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

Submission #1685: xoinx & XYZ's Genesis Comix Zone in 09:34.88

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Comix Zone
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Comix Zone (U) [!].bin
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 09:34.88
FrameCount: 34493
Re-record count: 14276
Author's real name: Leslie Liang & XYZ(?)
Author's nickname: xoinx & XYZ
Submitter: xoinx
Submitted at: 2007-09-01 09:52:36
Text last edited at: 2007-09-07 02:27:07
Text last edited by: adelikat
Download: Download (2473 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:


Emulator: Gens 9.5b


  1. Aims for fastest time
  2. Variety and entertainment if it barely affects (1)
  3. Abuses programming errors/glitches
  4. Takes damage to save time

This collaboration with XYZ is my fourth submission for this game, an improvement of ~40 secs off my previous run and the first run below the 10 min mark. Since many of the improvements were either discovered or suggested by XYZ as with my previous submission, I decided to credit him as a co-author of this run. Without him, I would not be able to improve the run by so much... in fact I may not even be motivated enough to start another one.


Since there has been quite a bit of an overhaul to the run since the previous versions, I have decided to repost an update on my walkthrough for those interested to know what exactly is going on.


A glitch is exploited on the first screen to allow Sketch to pick up the dagger in 1 frame. This is done by pressing DOWN the exact frame before Sketch hits the ground, which results in his landing animation interrupting and ending the picking up animation prematurely. In the sewer, the correct position was found to bump Strigil off the screen, which saved a bit of time too. Finally, the last improvement would be falling through the trapdoor; this was done by doing a jump kick before hitting the ground, which results in the trapdoor being hit and the impact pushes Sketch through onto the lower side of the screen.


Route change right from the start. Instead of using the bomb here to blow up the door, the door is shoulder-smashed to bits and the bomb kept for later. In the next screen, Strigil is cornered to the left and trashed there rather than knocking him across to the right. This is because the delay before you can grab Strigil again is shorter if he collides into a wall, as compared to if he falls and hits the ground. Unfortunately, the space is too tight to bump him off the screen right from the spawn. The rest of the stage is similar to before, except that the dagger and bomb are used to dispose of a flying creep and Gravis more efficiently.


Better pixel alignment allows for the screens up to the tournament to be cleared slightly faster. The first major change came at the tournament, as discovered by XYZ once again. Using the PowerFist here immediately cuts the talking and spawns the enemies, saving more than 10s. Although this uses up the PowerFist reserved for the final screen previously, time saved by using it in the tournament is much more significant, mainly due to the animation of using the PowerFist prevents Sketch's movement in the last screen, but it doesn't quite matter while waiting in the tournament.


Instead of skipping the free "?" power-up on the second screen, it is manipulated into another PowerFist for the final fight against Kung Fung. By using the fist at the right time against Kung Fung, XYZ discovered that Kung Fung could be made to appear immediately, cutting away the portions where he floats around shooting fireballs. This effectively shortens the fight by around 10 seconds.


The strategy on the first screen is slightly different. The second green monster spawned is killed much earlier than in the previous versions, ie immediately after the third has been spawned, rather than keeping it for after the fourth. This is because with the right combinations of attacks, it could be taken out even before the fourth materializes, which means that the fifth green monster would similarly appear much earlier. The grenade on the next screen was picked up using the same glitch as on the first stage. Other than these, the rest of the stage were just minor optimizations.


Major route change on this stage which resulted in saving more than 16s. Instead of manipulating 2 PowerFists as the previous versions have all gone for, 1 of the PowerFists was substituted for a grenade. Also, the same route as Zer0's first run was used, heading to the left in the second screen rather than to the right. Here, dropping a bomb down the hole proceeds the game, which beats waiting for the 3 creep generator to appear had Sketch gone right. However, coming from the left this time, the screen with the mine blocking the down arrow becomes vastly different. Now there isn't a safe zone anymore, so after destroying the mine, intentionally jumping into the crane above allows Sketch to take less damage, allowing him just enough health for 1 last paper plane, which is employed in the next screen. The plane kills of 1 Strigil and the other is just in place to be bumped out of the screen, so perfect :) The next screen is also done differently, since the Gravis happen to be in such a perfect position to be bumped out of the screen. However since his health is so low, a paper plane is out of the question, so the second last screen is just cleared via brute force, but still good enough for a quick finish. Mortus is done the same, however 1 extra frame after activating the switch to turn Sketch around just for a change :)


Stage V3 V4 Difference
1-1 4325 4116 209
1-2 6921 6834 87
2-1 6898 6410 488
2-2 5277 4619 658
3-1 4726 4499 227
3-2 8127 7153 974
In-game Time 36274 33631 2643
Length of Movie 37158 34493 2665
Total Score Tallying Screen 884 862 22

22 frames were gained by optimizing the score tallying screen.

Note that the method of determining the start and end of a stage is different; instead of taking the frame when the screen first lights up to the frame the screen finally blacks out, I took it as the duration between the first and last frame that input is still being accepted(as indicated by Gens 9.5b). As such, some level times may appear longer than earlier reported.


Though I'm pretty satisfied with the results this time around, I'm sure that's it is only a matter of time before even this time can be easily beaten. My experience with this game has taught me to experiment with everything and anything possible; a game this glitchy would have a countless number of possible shortcuts and exploits to quicken the completion time. Many of the glitches found in this run have been just as inexplicable as before and the quickest possible time will never be attained until all possibilities can be exhausted... good luck to anyone else interested in running this game :)


"To be added"
NesVideoAgent: Hi! I am a robot. I took a few screenshots of this movie and placed them here. I'm not sure I got the right ROM though. Well, here goes! Feel free to clean up the list.
(Screenshots removed, wrong ROM.)

Truncated: Accepted for great justice.

adelikat: Processing.

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