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

Submission #1868: AnS & Randil's NES Ninja Crusaders in 04:08.45

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Ninja Crusaders
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Ninja Crusaders (U).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 04:08.45
FrameCount: 14907
Re-record count: 20469
Author's real name: Андрей Стребков & Johan Södling
Author's nickname: AnS & Randil
Submitter: Randil
Submitted at: 2008-02-21 14:53:12
Text last edited at: 2008-02-26 17:52:22
Text last edited by: adelikat
Download: Download (2574 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
This run improves the published run by 116 frames (1.93 seconds).

Improvement summary:

  • Optimizing tiger transformations to the limit (new factors were found)
  • Further lag reduction
  • Crossing water surfaces with the least slowdown possible
  • Several context-specific tricks (e.g. walking on tiger back and forth to avoid bumping certain walls; better underwater movement)
  • Subpixel optimization everywhere
  • Better teamwork of both players (one obvious example - level 3-2)
  • Reaching finish line of last level with ninja running on tiger
  • Several frames somehow were gained in boss battles

About the game:

In this game you can transform into different animals depending on what weapon you're carrying. In this run, we only use two weapons, thus can only transform to two different animals: When you're carrying the sword, you can transform into a dragon, which is pretty fast, and can fly straight through everything. When carrying the Shurikens, you can transform into a tiger, which is a really fast and useful animal transformation.

The only downside to transforming into an animal is that it takes some time to perform the transformation, but it pays off.

AnS' comments:

Never thought I'd be working on Ninja Crusaders TAS, even though I played it in childhood. But when Randil submitted his TAS, I spotted several possible improvements and tested them in FCEU, thus beginning to learn the game's mechanics. The game looks simple, but it's much more complex when it comes to TASing. Also it was my first experience with controlling 2 players. Previous submission was already well-polished, but Randil somehow missed one of my PMs with one small improvement, so after publication we decided to redo this run together from the very beginning. Now, final result isn't so significant, but I'm pretty sure the TAS is within 1 frame from perfectness. Hope you'll be entertained by our new boss battles.

Randil's comments:

After watching Xipo's run in the workbench back in November, I made a run myself of this game. However, AnS told me of several time saving tricks, and for some reason I missed one of his PM's about one trick, so the run had to be redone, which was good, because we managed to find a lot more to improve! As the Improvement summary says, a lot has been improved. 116 frames was a lot more than I thought possible. This run is now tightly optimized, and I think we did a good job performing antics during boss fights.

Oh, and this game is not as easy to TAS as it might look. ;)

I would like to take the opportunity to thank my partner AnS, whose TASing skills still amaze me. :)

Enjoy the run!

adelikat: Nice improvement, accepting and claiming for encoding.

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