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

Submission #1913: klmz's NES Little Samson in 10:13.27

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Little Samson
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Little Samson (U) [!p].nes
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 10:13.27
FrameCount: 36796
Re-record count: 30396
Author's real name: K.H.
Author's nickname: klmz
Submitter: klmz
Submitted at: 2008-04-02 03:27:09
Text last edited at: 2008-04-03 04:00:06
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (2678 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
A glitched-out movie which is 239.82 seconds (14389 frames) faster than the published movie by JXQ. Improvements came from insane glitches, new shortcuts, better strategies, preciser moves and faster boss fights. Additionally, a dragon in this game was colored.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: FCE Ultra 0.98.16
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Uses warps
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates luck
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Colors a dragon

Comments

Luck manipulation

  • In this game, randomness seems to be related with the global timer which paueses in menu screen. So you need to do things at different frame to manipulate random events in this game.
  • Half of the bosses behave randomly.
  • In certain stages, some enemy-spawns are random.
  • Item-drops are based on how many enemy you have killed. The memory address of kill counter is 0x00BC. The value only will only increase after the death animation of the enemy ends on screen. If the value reaches 72, it will turn into 0.
Here's the table:
Kill Counter (before increasing) Item to drop
23 or 55 Heart Container or Large Heart
31 or 63 Life Potion or Large Heart
71 1UP
8n-1 Small Heart or Large Heart
Other values Nothing

Boss guidelines

Attack Damage
Samson's bells 1 each
Green Kikira's uncharged fireballs 1 each
Blue Kikira's half-charged fireballs 2 each, 3 fireballs
Pink Kikira's full-charged fireballs 4 each, 3 fireballs
Gamm's punches 5 each
KO's unexploded bombs 3 each
KO's exploding bombs 1 per frame, 10 frames per blast, 3 blasts from right to left

  • The basic boss strategy used in this run is quite effective: get invulnerability from damage and spam one of KO's three bombs while inflicting damage with one or two previously lain bombs.
  • Only Kikira(Boss) has invulnerability which lasts 20 frames. Other bosses have none.
  • The energy ball attack of all Mage Bosses blocks your attack.
  • Mage bosses only disappear and transform after their attacks go off screen. Therefore it's better to make them fire towards the nearest edge of screen.

Tricks

  • If you hold any direction right before the auto-walking scene ends, you'll have 1 frame to walk, jump and/or attack. However doing any of this will delay the the event eg. boss setup by 1 frame.
  • Starting to jump without pressing Left or Right direction makes the character jump 1 frame earlier.
  • Releasing A button at certain frames during jumping can make the jump higher and longer.
  • Using a potion before you switch to other characters is faster than using it after.

I'll explain the other glitches when I write "Little Samson Tricks". They are not so simple to explain.

Overall strategies

  • Use glitches as much as possible if they save time.
  • KO's speed and fire power owns.
  • When necessary, switch to other team members to receive some items, finish some bosses off, get to sink into the wall, warp from the left side of screen to the right side, or take some damage to protect KO.

Stage by stage comments

Practice 2 (Kikira the Dragon)

  • I chose to take this stage first because Samson needs a Heart Container from enemy to withstand the spikes in Level 1 and I had to build up the Kill Counter (KC for short).
  • Starting with the scroll glitch to ride the whirlwind earlier.
  • Kikira picked up the Heart Container on the way in order to survive the spikes in Level 1.
  • By riding the whirlwinds more often, I could travel much faster towards the end.
  • 66 frames gained.
  • KC: 21.

Practice 1 (Little Samson)

  • I only needed 3 kills to get a Heart Container for Samson in this stage and I did it.
  • I ended this stage earlier using the warp glitch.
  • 1798 frames gained.
  • KC: 30.

Practice 3 (Gamm the Golem)

  • This stage is straight forward and no improvments could be found.
  • I got a Life Potion for Gamm when KC = 32.
  • 0 frames gained.
  • KC: 52.

Practice 4 (KO the Mouse)

  • I got KO a Heart Container from an enemy during the stun by it when KC = 56.
  • 2 frames lost for luck manipulations for the Life Potion and the next boss fight.
  • 15 frames gained.
  • KC: 62.

Samson VS Kikira

  • I managed to hit the boss and beat her 2 frames earlier and that's all.
  • 2 frames gained.
  • 1 frame gained from nowhere between stages.
  • KC: 62.

Level 1 (Cliffs with Flowers)

  • Kikira got a potion from an enemy when KC = 64.
  • I used two sink-into-wall glitches to "zip" through part of the stage. As there were lots of spikes blocking my way, I had to use both Samson and Kikira's lifebars, and even Kikira's potion to take the damage.
  • KO's life meter was maxed out at 6 bars here when he picked up the Heart Container on the way.
  • KO picked up the potion in the end of the stage so he wouldn't need to get one from enemy like he did in JXQ's movie.
  • There was a hidden passage I took in the end.
  • The mage boss disappeared much faster as I lured him to fire his last attack towards the right.
  • By delivering the last hit on this boss as KO, a warp was activated to skip the next four levels.
  • 310 frames gained.
  • KC: No more useful since I wouldn't need any dropped items after I got the Heart Container.

Level 6 (Buble Platforms)

  • Started with the scroll glitch and ended with the warp glitch, this stage was done pretty fast.
  • The boss failed to gather itself together before getting boiled!
  • 2039 frames gained.

Level 7 (Cliff 2)

  • Damage was taken often to destroy the plants before they shot seeds and cause lag.
  • By using the warp glitch, the last part of this stage was skipped.
  • By not having a Life Potion for Samson when leaving the level, Level 8 (Ice Palace) was skipped.
  • 453 frames gained in this stage.

Level 9 (Green Air Castle)

  • 1872 frames gained in this stage using the warp glitch.
  • If I beat the boss when he faced right, 1 frame would be lost, although it wouldn't be a problem because anyway I had to lose some frames in the next stage.
  • Then 2 frames gained from nowhere between stages.

Level A (Fire Bones)

  • I couldn't use any warps in this stage. However, I made a zip-through at the cliff.
  • 4 frames delay when entering the boss room to manipulate his position after reappearing. If you don't want to lose these frames, just try to enter the boss room 13 frames earlier, which was quite unlikely in this run.
  • Showtime for Kikira and Gamm in the second part of the boss fight!
  • There were two ways to end this stage at the same frame, one without lag and the other with 1-frame lag after the boss' death which I chose because this way I could have better luck in later stages.
  • 70 frames gained in this stage.
  • Then 4 frames lost somewhere between stages.

Level B (Cliff at Dusk)

  • It seems impossible to sink into the first upper-right corner by any means, so I sank into the first upper-left corner.
  • The worm killed by Kikira's fireball didn't take count into kills as KO ran off screen before the end of its death animation thanks to the warp glitch.
  • 2836 frames gained in this stage.
  • Then 11 frames gained from nowhere between stages.

Level C (Tower Entrance)

  • Different music!
  • The "stairs" do not look optimal, but they are. Horizontal movement isn't enough to slide through more than one stair at a time when a ceiling is in the way.
  • The warp glitch again. Note I didn't make it the slightly faster way or I wouldn't be able to use the scroll glitch in the next stage for some reasons.
  • Luck manipulation at the boss without any frames lost by stepping forward before the boss transformed the first time.
  • After this level, health is no longer refilled between levels.
  • 2205 frames gained in this stage.

Level D (Tower 1)

  • Started with the scroll glitch to end this stage with the warp glitch faster again.
  • 1083 frames gained in this stage.

Level E (Tower 2)

  • Started with the scroll glitch to end this stage with the warp glitch faster again.
  • Luck manipulation for lag redution.
  • Note that KO used his Life Potion just before the boss, to take some damage later.
  • 863 frames gained in this stage.
  • Then 22 frames lost somewhere between stages.

Level F (Tower 3 and the Escape)

  • Started with the scroll glitch to end this stage with the warp glitch again. Note that this time the warp was tricky.
  • Once again, Gamm got to play an important role, by using his Life Potion to take two hits and throwing his powerful punches at the final boss, allowing KO to finish it off quicker.
  • It was a fast escape with warp glitch.
  • 537 frames gained in this stage.
  • Recording ended as soon as the last input was delivered.
  • In the end, 14389 frames gained in total.

Other comments

TODO

  • Add something missing in this edition.

Suggested screenshot

  • Frame 14796

Credits

  • Thanks to every author who made and improved FCE Ultra.
  • Thanks to Bisqwit for hosting this site.
  • Thanks to spoonshiro, Mazzic, JXQ and others who contributed to TASing this game.
  • Thanks to zggzdydp as my WIP viewer.
  • Special thanks to JXQ for his time sheets and other help.

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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