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

Submission #2867: DarkKobold's PCE Dungeon Explorer "5 player" in 20:19.3

Console: TurboGrafx 16
Game name: Dungeon Explorer
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Dungeon Explorer (USA).pce
Branch: 5 player
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 20:19.3
FrameCount: 72946
Re-record count: 10667
Author's real name: K. Thomson
Author's nickname: DarkKobold
Submitter: DarkKobold
Submitted at: 2010-10-09 20:00:26
Text last edited at: 2010-10-15 02:46:01
Text last edited by: sgrunt
Download: Download (50916 bytes)
Status: published
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(Link to video)
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From Wikipedia: "Dungeon Explorer is an action/role-playing game released for the TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine in 1989. It centered around the quest of several heroes to find the Ora Stone for the former king of Oddesia. When the alien race that now rules the land invaded, the stone was hidden deep in the dungeons of the land by the King to keep it safe. Now, however, the king wants the players to recover the stone, which can bring life, light, and happiness, and to kill the alien king, Natas: King Satan."

The Game

DE is very close to Gauntlet in form - enemies spawn endlessly from spawn points, which can be destroyed. However, DE has far more depth; there are boss fights, characters have stats, magical powers, and the dungeon layouts are varied and interesting. Also, 4 player TASes are so last month. 5 player TASes are the new 'thing.'

About Stats & Level-ups

Each character has 4 stats, Attack, Strength (HP), Agility, and Intelligence. Agility is the most important stat, as it increases the speed at which the characters run. Attack increase attack power, and intelligence raises the amount of time a spell lasts. Level-ups occur after every boss. Each character grabs a crystal, and that crystal's color corresponds to a stat-up. A crystal changes color after a certain frame-rule. You'll note that I wait for the int crystal to turn into an agility crystal in nearly every boss fight. Also, throughout the run, there are stat power-ups that can be found in the dungeon or dropped from enemies. I tried to luck manipulate as many stat-up drops as possible, as each one is equivalent to a level. Now, when playing normally, they are temporary in the fact that they go away when you die. Since I never die, they serve as a free level-up.

The Characters

Each character starts off different stats. I picked the characters with the highest starting agility, as well as the best spells - each character has two spells; a white potion spell, and a black skull spell. I'll mention the important ones. Spells don't look like much, as the characters simply flash while they are active.

Fighter: The brute force of the team - his Skull spell doubles his attack power, making him the most important character for boss fights. I spend all crystals in the early game building his attack power, so that he can deal the most damage.

Warlock: The slowest starting member, but has some of the more important spells. His potion spell is stunner, which prevents the enemy from moving, and if the enemy is positioned over a spawn point, it prevents more enemies from spawning. This is used often in the last levels, as the number of enemies spawning greatly increases. I use his Skull spell, which deals ~100 damage, twice on the last floor to speed through numerous enemy spawns.

Elf: Second fastest to start, sort of useless otherwise. His potion spell cures himself, which I use in the second level to walk through flames, as there isn't enough space for all 5 characters.

Bard: The weakest character through the entire run, he only serves 1 major purpose - his potion spell casts "Return" which allows me to shortcut quite a few screens. A funny side note - his skull potion only changes the music inside a dungeon, for 1 floor. The bard is the most useless character in a non-speedrun.

Thief: Highest starting agility, and therefore I spend all of his levels gaining agility, so that when he has a chance to go solo, he runs as fast as possible. You will see him alone often in the run.

The Dungeons

Loch Dungeon

You meet Judas here. One guess what happens in the story with a guy named "Judas". I get a goblin to drop a skull near the boss battle. The Bullbeast is obviously the easiest boss fight in the game. Also, I use the Fighter to push the rock, instead of the thief, because he needs as many skulls as I can get during the run. The elf grabs white potions while waiting, so I can use him in the next dungeon.

Gutworm Dungeon

I use the fighter's Saber ability early in the level, to kill most of the flame spitters on the 3rd floor. This is much faster than trying to wait them out. The gutworms have a ridiculously low amount of HP. I also wait a few frames after the gutworm when killing the soldiers to get an attack upgrade to drop.

Baron Castle

The statues provided an interesting chance to use all 5 players outside of a boss battle. Since the Fighter is so much more powerful, he tends to statues alone, while 3 of the other 4 beat on the other side. The plant boss goes down quick enough that I don't need to worry about fly damage.


By killing the flower boss, I free the princess. You'll note that I create a path around the first 'gardener' looking enemy. This enemy has more HP than the final boss, so it is better to just avoid him. I also use the fighter in this part, as he can destroy the rock faster with his Saber ability. I actually destroy a majority of the rocks that fly at me in this level, however it passes so quickly, its hard to notice. The catakiller boss is a pain in the butt, because his head is the only part that is vulnerable, and his body blocks attacks. After the catakiller, I'm taunted by some knight, and use the first of 3 return spells. This saves around 30 seconds.

A note to encoders - there is some sort of glitch in the credits - after the music ends, it takes tons of frames to get to the actual end screen - it is somewhere around frame 135K, almost double the movie length.

Suggested Screenshot

Actual Suggested Screenshot

Flygon: Replaced YouTube modules with a High Definition module.
adelikat: Accepting for publication, yay for adding a new movie category

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