TASVideos

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

Submission #3329: FatRatKnight, Tompa, pirate_sephiroth & MESHUGGAH's NES Rockin' Kats in 16:33.71

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Rockin' Kats
Game version: USA
ROM filename:
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 16:33.71
FrameCount: 59721
Re-record count: 22860
Author's real name: Leeland Kirwan, Tomas Abrahamsson, Rodrigo F & Oliver H.
Author's nickname: FatRatKnight, Tompa, pirate_sephiroth & MESHUGGAH
Submitter: FatRatKnight
Submitted at: 2011-10-11 06:06:45
Text last edited at: 2011-12-07 20:18:56
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (14139 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

FatRatKnight's comments

As per rules of Dream Team Contest 4, I hereby submit the winning run of Rockin' Kats.

Our hero this time is clearly an acrobat. Or acrokat, maybe? Wanting to get back in time to watch his favorite Saturday morning cartoons, he abuses grapple physics. I need to learn to grapple like that if I'm ever going to get anywhere on time.

About the game

Not a game I grew up with. However, it was the DTC4 game, so here I am, trying to describe something I'm unfamiliar with.

Your character is some sort of cat (or Kat?) wearing a tie and armed with a useful spring-loaded punching glove. A fairly typical platformer, but does have basic grapple physics when you hook onto various objects and swing off them. There are five channels, the first four of which you can pick in any order, while the fifth one is opened only when you clear the first four.

The basic story is that Jill is captured (5 times!) and you must rescue her.

About the run

As a team, we... Had a hard time getting ourselves into this run. Though, judging from what the other teams did, they also had a difficult time. What with all the lag and the many ways to get through each part, it was tough just to get any willpower to TAS the game.

With the general lack of manpower, I realized we probably wouldn't stand a chance if someone doesn't keep pressing on. And I didn't bat an eye at any potential improvements, as long as it was reasonably optimized, so as to stand some chance against a competent team, by having any complete run by the deadline. I did what I could to rouse my team into making at least a few tests, so that I feel something is going on, that I'm not the only one doing the work. That did get them going, at least somewhat, but they will say I was still the one charging through the game almost single-handedly.

Well, apparently the other teams were hit with the lack of motivation harder than we were. Or, at least, harder than I was. We win primarily due to that. ... We need a different Dream Team Contest game.

As far as scripts go, I didn't develop much. Just a little something to scan the RNGs using the disassembly MESHUGGAH got. And another something to reveal what was supposed to be tile information, but I only got the palette of each 16x16 tile instead. Regardless, it was somehow enough to see the invisible platforms in two of the auto-scrolling stages, as they used a different set of colors for some reason. Finally, I made much use of a modified MtEdit, which merely tracked what frames had lag.

But at least we're through it. So, in the spirit of the Dream Team Contest, I give my cheers, even if it ended somewhat poorly for over half the teams. I hope to see this run obsoleted soon by Team 1.

MESHUGGAH's comments

First, I'm glad I had scrambled with professionals (check lineup). While we worked as a team, this submission was mostly FatRatKnight's amazing attitude's result. I enjoyed this project even this game was a piece of clap (use japanese pronouncation). I mostly did some debugging stuffs and deliberate attempts to decrease lags (mostly unsuccessfully). It worths mention that the game has MANY emulator issues, which won't be fixed in the near future, therefore I don't motivate you to improve it, unless you are good at vomitting. Also take a look at FatRatKnight's awesome subtitles, at least I enjoyed them =)

Possible improvements (this notes regards to FCEUX 2.1.5 old PPU, newer versions won't sync due emulator issues)

  • You need to plan very carefully your route because hex-editing in improvements will make the game out of sync (you have something like ~1000 frames where you can avoid out of sync, it depends a lot on how you abused the emulator indirectly (by playing the game).
  • You can change the lag pattern after the 7th frame (notice we intentionally ignored this to avoid accusations of abusing the emulator) by inserting different input that doesn't changes the menu handling (for example holding B earlier than you would need to at "fast-text"). You can adapt this through-out the whole run, with the combination of reducing/extending various inputs on various frames. This can be only done on some special conditions (due to emulator issues).
  • The Chapter 2 auto-scroll section can be improved with grappling on the invisible platform, similar way as in Chapter 5 auto-scroll section.
  • A further investigation of suitable RNG calls for different mid and final bosses.
  • You can skip Chapter 5 "pre-light changing" section mid-boss by going out of the screen, as Team 1 did.


DarkKobold: Congrats Team 2! Judging!

feos: Added HD encode with Authors' soft subtitles.


DarkKobold: Congrats once again to Team 2, accepting.

sgrunt: I'll take it from here.


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