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

Submission #3234: Exonym's Genesis Aero the Acro-Bat in 30:50.2

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Aero the Acro-Bat
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Aero the Acrobat (USA).md
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 30:50.2
FrameCount: 111012
Re-record count: 27096
Author's real name: Josh VanHoose
Author's nickname: Exonym
Submitter: Exonym
Submitted at: 2011-07-30 06:26:21
Text last edited at: 2014-11-23 14:34:11
Text last edited by: Exonym
Download: Download (10401 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Well here is my first attempt at a TAS, don't laugh too hard. I loved Aero the Acrobat as a kid and I'm surprised it wasn't as popular at it should have been. It's a neat game with it's own varying gameplay, characters, and plot. One of the main things about this game was that it was very hard, at least without tools.

(Link to video)

Emulator: Gens 11a

Setting: USA (NTSC)

Abuses small programming errors in the game (read the level descriptions).

Uses death to save time.

Takes damage to save time.

Goal: Fastest time possible.

I'd like to thank TheRandomPie_IV for letting me use his WIP of Act 1 and about 50% of Act 2 in the first world. It showed me some tricks I used throughout the game.

Details about the game

The Circus

Act 1 (Jump on 7 Star Platforms)

This level was taken from TheRandomPie_IV's WIP. Short little level without too much difficulty. Learned for the first time to drill off a ladder in order to bypass the dismount animation.

Act 2 (Find the Key and Rescue Ariel)

Uses death as a shortcut here, otherwise nothing too exciting. Balloons in this game give Aero an annoying landing animation so I try to avoid them in the game as much as I can.

Act 3 (Jump on 15 Star Platforms)

Uses the trapezes (trapeces?) to gain momentum over the tightropes (the unicycles are slow). Those trapeze artists have horrible hit collision boxes, as you usually need to be to the lower left to kill them. Also found out you can jump somewhat early in the turnstyles at the beginning. The trapezes also are set on the same schedule no matter when I restarted the level, so I believe anything done before them doesn't really matter as long as it's quick enough to catch the trapeze on the backswing. There's a certain velocity you have to be travelling in order to trigger the running animation when jumping onto tightropes, I'm no good with scripts but I seem to have found it.

Act 4 (Jump Through 25 Magic Hoops)

This level is pretty interesting. Jumping on the upswing of a seesaw seems to lift you a bit higher, but I make it more fun by drilling into it! I grab the double drill here to escape some of the water (it takes forever to swim through) and also to drill into ladders. Even if you're not very close to a ladder if you drill it seems to think you are and moves you onto the ladder a few frames early.

Act 5 (Turn on All the Lights)

Here's the first really frustrating level in the game, not only in the difficulty but in the time it takes to TAS. They give you 15 minutes for the level for a reason I suppose. Anyway this level uses another death as a shortcut, costing me the double drill. It isn't necessary anyways as I can grab the next one without any worries. It is essential in the last part of the level. Also did a cool bounce off one of the bubbles into the ladder.

Boss (Meet the Stilt Brothers)

I'm glad I found out this trick to defeating this boss somewhat fast. When you drill into the very bottom of one of the stilt brothers it hurts you of course. However the hurt animation goes on for long enough to abuse it. Aero gets stopped when he hits them and is supposed to fly backwards unable to do anything. I guess it is so close to the ground that it immediately sets me back up for another attack!

The Funpark

Act 1 (Jump on 5 Star Platforms)

Here is where I learned that you could jump on the chomping blocks without getting hurt! This came in handy later, I'll tell you. The ladders on the floating I's are weird in this level. If you land on the bottom for 1 frame then jump on the ladder, the drill off the top of the ladder doesn't catch the edge of the platform for whatever reason. So I used 2 frames and tada, odd. I made good use of the stars that were inevitably collected on the way. I sincerely wanted to shoot that last clown in the level but alas, I had used all my stars on more useful opponents.

Act 2 (Ride the Roller Coaster)

Whippee a roller coaster! Wait, spikes?! This level is straightforward, ride along, duck and jump on an auto-scrolling roller coaster. Though it is auto-scrolling, going uphill does lose speed, which is why I jump up them. I also found a neat trick jumping on top of the spiked platforms. It is pretty much useless, but it looks cool.

Act 3 (Keys Open Doors)

They do indeed. Lots of death abuse here, because frankly I don't have the patience in backtracking so much. Here's where I first use that trick to jump on the chomping blocks (that's what I call them, who knows what they are). These are supposed to kill you instantly, much like any spikes in the game. However while pressing right when landing on them it gives you 1 frame of running animation before it kills you. That's enough to allow you to jump to safety! I use it to get past that stupid cloud platforming section at the beginning. Also I used the fireman's fire breath to kill me quicker as getting hit by it takes away two A's (the health in this game). This level has a bit of lag in it towards the end (I'm not sure what was causing it) that I couldn't seem to get rid of, so it costs me a frame or two on the ladders.

Act 4 (Ride the Rotor)

Oh you rotors, you're supposed to be for machine parts only! This level used to end my game back in the day, as the last rotor requires pretty precise timing. Pretty short level and not much else to say about it.

Act 5 (Jump Through 25 Magic Hoops)

Hooray, more hoop jumping. This level was also on the difficult side, specifically towards the end. I managed to make it over the wall on one of the ferris wheel rides onto the chomping blocks and back in somehow. This could have easily been done the right way, but that's not cool. I also abused a spiked block here that you can land on the corner. Saved a little bit of time at the end jumping on those blocks under the cloud rides. Aside from this, it's hoops galore.

Boss (Meet Mr. Bubbles)

... or Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel controlling some weird contraption that cries and tries to grab you with a fist that comes out of it's mouth.. yep. He's on a damage timer so nothing mind-numbing here. You have to wait until his nose starts blinking before you can hit him. Timed to hit him on the frame that occurs, so you shouldn't really even see it.

The Woods

Act 1 (Find the Exit)

Well time to do as told, but the woods is not my favorite portion of the game. I find it a bit boring for some reason. This level is as straightforward as it gets. just running to the end pretty much.

Act 2 (The Barrel Roll)

Another pretty boring level as well, as there's pretty much nothing you can do for entertainment in this level. In fact I've come to the conclusion it is impossible to obtain every piece of food, no matter how you jump so I just decide to grab the 1ups.

Act 3 (Do the Bungee)

Another heavy death abuse level (and it is necessary, the bungee goes on for quite some time). Even the first one which sends me back to the level start saves quite a bit of time. I don't quite know how keys open big stone walls but I'll leave that to my imagination. Buttons tends to always be on a button throwing spree for some reason but I managed to catch him on his good side.

Act 4 (Ride the Rapids)

Pretty interesting level I suppose. I used the opposite flowing water in places to bounce over the spikes, much like Suklaalevy did in his youtube video. The end of this level looks awkward but it is necessary. You're not supposed to be able to jump when coming off of the rapids, but I found that at an angle on it you can make Aero perform the landing animation as if he's on solid ground. This allows me to drill off my jump and evade the water completely.

The Museum

Act 1 (Explore the Museum)

Yay, the museum. This is my favorite portion of the game, music wise and gameplay wise. It is a very difficult section (since it's the last I suppose har har). I used the first spiral elevator to throw myself forward. It's the same speed as running but it's cooler! I also managed to manipulate the faces to not be shooting flames when going down the ledges. Another thing about this level the cleavers can be on awkward cycles not allowing you to cleanly jump through them. I managed to manipulate them all in my favor. Near the end of the level those stupid fireballs are ALWAYS in the way, so unfortunately I have to slow down.

Act 2 (Ride the Conveyor Belts)

Another annoying level in which spikes are placed in obstructive ways. I use a lot of block abuse (landing on the edge of spiked blocks) in this level. The backwards conveyor belts at the end of the level certainly are annoying but I managed to only hit one.

Act 3 (The Tower)

Possibly the best music in this game. This level is difficult to time without emulation. The weird thing about this level is that there's only one frame that you need to be "ducking" under the spiked walls. This makes it look as though Aero doesn't duck at all! Apart from this and a bit of block edge abuse, nothng else to say except: it's an awesome level. Oh, and I take damage to save a bit of time.

Act 4 (Explore the Secret Passages)

Meh, breaking away from the previous awesome level a bit here, but an OK level. Of notable difficulty was always the lava ride, but perfect jumps eliminates most of that section. You can also drill very rapidly on the destructible walls by drilling the bottom, much like the Stilt Brothers. The ghosts in this level are extremely annoying. Apparently they are programmed to jump about 3 or 4 frames after you do, so a quick downwards drill is necessary to avoid damage.

Act 5 (The Laboratory)

This one is second only to the last boss in terms of difficulty. The music is just a slightly different version of Act 3 of the Funpark, but it was good music then so... Anyways, I'm able to skip the entire lava ride sequence here with jumps, much to my appreciation. The magicians in this level also dont disappear until you jump if you're wondering why I sometimes randomly jump in the air. There's another case of damage to save time here on the rotating spikes. All in all one difficult level.

Boss (Edgar Ektor's Domain)

Well here we are, the final boss and man was it ever hard. You won't notice it in this video but there's always a zap line coming up if you're too slow and often times you were. There are many jumps on this level and the first two encounters with the boss aren't very interestin. You have to wait for his mouth to open to hit him.

To sum up: I think this is a great game and had some very interesting characters and memorable levels. It's also not very slow paced and varies quite a bit in level design, despite it's length. Even if this is gruefood, I'd just like to get this game out there in hopes that someone will pick it up and try to improve it.

Side thanks to Suklaalevy1 wherever you are, for your youtube video. It helped out a lot with certain strategies and it was nice having something to compare to. :)

Mukki: Judging...

Mukki: An encouraging first submission, something I am always pleased to see. I look forward to seeing more of your work. Accepting for publication.

Toothache: Publication underway

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