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

Submission #1639: Randil's NES Déjà Vu in 10:32.18

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Déjà Vu
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Deja Vu (U).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 10:32.18
FrameCount: 37931
Re-record count: 10168
Author's real name: Johan Södling
Author's nickname: Randil
Submitter: Randil
Submitted at: 2007-07-21 22:58:12
Text last edited at: 2012-01-15 20:48:27
Text last edited by: Nahoc
Download: Download (4520 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Deja Vu TAS by Randil

This run is 1297 frames (21.62 seconds) faster than the currently published run of this game. The reason why I'm submitting this today is that today it's been exactly 2 years since I submitted my first run here on TASvideos!

Some new and faster menu navigation, a modified route, and more small tricks make up for the time saved. More details can be found under the "Improvements" section below.


  • Emulator used: FCEU 0.98.16

  • Aims for fastest possible time.
  • Manipulates luck.
  • Genre: Storybook.

About the game:

Deja Vu is a so called "storybook game". This means that you have an interface with several commands that you can do. Basically, you first click on what you what to do, and then click on what you want to do this on. For example, you can first click on "OPEN" and then click on a door to open it.

The story of the game is to get the bad guys Mr. Sternwood and Vickers behind bars for kidnapping Mrs. Sternwood and murdering Joey Siegel. To do this, you have to find evidence proving why and how they did it. You also need to gain your memory back as you wake up with amnesia.

About TASing this game:

There are essentialy 3 parts of TASing a storybook game like Deja Vu:

The route:

What rooms are you going to visit and what items are you going to pick up? This is the most important part of TASing a storybook game. This TAS uses the same route as the previous one. I'm positive that it's the fastest route.

Cursor movements:

This is the hardest part of TASing these games. The fastest cursor route is usually not obvious. Instead you have to do some testings to find the fastest cursor route. I always used frame advance when moving the cursor around.

You often have to plan ahead when choosing how to move the cursor around. Sometimes a certain cursor route is faster for room X, but will make you loose time in room X+1 because the cursor starts in a bad position for that room.

Another things that makes the choise for cursor movements non-trivial is that you can both open and enter doors both via the mini-map and via the main picture. The cursor moves twice as fast on the picture, but on the other hand, the distances are usually a little longer.

Text messages:

This is the most trivial part of TASing these games, but they can be a pain to optimize. Back when I made the first runs of these storybook games, I had to trial-and-error to optimize textboxes. I had to try my way to find the first frame I could press the B button on to make the box disappear, and so on.

This time around, I had memory addresses telling me when to press the B button. This means that I could scroll through textmessages without having to use one single rerecord! You bet that saved a whole lot of time for me when making this run. Of course, I still used savestates on textmessages if I did a mistake, but all in all, textmessages were handled without any problems at all.


As stated above, this run is 1297 frames faster than the published run. This is because of several timesavers:

  • First of all, I found a new trick that allows me to move down the itemlist slightly faster. When the cursor is on the second box from the bottom in the itemlist, it's possible to move down by pressing down+right. This allows me to move the cursor one step down on every frame when passing this box, instead of moving every other frame. This trick saved 1-2 frames each time it's pulled off.

  • I visit the sewers earlier, I go down into the sewers while I'm already in that area instead of going off-route by the end of the run. This saves about 9 seconds.

  • I have the address-list open before I get a new address, where this is possible. If you don't have the address-list open, the game will enter this list, wait a few frames, and then exit the address-list. By having it open when I get the new address, I don't have to put up with this waiting time. This trick will become obvious when you compare the time it takes to get the address to Peoria in this run, to the time it takes me in the published run.

  • Faster cursor routes. Generally, I saved quite a lot of frames by entering a door using the picture instead of the minimap. If I use the mini-map, I first have to press OPEN, then press on the dot, then press MOVE, and press on the dot again. If I click on the door in the picture, I just have to press on it twice with the cursor to enter it. The fact that you can enter the picture from both below, the right, often makes it possible to get the cursor to the door pretty fast.

  • Having "better luck" on the slot machine. Because I've done less "clicks" in this run when I reach the casino, I only needed one more keypress to get the jackpot. I also use this keypress on the minimap, which wastes only 2 frames compared to 4 frames if I press the USE button.

  • I correct some mistakes I did in the published run, such as places where I wait one frame too much. The published run didn't have many mistakes at all. In fact, I think I saved only between 2-10 frames by correcting mistakes.

Anticipated questions:

  • Q: Why do you pick up the {insert item here}?
  • A: A lot of the items I pick up is evidence that I need to have with me when I get to the police station. They prove no actual use for me in the run itself, but I won't beat the game if I don't have them with me when I reach the police station.

  • Q: Why do you discard some of your items before reaching the police station?
  • A: Because while I do need some items with me when I reach the police station, there are some items that I shouldn't have on me, since they will make the police suspicious against me! :P

  • Q: Is there no faster way of getting more coins? Playing the slot machine seems to take quite some time.
  • A: Playing the slot machine is the only way to get more coins. I need at least 15 coins in order to beat the game, so I need to play the slotmachine at least once to get this amount of money. I won more money than I needed to becuase it would waste me more time to manipulate the slot machine to another outcome.

  • Q: Why do you waste a shot on the cabinet in the room with all the medicine?
  • A: Because I need to waste all my shots to be able to discard the gun before reaching the police.

Useful memory addresses:

I have more than these addresses, but these were the ones that actually proved useful in the making of this TAS:

  • 00A5: The X coordinate of the cursor.
  • 00A6: The Y coordinate of the cursor.

  • 00F5: This value is normally 128 but turns 0 on the frame before a textbox appears. This means that as soon as this value turns 0, I start holding down A until this value is 128 again.

  • 00F0: This value is normally 1, but turns to 3 on the first frame that you can press A to make a textbox disappear.

Thanks to:

  • Mr. Kelly R. Flewin for his speedguide on gamefaqs, and for telling me about the PENCIL in the previous run I made.
  • Walker Boh, for his previous run.
  • Cardboard for watching this run and giving feedback.
  • Maximus, for his, as always, very useful TAS movie editor. This program was used a lot in the making of this run, for example when I found some small improvements in the beginning of the movie.

NesVideoAgent: Hi! I am a robot. I took a few screenshots of this movie and placed them here. Here goes! Feel free to clean up the list.

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

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