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

Submission #1607: Randil's NES Solstice in 05:41.85

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Solstice
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Solstice (U).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 05:41.85
FrameCount: 20511
Re-record count: 6311
Author's real name: Johan Södling
Author's nickname: Randil
Submitter: Randil
Submitted at: 2007-06-22 18:09:09
Text last edited at: 2007-06-24 22:35:54
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (2119 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Solstice TAS any% by Randil

  • Emulator used: FCEU 0.98.16
  • Aims for fastest possible time.
  • Genre: Puzzle

This run is 524 frames (8.73 sec) faster than my currently published run of this game. Some new tricks, a slightly modified route, and new strategies make up for the time saved. For more information on what has been improved, see the "Improvements" section below.

Information about the game

This game needs some introduction to those who haven't played it: You play as the blue wizard "Shadax". Your goal is to rescue the princess from the evil wizard Morbius. You can walk up, down, left and right. You can also jump. You get killed if you touch an enemy or land on spikes.

There are also blocks in this game. Blocks usually fall down from in some rooms, and in some they just lay around. If you press the B button when standing on a block, you will pick it up. When you press B again you will release it. This allows you to carry them with you and use them to reach places that aren't possible to reach if you don't do this.

There are also potions in this game. In this run I only use 2 different kinds of potions:

  • Purple potion: This will turn you invincible. The effect will vanish if you leave the room or die. When invincible, you can jump on enemies to get to higher places.
  • Pink potion: This potion will remove all objects in the room, that means enemies, blocks and items. This is only used once in the run, to get rid of a spike ball that's in my way.

There are keys in the game too. Keys make new blocks appear in a certain room. I pick up two keys in this run, both create blocks that are necessary to advance in the game.

I pick up a pair of Magic shoes around frame 2700. These allow me to jump higher, and they're necessary to beat the game.


The most obvious improvement in this run is the use of a new trick that I found: It's actually possible to jump on spikes if you land on the edge of the them. This trick saves time at several places in the run.

I use a new route after picking up the Magic Shoes. This new route saved around 30 frames.

Another improvement is that I enter the menu to select potion in different places. This is because I found that the time it takes to enter and exit the menu varies depending on what room you're in. Generally, a small room with few objects have shorter loading times for the menu. This trick saved almost 1.5 seconds (!) for the 3 times it was used.

I also used some new, more aggressive, strategies in some rooms, saving some time. About 2 seconds shaved off due to these new strategies.

Then there are the usual optimizing movement improvements here and there, but there aren't that many of those. They make up for perhaps 1 second of time.

The making of this run:

This run was almost entirely made the TAS movie editor. Thanks to that, I didn't have to redo every room, just the ones that I had improved. Movies for Solstice are very edit-friendly, so I didn't have many desyncs, which was nice. I had some trouble with corrupted save-states and such, but everything worked out in the end.

To put things short, about 80-90% of this run was copied from the currently published run. Many rooms are trivial to optimize, so it would be useless to play them again.

I also used "Memory Watch" and "Memory Viewer" now, compared to the poublished run, which helped out a lot.

The rerecord-count is not exactly accurate. This is because of all the editing and testing that was done. The correct rerecord count should be around 10 000 or so.

Useful Memory Addresses:

  0031: Your current X-position
  002D: Your current Y-position
  0035: Your current altitude, that is pixels above ground level.
  0020: The game accepts input when this is 0.

Thanks to:

Final Words:

I won't give you another "this time it really is frame perfect!" speach, because I'll just regret it sooner or later. :P However, it's fun to see how much this game has been pushed since the first TAS was published on this site.

Future runs of Solstice will likely be made like this one - just editing in the new improvements, unless a new route is found.

I do really believe this will be my final run of this game. If I'm lucky I might find yet another trick, but I doubt it.

Enough useless words now. Enjoy watching the run! :)

adelikat: Nice improvement. Accepting for publication.

Bisqwit: Claiming for encoding. (The high pitched percussion also calls for Blargg sound engine, I think :) )

NesVideoAgent: Hi! I am a robot. I took a few screenshots of this movie and placed them here. Here goes!

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