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

Submission #2371: Randil's NES Kid Kool in 14:03.33

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Kid Kool
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Kid Kool (U).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 14:03.33
FrameCount: 50683
Re-record count: 15135
Author's real name: Johan Södling
Author's nickname: Randil
Submitter: Randil
Submitted at: 2009-08-12 16:00:06
Text last edited at: 2009-08-16 08:04:48
Text last edited by: Randil
Download: Download (10968 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:
Cancelled due to known improvements. I will make an improved version. See my latest post for more info.

There are games that are fun to play but make for a boring TAS. Then there are games that are terrible to play, but make an entertaining TAS. In my opinion, this run is the latter. Kid Kool is a guy who can run very fast, and he has a furry ball that he uses as a weapon. For some reason, enemies can't take getting hit by this soft buddy, so throwing him on enemies will kill them. This game is pretty much a rip-off of Super Mario Bros, just a lot worse.

About the game

The story in the game is that you have to collect 7 herbs in order to save the king's life. He need them for a certain medicine or something, I guess.

Kid Kool is, as stated above, in many ways a rip-off of Super Mario Bros. The goal on each stage is simply to get from start to finish. Every third level there is a boss, who you kill by jumping on a pump until it hits the bottom. Sometimes the boss' neck is the pump. Yes, really.

The first thing you'll notice is that it takes quite a while for Kid Kool to accelerate to top speed. But once he has, he runs pretty darn fast. Keeping top speed throughout the whole level isn't always possible, but overall, I keep top speed throughout most of the levels. The most common reason for slowing down is to avoid bumping in to a wall.

Kid Kool can't accelerate during a jump, he maintains the speed he had when the jump was made during the entire jump.

Kid Kool can also jump on water, as long his speed is high enough. He can't jump on water if he lands on it after a jump.

You can jump on enemies, just like in SMB, however, enemies usually take several jumps to kill - they usually get pushed down into the ground by the first jump.

After each stage, there is a wheel of fortune type game, where you have a chance to get extra lives. You need to have collected sacks of coins in order to play this game, but obviously this would only waste time in a TAS, therefor I avoid all sacks of coins. The sacks are found in hidden boxes throughout the level (kinda like those hidden boxes in SMB).

Everyone who has played this game will learn to hate the air cannons. These horrible, horrible, cannons are mounted to the wall, gruond or roof, and will shoot air puffs. These air puffs will push you in the direction they're travelling. These are the source of several slowdows in this run.

The furry ball that I pick up on level 1-1 is your only weapon in this game. You throw him at enemies to kill them, and after a while, he comes zooming back to you. You can not deal damage to bosses with him.

Some comments on this TAS

When I started this run, I wasn't sure I would submit it, because I thought it would be pretty dull. But after doing the first 4 worlds, I changed my mind about it - although the game isn't the best game out there, I really do think it makes for a nice TAS.

The only thing I had to compare to was an old WIP by Krieger, which did the first 9 levels of the game. This run improves that run on all levels, but it should be noted that his run was just a test run, and not frame optimized. I've looked around on the internet for a run of this game, but haven't found anything, so perhaps this is the first complete speedrun of this game!

Here I'll comment on things that might look odd or that I think need commenting:

  • The way the pump works on boss levels is quite complex. There is a timer that decides when you can jump on the pump again, and this timer will only increase when you're in mid-air. So you want to keep on jumping after you hit the pump, and at the same time avoid getting hit by the boss.
  • I manipulate luck (kill the boss on a specific frame) to make the herb move to the right when it appears on screen.
  • Basically all weird slow downs, especially the long wait in level 3-2, is done in order to manipulate the air cannons. The only way I found to manipulate them is to wait, so at times there will be some ugly, but non-avoidable, maneuvers.
  • If I run back a bit at the start of a level, it is to gain a bit more speed before a jump.
  • Around frame 8550 I stop when I hit the ground. Here I abuse the fact that by stopping when you're moving at top speed, Kid Kool will continue moving forward over the gap without falling down. If I didn't stop here, I would fall down the gap.
  • Kid Kool can't run on sand without slowing down, so I avoid doing so where possible.

Thanks to Krieger for his WIP, and thanks to Maximus for TAS movie editor, which was used a few times in the making of this run.


Truncated: Movie file replaced. According to Randil:

I redid this level (5-3) from this point, and succesfully edited it in, and this trick saved about 80 frames. I also managed to kill the boss slightly faster, so a total of 106 frames were saved!

Randil: Cancelled due to known improvements, see discussion thread.

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