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

Submission #3305: Exonym's Genesis Aero the Acro-Bat in 29:39.23

Console: Sega Genesis
Game name: Aero the Acro-Bat
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Aero the Acro-Bat (USA).md
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 29:39.23
FrameCount: 106754
Re-record count: 59466
Author's real name: Josh VanHoose
Author's nickname: Exonym
Submitter: Exonym
Submitted at: 2011-09-28 16:24:29
Text last edited at: 2014-11-23 14:33:19
Text last edited by: Exonym
Download: Download (9632 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
(Link to video)

This is an improvement of 4258 frames over the previous run.

Emulator used: Gens11a

Uses death to save time.

Takes damage to save time.

I'd like to point out something first to clear any concerns. Near the end of the movie, I slow down before the final showdown with the boss. Apparently I was going too fast, the boss would go up out of the screen and never return. I had to wait a certain number of frames before jumping up to the last area, so that he would spawn.

Anyways, on to the Acts (First parenthesis is frames saved, second parenthesis is frames saved total):

The Circus

Act 1 Jump on 7 Star Platforms (+0) (0)

Nothing changed here.

Act 2 Find the Key and Rescue Ariel (+10) (10)

Fixed a slow drill off the trampoline towards the end, saving 10 frames.

Act 3 Jump on 15 Star Platforms (+96) (106)

Fixed a lot of slow drills in this level, particularly towards the end. Also I decided to save a star for the clown at the end, just because I don't particularly like him.

Act 4 Jump Through 25 Magic Hoops (+142) (248)

Aside from fixing the slow drills near the beginning of the level, I found you can drill up into the hoops, cutting the balloon time by a bit. The seesaw section was also considerably faster. I still decide to get the double drill just to cut down on some of the swimming time, Aero swims incredibly slow.

Act 5 Turn On All the Lights (+408) (656)

Lots of neat new tricks here to save some frames. First of all, after falling from the ledge that the cannon sent me to, I used the hoop to push me left, and the game recognizes the speed as -20 for 1 frame. Next is the section with trampolines and spiked posts; I found you can land on every spiked edge if done precisely. This cuts down on quite a bit of time alone. Then near the end I found exactly which frame to let go of the trapezes for maximum speed, letting me skip most of the following trapezes.

Boss Meet the Stilt Brothers (+47) (703)

Slight alterations of drilling patterns saves an additional 47 frames.


Act 1 Jump On 5 Star Platforms (+140) (843)

Since it is impossible to reach the first ferris wheel in time to catch it 1 car sooner, all of the improvements comes afterward. And those are mainly drilling speeds.

Act 2 Ride the Roller Coaster (+0) (843)

I decided to grab every 1UP this time, causing no increase in speed. I think it is worth it though.

Act 3 Keys Open Doors (+436) (1279)

This level was a big improvement; mainly stemming from the last cloud platforming section (including the last platform where I jump to the ledge instead of waiting). Better drills were used into and out of the doors and off of the elevators. Drills were also used in places to accelerate where I hadn't used them previously (right before the cannon, for instance).

Act 4 Ride the Rotor (+24) (1303)

This level was definitely frustrating to play at normal speed as the timing on the last Rotor had to be near perfect. Oh so many deaths, how I miss you. Only frames saved here are in the drilling speeds; It's a rather short level.

Act 5 Jump Through 25 Magic Hoops (+342) (1645)

I found out here that whatever speed you jump into a ferris wheel car, you will maintain it when jumping out. This is why I do not drill into the first ferris wheel, as it would be slower than my running speed on exit. Also on this same ferris wheel, that pesky clown would NOT go away, so unfortunately I had to jump to avoid his... whatever he's throwing at me. On the section with the two ferris wheels separated by a spiked post, I drilled as early as possible as the collision for a ferris wheel car is pretty lenient in some respect. The game thinks I'm close enough to it and shoves me inside, giving me a frame that is much faster than the normal running speed.

Boss Meet Mr. Bubbles (+50) (1695)

I hate this level, the boss is pretty boring and you have to wait for his nose to blink before you can hit him. Regardless of this, I was somehow able to save 50 frames. Also, you can hit him before his nose even blinks, so you won't see it.


Act 1 Find the Exit (+183) (1878)

You'd think with a title like this, the exit might be a challenge to find. It is not, in fact this is a very straightforward level. I was able to save some frames here by jumping onto the ledge after falling through the tree at the far right of the level. Also, as suggested on the forums by ShadowJacky, I was able to save frames by skipping the seesaw near the end of the level (much appreciated!).

Act 2 The Barrel Roll (+1) (1879)

I grabbed every 1UP in this level, the same as last time. Where the 1 frame came from? I'm not exactly sure.

Act 3 Do the Bungee (+49) (1928)

Faster drilling in most sections is really the only thing that saved 49 frames. Again though, killing myself is necessary in this level, as the bungee drops go on for a long time.

Act 4 Ride the Rapids (+384) (2312)

Interesting level here; I remember the little trick I found at the end of the level last time, and I thought maybe I could somehow use it in other areas. I was right; at the right angle and speed, you can catch a ledge of the logs at the bottom. If running into the logs while doing this, the game seems to want to eject you out of the bottom. Since you can't drill coming off of a log, catching this ledge let's you drill, and in many areas it is faster to drill over some of the spikes. I also evaded every water pool in this same way.


Act 1 Explore the Museum (+313) (2625)

This is one of my favorite levels; in fact, I like most of the Museum levels. The blades in this level are seemingly random, so a few trial and error attempts are necessary before finding the right combination so that they are out of the way. On the first blade however, I somehow managed to jump under it. It worked out in the end so I decided to leave it that way. The real achievement in this level for me was the ending section. It took a while but I figured out a good way to save a lot of frames.

Act 2 Ride the Conveyor Belts (+170) (2795)

This level... Aero has met his fate many a time here (at least by me). I'm glad the collision checking on spiked blocks is off, as catching these edges saves a lot of time. I also found that you can drill into the bottom of a conveyor belt and trigger the running animation which is way faster than the conveyor belt animation. It saves time in one place that I just fall off a ledge and drill into a conveyor belt.

Act 3 The Tower (+98) (2893)

Not sure why, but I like the music to this level. Not much really to say about this level; Only improvements come from watching the movement speed closely.

Act 4 Explore the Secret Passages (+268) (3161)

But I'm TASing, I don't have time to explore.. *ahem* It seems Aero can fit through the first gap in the area with the parachute. Because of this I can drill at the bottom of the fall, saving time. The drill under the ghost after the sideways trampolines reaches the wall, so it's a two in one shot (fakes out the ghost, and hits the wall).

Act 5 The Laboratory (+296) (3457)

This level was particularly annoying to TAS a second time around. First of all, running and jumping on one of the wires was frustrating, as the third jump never seemed to want to land with the running animation. I had completed the level like this, but decided on a whim to start the entire level over, and thankfully I did. On the second time around I finally managed to get the running animation on the third jump. Secondly, the "walking spikes" at the end of the level are extremely hard to dodge, and unfortunately I had to slow down to drill over it. It still turns out quite a bit faster in the long run.

Final Boss Edgar Ektor's Domain (+801) (4258)

The first major improvement here comes from the first sideways trampolines. I was able to catch the electric thingies above and reach the ledge above. This saves all the tedious drilling over to the left. The actual boss fights are pretty boring to me, and there's not really all that much you can do while waiting for his mouth to open. I have to point this out again because it was pretty odd; the final boss did not want to appear at the very top because apparently I was too fast. This is why I delay before reaching the last platform, so that he'll spawn.


I'd first like to thank TheRandomPie_IV for his invaluable RAM addresses and support. This version would never be as fast as it is without him. It was revealed to me that drilling left and right are not the same speed (Right at 3+255/256, and left at -3+255/256 should explain why the speeds are not the same. This applies to any movement as well, as walking to the left at -3+0/256 is slower than walking to the right at 3+0/256. This is why the maximum speed to the left is set at -6 while to the right it is set at 5 (subspeeds vary).

Also, thanks to maTO for his youtube run. It was always my primary source for comparison, as there are no other TASes of this game anywhere. I used quite a few of your tricks in my run, you'll probably notice.

Last but not least, thanks to ShadowJacky for pointing out a strategy in 3-1. It was made clear that I could jump clean over the seesaw and save a good amount of time. Also thanks for your support in the forums, it made me want to complete this even more.

Truncated: Judging...

Truncated: Looks good! Setting to accepted.

sgrunt: Might as well tackle this one.

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