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

Submission #1807: Aglar's NES StarTropics in 1:01:32.37

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: StarTropics
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Startropics (U) [!].nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 1:01:32.37
FrameCount: 221542
Re-record count: 21384
Author's real name: Mikael Johansson
Author's nickname: Aglar
Submitter: Aglar
Submitted at: 2007-12-20 14:23:14
Text last edited at: 2007-12-22 20:25:24
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (12199 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
This movie beats the current published one by Sami by 15056 frames (4 minuts 11 seconds)

Why this game

I decided to take on my first bigger challenge by trying to improve an already published movie. After some thoughts about which game to choose it suddenly just appeared to me - Why don't try it with one of my favorite games of all time, StarTropics!?

Game Plot

Mike - the main character - is a 15 years old base ball player who comes to visit his uncle who lives on a tropical island. But once he comes there he is told that his uncle has been kidnapped and it's up to Mike himself to bring him back.

Technical things about the Game

The game is quite similar to the "Legend of Zelda" games. You play it in two modes, one where you're in the tunnels - kinda similar to the dungeons in Zelda - where you face enemies, and are of course able to attack them. The other is when you're walking in less dangerous areas and your only action is to be able to talk to people. For more info, especially about the weapons, take a look at Sami's submisson page.

My thoughts of it

To me, the greatness of this game lies within it's difficulty. I promise that if you're playing it for the first time and don't use any walkthroughs or other cheats, it will take you a good time to get through it. It contains two of the greatest riddles (I think) in game history, even though one is kinda destroyed if you play it on emulator, and for most of the tunnels, you have to do something unexpected in order to get through them.

A small necessary spoiler

As we all know who have beaten this game, it has a great ending. However, in this run you want see it all since I'm abusing a programming error which cuts about half of it. I won't tell about it in detail but just don't wait for the full ending ok.

8 Frame Rule

This was a feature I discovered early in the TAS. It works about the same as the 21 frame rule in SMB. Basically it works in the way that the screen can only start to black out in a frame dividable by 8, sometimes it's differs by one frame but that's basically how it works. I think I managed to gain a few seconds by having the knowledge of this mechanism as I from here will refer to as 8FR.



Gained 8 frames due to faster naming of the character (think 8FR helped a bit too)


96 frames gained due to some luck manipulation with the people.
Island Tunnel
47 frames gained due to frame better frame optimization.


Octo's Lair
326 frames gained, mostly because I didn't take the snow doll, very time consuming.
After the Tunnel
6 frames lost due to 8FR.

Storm and Calm

Cave to Miracola
152 frames gain mainly due to better result of luck manipulation.
40 frames gained due to forcing the people to go where I want them to!
Magma's Molten Tunnel
128 frames gained due to beter strategies I would say.
Ghost Tunnel
400 frames gained due to lots of luck manipulation!
Ghost village after getting the crystal ball
64 frames gained cause I walked up instead of right.
West Cave
40 frames gained by a better optimized walkthrough
Hermit's Mountain
72 frames gained due to smaller improvments here and there.


Code sequence
8 frames gined due to faster input of the code, actually I inputed the code 12 frames faster but then they paid a visit to Mr 8FR and where reduced.

Captain Bell

96 frames gained due to... well, you can guess huh?
Captain Bell's cave
435 frames gain by not taking the extra hearts in the falling bridge room and better handling of the bowling balls etc.


Turboss Caverns
612 frames gained (!) due to better strategies for about every room.
Big Rock Tunnel
176 frames gained - strategies.

Alien Spaceship

Warp to Jet-Pack Jumper
32 frames gained, slightly better boss fight.
Ostroid's Domain
136 frames gains, simply by doing things faster:)

Final Battle

Control Center
Lots of frames gained!

The boss at the beginning is worth to mention. It could seem like it has different health every time you face it. Sami killed this with 52 shots, I killed it with 4:). Simply only one of the shots for each iteration takes damage. And after beating the last boss, prepare for a surprice - not very funny one, but indeed effective! I ended the input when the screen started to black out, thought it was best so.

Almost forgot

Big thanks to Sami who made me aware of many cool things, which surly made this movie better than it would've been otherwise.

NesVideoAgent: Hi! I am a robot. I took a few screenshots of this movie and placed them here. Oh! I also corrected the ROM name.
  • You indicated Startropics (U).nes
  • I updated it to Startropics (U) [!].nes

Bisqwit: A commendable improvement over existing movie. Accepting, and claiming for encoding. Also fixed up the submission markup...

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