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

Submission #1810: Randil's NES Goonies, The in 02:34.03

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Goonies, The
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Goonies, The (J).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 02:34.03
FrameCount: 9242
Re-record count: 6802
Author's real name: Johan Södling
Author's nickname: Randil
Submitter: Randil
Submitted at: 2007-12-22 20:11:04
Text last edited at: 2007-12-23 09:21:47
Text last edited by: Randil
Download: Download (1247 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

The Goonies TAS by Randil

This run improves the published run by 48 frames thanks to better luck manipulation and some improved movements, in particular making the ghost appear sooner.

  • Emulator used: FCEU 0.98.16
  • Aims for fastest possible time.
  • Takes damage to save time.
  • Uses death as a shortcut.
  • Manipulates luck.

About the game:

The Goonies is a pretty short game with a whole lot of randomness thrown in for good measure. The goal in the game is to rescue the other 6 Goonies. The Goonies are hiding behind doors, which you blow up with bombs you get by rats.

You have to rescue all 6 Goonies in order to beat the game. If you don't have 5 Goonies when you reach the door that takes you to the boat, that door will take you back to room 1. And I have to get to the boat to rescue the last Goonie, in order to beat the game.

The controls and physics are simple. You can run left and right, jump, and kick enemies. You can also place bombs to blow up doors. If you take too many hits, you will eventually die (the red bar in the top left corner is your life bar).

Tricks and strategies:

First of all, the "pass through wall" trick. This trick is done by pressing start every other frame when walking towards a wall. By doing this, the game will never call the collision detection routine, therefor you can pass through gates. Note that this can't be used to pass through solid walls, the only thing you can pass through are locked gates.

By pressing up+down at the same time you can place a bomb without having to duck. In this run I press up on controller 2, because I TAS with a gamepad, and it's impossible to press up+down at the same time, and I'm too lazy to use auto-hold. ;)

This game is extremely random. There are essentially two random things in this game: Enemies, and what is behind the doors.

What you find behind the doors is pretty easy to foresee, it's decided by RAM address 0009. Depending on the value of this address modulo 4 (sometimes 8) the result will vary. For example, in the first room, the Goonies only appears in the correct door if the value of address 0009 modulo4 = 3, that's why I have to wait for 2 frames before starting the game.

Enemies are harder to manipulate. I have not completely understood how things work here, but RAM address 05E8 is important. The value this address has when you enter a new room decides what enemies will be there. You can sometimes change this value by killing enemies, sometimes it changes when you make the game add another enemy into the RAM memory. Practically, it's a lot trial and error when it comes to manipulating enemies.

The ghost is easier to manipulate. He appears when RAM address 011C reaches 0. By manipulating luck, I manage to get the ghost to appear just 1 frame after I enter the room where I die.

I often have to waste a few frames to get the desired luck, either to get the Goonie to appear in the desired door, or to manipulate enemies. This is unavoidable, but overall, it's not a lot frames.

Closing words and special thanks:

The Goonies is one of these games that are so random that it's impossible to determine if it's completed as fast as possible, even though it's so short. I tried my best to improve the published run, and I think you would need to understand the game's mechanics better, preferably dissect the game completely. Or just be really, really lucky. :)

I want to thank Phil and Genisto for their extremely optimized Famtasia run, which showed many tricks and strategies, as well as the optimal route.

Bisqwit: Surprising improvement by a large marginal. Accepting.

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