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

Submission #2721: Gamerskillsfull's NES Top Gun "Speedrun (Cancelled)" in 26:33.46

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Top Gun
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Top Gun (U) (PRG0).nes
Branch: Speedrun (Cancelled)
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 26:33.46
FrameCount: 95765
Re-record count: 854
Author's real name: Mike Randall
Author's nickname: Gamerskillsfull
Submitter: Gamerskillsfull
Submitted at: 2010-06-29 02:14:04
Text last edited at: 2012-06-19 05:47:44
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (23752 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:


I've decided to cancel this for now because of many complaints about the game's downtime and low-quality action.

I believe I can clean this up considerably if I do some sprite following, missile following, and maybe some frame-by-frame synchronized movements during the downtime when nothing else is happening.

Also, I am going to use as many missiles as possible, possibly being able to kill more enemies as a bonus, and making it more impressive with the final targets. This will take me a bit longer to produce, but a really good TAS should take more time anyways!

Thanks for the feedback from everyone, I hope the next attempt will be something most everyone can truly enjoy all of.

EDIT Also, with all of this voting, it's clear you either love it or hate it. This kind of indicates to me that redoing this run may not work as planned to sway votes, but we'll see!

In This TAS:

  • No damage/death run.

  • The bigger missiles were chosen in levels 2, 3, and 4 in order to destroy the target faster. In level 1, there is no target, so it doesn't matter what missiles you choose. Choosing the first set of missiles saves at least 2 frames.

  • No frame-by-frame editing was used for the refueling (I found it easier to do those parts at normal speed, and just use savestates if necessary for increasing speed).

  • Frames were saved by hitting the lowest altitude during gameplay before landing. Otherwise, the game takes longer to go down to landing altitude automatically.

  • This game has a lot of downtime. In order to keep things visually interesting, I attempted to destroy enemies whenever possible; if it wasn't possible to (while avoiding damage), I just re-recorded the section without attempting it.

  • There weren't very many re-records since the game has so much downtime where you can't really do much anyways. Most of the re-records were spent on the refueling sequences, and many on the enemy kills, too.

  • Luck manipulation is NOT a big option, all enemies always do the same thing. The only changing factor is enemy gunfire, and sometimes your missiles will take a different path. I was able to exploit this only a couple of times though.

  • FCEUltra was the emulator used

The Difficulties In This TAS Came As Follows:

  • Making sure missiles only were shot at the target in the end of levels (if there's a sprite in your sights, the game automatically will take out those with the missile instead of the target

  • Increasing refueling speed

  • Hitting many of the sprites, since you most hold "up" or "down" to be facing up or down.

  • Avoiding all damage

For entertainment value I started this run thinking I could throw gunfire at an enemy and hit them just as they appear; unfortunately, as I found, sprites in this game appear at the SAME number of pixels from the center of the screen no matter which way you are turning, unless there are already sprites on screen as a frame of reference for the game.

Basically, it's impossible to get the crosshair over to the appearing sprite. For example, if I know an enemy will appear to the right, so I go back a few frames to try to go right and line up a shot that hits them right as they appear, I can try all I want but will not be able to and it will still appear to the right.

The Game Itself:

  • Top Gun is basically a misunderstood game. The game is not QUITE as bad as people say it is, and the concepts turn out to be pretty good. In fact, the more I played it, the more I liked it and appreciated what the developers were trying to do.

  • Landing and refueling - once you figure out what it is you're actually trying to do - is actually well done and gives you a sense of accomplishment when you do it. The problem is with the graphics, unclear and confusing instructions, and overall gameplay.

  • Remember, this game was PORTED onto the NES. It was originally made for the PC and Commodore 64. In terms of a flight simulation game, Top Gun actually does fairly well. As a video game (esp. for the NES), it hasn't been universally accepted quite as well.

  • Some of the game's flaws, such as EPIC sprite popping, lack of level detail, too much downtime, and overall boring gameplay can be forgiven since the game was released in 1987!

  • The concept of the game is supposed to simulate how actual flight/fight training and combat missions would go in real life.

  • The landing sequences were meant to force the player to monitor his visual distance from the landing target, altitude (up vs. down), speed, and direction (left vs. right). The game has a very nice balance for this once you figure out how to monitor this data.

Unfortunately, due to the confusing gameplay, most people never ended up fully experiencing the game and the good things that it has to offer.

But I've said it before, and I'll say it again: this game takes a LOT of patience to master. But it can turn out to be very rewarding when you accomplish the harder aspects once you know what to do.

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