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

Submission #2876: Tompa's SNES Donkey Kong Country in 16:22.63

Console: Super NES
Game name: Donkey Kong Country
Game version: USA v1.0
ROM filename: Donkey Kong Country (U) (V1.0) [!].smc
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 16:22.63
FrameCount: 58958
Re-record count: 68190
Author's real name: Tomas Abrahamsson
Author's nickname: Tompa
Submitter: Tompa
Submitted at: 2010-10-10 13:26:49
Text last edited at: 2011-01-02 01:00:32
Text last edited by: Nahoc
Download: Download (5207 bytes)
Status: published
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(Link to video)

Donkey Kong country in 16:22.63 by Tompa.

Settings and information

  • SNES9X 1.51.
  • Takes damage to save time.
  • Aims for fastest time.
  • Uses warps.
  • Abuses programming errors in the game.

This run is 28933 (8 minutes, 2 seconds and 13 frames) frames faster than the previous run by Arnethegreat here .
The in game time is 14:26.28, about 7 minutes and two seconds faster.

In May 2007 I started TASing this game together with Arnethegreat, the goal was to improve the 101% run as we both knew of many improvements. But because of many restarts because of improvements because of new tricks and our general goal to make it as perfect as we goal, we never really got to finish it. The current progress is up to the middle of the fourth world, but is yet again going to be redone.

A couple of months ago, we (Arne and I) found a new warp glitch (Explaind further down) that would skip several levels, including one that made both the any% and the 101% stop its progress for a long time. This gave me instant motivation to work as hard as I could on this run to actually finish it. So I started the project in August this year and worked several hours almost every day. The plan was to have Arne to work along with me, but because of his lack of motivation as well as other things to do, I ended up working on this run myself. A huge thanks to Arne however for all his help with the run!

Tricks and glitches used:

Continues rolling (Originally "JXQ-Roll", and no, JXQ has nothing to do with it and yes, I got his approval to use his name for the trick):

Normally when you make a roll, the roll will stop after awhile and you'll have to jump without losing too much speed. But if you, while rolling, release Y for a frame, press B+Y for one frame and then Y, you'll start a new roll while keeping the speed. However... If you do this when half of the first roll is done, when Diddy is on his way up to his feet that is, the roll will become a slower one. Also when you are rolling from one platform to another, with a hole or something inbetween, you'll also lose some speed when you start a new roll. This trick is saving a lot time throughout the run.

Extended Rolling

When rolling into an enemy while holding Y, Diddy/Donkey will start a new roll and will gain extra speed. Sometimes you do not want to start that new roll at once. So you can release Y before hitting the enemy, and then press Y later on to start the new + get the speed. This is often used to be able to clear a gap.

Corner boosting

Some corners will give you boost when rolling down for them. They can also be used to make a Barrel Boost, where you pick up a barrel and jump at the edge of the corner to get extra speed.

The "right" trick

Not sure what to call this... So I used the name that Arne and I have been using. Basically, when you are approaching and exit and hold right, Diddy/Donkey will walk into the exit at the first possible frame and walk until he reaches the edge of the screen and then the level ends. But if you don't hold right, Diddy/Donkey will roll a little bit further than the "first exit location" is. Once you are at the edge of the screen, press right and you have saved a few frames.


A Jumproll is done by landing on an enemy the same frame as you start a new roll. Even though the Jumproll glitch itself isn't new, Arne used it in his previous any% run, new methods were found how to activate it, which you'll see in the movie. The effect of this glitch is that you'll roll in midair with the same speed as if you were rolling. You can change the direction you are rolling in and to cancel it you can just make a regular jump. Sometimes you are also able to press Y to start a new roll, this way is most of the time the fastest. But however, I haven't actually found out why/when you are able to cancel the jumprolls this way... When Jumprolling, Diddy/Donkey is "falling" one subpixel every frame. So every 256th frame, one pixel on the Y-axis. This can be used to get under certain enemies and objects.

Holding an invisible barrel + warp glitch

This is the glitch that saved the most time in the run, almost 7 minutes. I'll start with explaining the invisible barrel glitch. Arne found out a few years ago that if you threw a steel barrel, jump onto it, picked it up and then jumped into a Star Barrel, the barrel would break eachother but Diddy/Donkey would still be holding something. Later on, it was found that you could simply throw a barrel and pick it up while it's rolling, and then destroy the two barrels. It also works with floating DK-barrels.It's when you hold an invis barrel where the fun begins. Diddy/Donkey is in fact holding something. The object is the next sprite (Enemies, barrels etc.) that will spawn after you have activated the glitch. The sprite won't move and you can't always see that you are actually holding the enemy or whatever. If you try to throw the barrel, you'll release the effect. The effect can be that the sprite you are holding is flying away with super speed, it can be teleported to you, as well as a few other effects. When the sprite you are holding is unspawned, disappearing from the screen, you'll hold the next sprite that appears. In the run, you'll see that I turn around sometimes before and after activating the glitch. This was because of spawning one sprite and then unspawn it so that another one can be spawned.

Makes sense, right? In the end, I want to hold the opening to the first bonus, and this was the fastest way doing so. Once you are holding the bonus you can get to several different locations in the game. One of the three first levels, third level in the second world and the fifth level in th fourth world. The level you warp to depends on how you threw the barrel and which character you are using. Often when you warp like this, the game will crash. With the use of memory addresses, Arne and Deign found which levels you came to when the game crashed. The furthest was the second to last boss in the game, Master Necky SNR. But as the game crashes all the time, there was no way to actually be able to reach that location.

This run warped to Torchlight Trouble, the furthest you can reach without it crashing. In order to warp there, you have to use Donkey Kong and put the barrel down to open the bonus. While the glitch works in every other revision of the game (Both PAL, U and J), it's only in U 1.0 where you can warp to Torchlight Trouble.

Level by level comments

Jungle Hijinxs

Not much to say here, just using every (Except Jumprolling) glitch I just explained above. As I can only warp to the right level using Donkey Kong, and considering he is so slow, the fastest was to throw the barrel with Diddy and then switch to Donkey. Turning around a little a the DK barrel spawned and unspawned the nut from the Necky. And something similar was done at the N before the bonus. Because of how different this run is compared to the previous one, calculating exactly how much I saved in this level, with the use of the warp and the 5second half of Torchlight. Alltogheter it is 24055 frames faster.

Torchlight Trouble

There's "a lot" of lag in this level that was hard to avoid, most of which came from having Squawks. When you start a new roll inside a narrow path, you'll get out at once. The side depends on which one you are closest to. When rolling into an enemy you can't kill, such as the Krusha seen here, you can turn around before hitting it so you'll be bump into him and go to the right. This is sometimes faster.

Rope Bridge Rumble

Bumping into the Army will let me roll into it afterwards, to get some extra speed. I'm also able to hit the tire faster this way. At frame 6450, I'm doing a neat moonwalking trick Arne found. If you want to delay the spawning of an object, you can walk backwards to prevent the camera from moving while you are, even though the speed isn't a bit slower. If I didn't spawn the platform with the tire later, I would have hit the bee after the roll.
83 frames saved.

Really Gnawty

By sacrificing one monkey directly after you have hit the boss, he will then start making his long jumps without any high jump before, which lets you hit the boss earlier. Doing this in the last round of the fight is obviously the fastest, as you'll then skip four high jumps in total. Also, when I only have one monkey on the map screen, I save about 10 frames between each level. As you have to wait until both Kongs are standing still on the level before you can enter, with only one monkey the waiting time is shorter.
142 frames saved.

Oil Drum Alley

The fire in a fire barrel will only hit you if you are standing in the middle of the barrel. You can jump through the the fire without getting hurt. When jumping through the barrel itself you'll even get a boost forward. Here you'll see the first use of the Jumproll in this run. Even though it looks much faster (At least I think so) it only saved about 10 frames. The reason is because there are normally many enemies you can roll through, and rolling through enemies is faster faster than the speed you get from a jumproll.
158 frames saved

Trick Track Trek

23 frames saved.

Elevator Antics

Not really much to say for the first half. This bonus is the only one that saves time in an any% run as it skips several parts of the level. Also show another example of bad hitboxes. In the first revisions of the game, 1.0 and 1.1, the Neckies are unable to hurt you, only their nuts are. So you can stand inside of them without any problem. I have to spawn one of the last elevators at the right time. If I spawn it too early, it will disappear when I jump over the bee in order to land on it. And too early... Well... that's just slower to do.
115 frames saved.

Poison Pond

I have never really liked to TAS water levels. It is often hard to go around the corners as fast as possible and it is usually lags a lot. I worked hard on the corners and I only got one frame of lag (When jumping onto Enguarde, which can only be avoided by being faster or slower). It's sometimes faster to wait with Enguarde's attack, because you can get a better angle at some points.
71 frames saved.

Mine Cart Madness

I must say... I'm a bit unsure why/how this glitch works. Depending on how you get into the cart, you may not always be able to activate it. And even if you did the first part right, you still have to jump at the right frame(s) for it to work. Anyway... The glitch lets me roll and jump in the air as much as I like. This also makes it very easy to do jumprolls with the vultures. Because there are a lot of objects in my way, carts and bees, I'm not able to continue the jumproll for much longer than at the point where the "rolljumping" glitch stops to work. It does this when you approach the platform with the tire on, because you reach solid ground. Some time is lost, about 50 frames or so I believe, in the beginning of the stage because I had to get the DK-barrel. Taking it in an earlier level would have been slower.
6 frames saved.

Blackout Basement

TASing this can be slightly annoying. You can disable the transparency effects so that the level will be bright all the time. But the problem is that enemies and the small platforms, will still disappear from my sight when the level goes black normally. Not really a huge issue, but annoying. Haven't really got anything else to say.
94 frames saved.

Dumb Drum

Having Donkey, you are able to kill the last two sets of enemies faster and it makes the fight more entertaining (I hope). When you kill enemies, you often get a lag frame. To avoid this you can try to hit the enemy either earlier or later by one frame, works most of the time. It doesn't always save time though, because when the drum hits the ground, it may also lag. And if you have saved one frame earlier with the enemies, the drum may lag more. So it turns out a bit even in the end. By delaying the hit to the final enemy it will fly out of the screen faster, which means that the drum will destroy faster as well. Finally, Donkeys "celebration" dance is faster than Diddy's, so I'm waiting to switch character until the start of the next level.
113 frames saved.

Tanked up Trouble

As I had to switch characters in the beginning, some time was lost. But I'll make up for it :). When the last lamp on the moving platform is about to go out, the game will lag. So I have to collect more fuel before that happens. Killing enemies will pause the movement of the platform, so that is also avoided. With one exception...
2818 frames saved.

Manic Mincers

To my surprise, it was faster to take Rambi than to use Diddy the whole level. It's because you, with Rambi, can skip some of the second moving platform.
71 frames saved.

Misty Mine

I've never really liked to speedrun, or TAS, this level. There are many jumps you have to do to avoid enemies and objects, and it isn't always certain what the fastest strategy is. One jumproll was used to skip some parts of the level. I had to delay the last roll a little so that I could hit all three Slippas before finishing the stage.
189 frames saved.

Loopy Lights

The first Klap Trap here is kinda weird. It's the only Klap Trap in the game that is not moving, also the only one you can roll through. I tried to find a way to have the Klap Traps jump without you doing so, and there is one way... If you press B to jump and two frames later press A to switch characters, Diddy/Donkey will start a jump but cancel it to switch instead, but the Klap Trap will still jump. Sadly, this is obviously slower. I'm satisfied with the result in the end at least.
89 frames saved.

Platform Perils

Last level! Not really that hard to do, because of the jumproll that skips a lot (Even though it didn't save as much as I was hoping for). I got quite a lot of lag during the jumprolling, I tried many ways to bring the number down, but it only ended up being slower... Whatever. The jumproll itself is a bit tricky. You need to let the Army roll down from the platform, have it rolling towards the edge, roll against it and turn around so that the enemy will bump to the right and you to the left.
308 frames saved.

Master Necky SNR

Meh, don't like this fight... You keep getting lag that you can't really do anything about. Only trick here is to have the head to appear at the lower section for the final hit.
1 frame saved.

Gang-Plank Galleon

Final boss showdown! Nothing special to add here... Except that I end my input in a very lame way :P. It was the only way to put the total improvement to over 8 minutes.
581 saved.


Arnethegreat: I believe he was the first one I got to know at TASvideos, because of his awesome DKC runs and the fact that he was from Sweden. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't TAS this game at all probably. He has helped a lot by finding new tricks, giving suggestions etc. Even though he is rather lazy most of the time :D. Tackar!

NxCy, Comicalflop and Tjp7154: They watched my WIPs, giving comments and encouraging to continue. A lot of the motivation comes from you guys, thanks!

Toothache and Swordless Link: Toothy for encoding and Swordless for uploading. Thanks a lot!

Enjoy the run and thanks for watching!

Nach: Very nice improvement. Accepting.

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