really sure about the last one since Pit doesn’t actually die, his HP just goes down to 0.

Description of the game:

In Kid Icarus, the main character is an angel called Pit, who has to collect 3 treasures in order to fight the evil Medusa. There are 3 worlds (4 stages each) in the game, plus the last, special 13th stage with the final boss. Along the way there are chambers that have various things in them. The only chambers of interest to us are the chambers with strength upgrades.

Strength upgrades:

There are 4 strength upgrades in the game. To get a strength upgrade, Pit has to gather 10,000 points of ‘skill’ in the level with the upgrade, and enter the upgrade chamber. ‘Skill’ is gotten from killing enemies and collecting hearts. Each upgrade allows Pit to do one more point of damage per shot (Pit starts with 1, max is 5).

In the previous movie, it was beneficial to collect all the upgrades to make the boss battles radically shorter. Now, however, thanks to Celeri’s trick (described below), the last two upgrades are not worth taking because the boss battles are already so short.


Almost all of the improved time comes from Celeri's trick: boss fights are lightning fast and two strenth upgrades can be skipped. My dying trick also saved time because it allowed me to take a lot of damage in 3-4. Score tallying was also taken into consideration this time, and no unnecessary enemies were killed. In total the movie is 1:14 shorter than my previous movie (which, by the way, was 1:14 shorter than Sleepz's previous movie).

Tricks (including old ones) used:

The 2-3 platform trick by Sleepz: Used already in the first Kid Icarus run by Sleepz, this trick allows Pit to step on to a platform at the right side of screen by scrolling in from the left. This helps because Pit can now get to the very right side of the screen and drag the screen with him. There are two platforms later on which are at just the right height when you enter the screen, but if you come to the screen normally, you will just miss them and have to wait for them to come back. With this trick, Pit can jump on the platforms right away.

The 1-4 shortcut by me: This is a trick I already used in the previous movie. I clip inside a wall to get a foothold to jump up to a platform you can’t normally reach. The trick is explained in pictures here.

Rapid firing by Celeri: Normally, Pit can only fire his arrows at a fixed, slow rate. Celeri found out that if you duck after firing, Pit can fire again instantly. This is of course abused to the max in my run because the bosses in this game do not have any invulnerability periods whatsoever. It also comes in handy in some of the levels.

Dying in 3-2 by me: I found this trick out completely by accident. At the end of 3-2, Pit has only 1 HP left. Pit gets a lethal hit from a jellyfish, right at the same frame as he is exiting the level through the door. Pit’s HP goes to 0 but he still moves on to the next level. Here he takes damage from the spiky bush-thingy and suddenly he has full HP! This allows me to save many seconds in 3-4 by taking damage from spikes etc.

Detailed analysis of individual levels:

1-1: Boring level, I try to avoid killing unnecessary enemies to avoid a delay in the score tallying.

1-2: I get a strength upgrade here. Note the beginning where I use Celeri’s trick to dispose of 3 red eye-thingies quickly. The ice here is extremely annoying and results in some bad-looking jumps. There was some unavoidable lag at one place here, I really did try to eliminate it as best I could.

1-3: Nothing special here, had to manipulate the platforms a bit which resulted in some 1-2 frame delays.

1-4: Used the shortcut trick and absolutely slaughtered the boss.

2-1: A word of warning: if you are allergic to boring platform-levels, watch this at your own risk. I will not be responsible for any rashes, itches or deaths resulted from the boringness. I do take a strength upgrade here but I do it by just killing stuff as I go.

2-2: If you survived the boringness of 2-1, brace yourself for a new challenge. This is easily the most boring level in the game. I tried doing this at 75% speed, but I kept falling asleep and messing it up and I had to start over, so finally I did the whole level at 100% speed. Seriously, a blind monkey could complete this level by sitting on the d-pad and randomly smashing A. I don't fire my bow even once in this level.

2-3: This is a bit more interesting; it has enemies, lava, and the platform trick.

2-4: I have to avoid the spikes here because I have to take damage from an eggplant wizard later in the level to get past them. The boss fight is quite speedy.

3-1: Nice and short.

3-2: At the end of this level I use the death-trick to get down to 0 HP.

3-3: At the beginning here I have to stop for a while to manipulate the moving platform ahead. It looks ugly, but it can’t be helped: if you enter the screen even one frame earlier than I did, the platform can’t be reached and you have to wait for it to come back. I take damage here to get my HP filled. I love this trick.

3-4: Here I can afford to take a lot of damage which speeds things up quite nicely. Taking damage at the boss also makes the boss a flash.

4-1: Pretty boring, but thankfully different, so it’s bearable to watch. The last boss is the only reason I grab the second strength upgrade. With only one upgrade it would take a looooong time.


I’d like to thank Celeri, whose discovery was the only reason I even started this run, and of course Sleepz for his first run. I hope everyone enjoys the movie!


Here are some random screenshots to choose from if this gets published. They have been resized with PNGout.

adelikat: Accepting for publication as an improvement to the currently published run.
Bisqwit: Processifying.

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