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

Submission #2458: Phil's NES Bionic Commando in 13:45.26

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Bionic Commando
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Bionic Commando (U) [!].nes
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 13:45.26
FrameCount: 49597
Re-record count: 71198
Author's real name: Phil. Côté
Author's nickname: Phil
Submitter: Phil
Submitted at: 2009-11-20 17:52:42
Text last edited at: 2011-01-02 01:03:38
Text last edited by: Nahoc
Download: Download (9278 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

General info

It has been long time I've started this monster. A side project alongside Zelda and SCV4. This is an improvement of 742 frames, ~12.35 seconds, over Cardboard and JXQ version . I wanted to finish and submit the Hitler no Fukkatsu TAS at same time but I've decided to not complete it. However if there are many requests, I might finish it.

  • Emulators used FCEU 0.98.16 to 0.98.25. Then FCEUX 2.0.2 and 2.1.1. (FCEUX 2.1.1 recommended)
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Genre: Platform

New and already known techniques

The hooked up, turn around technique: It is not really a new technique. It's just absent in all previous TASes. Don't tell me why as I'm wondering myself. When the hero is hooked up to an upper platform, like in previous runs, he just stands still hooking up. While playing normally, I found that I can make the hero to turn around. Facing the opposite direction. It sounds an absurd technique, but trust me when I say that this makes directly or indirectly the third if not the half of the improvement. It involves new strategies and routes.

Then there is the Pulled off to other side bug: It is discovered by Bisqwit many years ago but seems untested before me, that allows the hero to be pulled off to other side. This can only be done when the hero is in the air and use the grappling at correct timing toward the screen limit. If well done, the hook will appear at the opposite side and will pull the hero there. But only if the hook has been fixed to something of course.

The pass through floor trick: It deserved a special mention since it is a huge timesaver trick. At some occasions, area 10 and 12, I am using the grappling hook to pass through floor for major shortcuts.

Using the hook on an elevator to get a better swing: The elevators in this run are in area 12. While the grappling hook is being thrown and the hero on the elevator of course, it is possible to move the elevator upward or downward and thus makes it possible that the grappling hook is fixed farther on the roof for a better swing or for just a simple swing at all, since there are some places where the hero were just walking in previous movie.

Finally, the Quick swinging: Found by Cardboard and JXQ. A really useful trick. However, since it was mostly used optimally in their run, it wasn't a big timesaver over their run. But there are still some few places they didn't use it when it could have been used.

Some useful memory addresses

$784-788 : Bosses energy
$b7 and $bf : Screen X position
$20f, $2f7 and 2ff : Hero X position in current screen (Dunno which one is more reliable but that's enough for tasing)
$200 : Hero's head Y position in current screen
$5a9 : Hero's feet Y position in current screen?

Improvements

First of all, all bosses, except one which I don't remember, have been improved. Also there is a 8 frames rule in that game. That's why improvements in areas are always multiples of 8. In almost all areas, there are improvements here and there. I will mention only the major ones.

From power-on to beginning of area 5: Nothing improved there. However, I found a different and faster way to obtain the orange communicator but it's nullified due to frames rule.

Area 5: This area is the perfect example of how the hooked up, turn around technique is so useful. 64 frames faster.

Area 3: Most of the improvements are in 2nd part of this area. 32 frames faster.

Area 6: At 2nd section of this area, the Pulled off to other side trick has been used there. And this is the only place I could make it to occur. Also, this part reminds me of Original Donkey Kong. Some Giants grabs huge balls(maybe some rocks), throw them then they change into "Spiked balls" :S. 80 frames faster.

Area 14: As you will notice, I did make a bullet to appear from an enemy that normally never drops. No improvement there.

Area 9: Most of the improvement is by optmimizing the route to the boss. 80 frames quicker.

Area 7: 88 frames faster due to major improvement at the boss. Also, just to make things clear, it's ~2.75 seconds slower to beat that area with the rocket launcher.

Area 10: Passing through floor 2 times has made most of the 176 frames improvement possible.

Area 11: 32 frames quicker. I want to mention there is optical illusion at 2 places. They looked slower but are actually faster. Trust me.

Area 12: The main base of the nazis and Hitler. But... omg no, it's just a bullshit of some empire with Master D as its head. And an eagle as their emblem... An eagle ??? On the American version. o_0 Ok I guess it's supposed to be an albatross but seriously it really looks like the . Sadly, another game during the NES era that get censored for the worse. Anyway... The major improvements in this level are essentially from extensive uses of pass through floor and Using the hook on an elevator to get a better swing tricks. 190 frames saved there.

YOUR NUMBER'S UP! MONSTER!

It's not an easy TASable game but not as hard as Zelda and SCV4. I can't certify it is perfect. I feel it can be improved though don't know how now. I didn't take the time to find some subpx memory addresses and how the grappling hook mechanic really works.
The Cyborg boss says "It' too early to feel safe."
My reply: "It's still a nice improvement. And you are dead. :P"

Special thanks

Feitclub, Genisto, Bisqwit and the other people I don't know for finding tricks. Also Cardboard and JXQ for their useful discoveries in their nice run.
Nach: An exciting run, which is a welcome improvement over an already existing exciting run. Accepting.

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