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

Submission #3364: rchokler's NES Puzznic in 29:02.75

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Puzznic
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Puzznic.nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 29:02.75
FrameCount: 104737
Re-record count: 8001
Author's real name: Roman Chokler
Author's nickname: rchokler
Submitter: rchokler
Submitted at: 2011-11-16 16:01:41
Text last edited at: 2011-12-21 22:17:25
Text last edited by: ledauphinbenoit
Download: Download (18834 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Presents superhuman solutions to all the levels in the game Puzznic. The ROM has two games built in. The other game is Gravnic, but a Gravnic TAS would be boring due to it being trivial.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: FCEUX version 2.1.5
  • Abuses glitches
  • Heavy block-juggling

About the run

The solutions depicted to most levels are far from trivial though most are likely to be optimal (or near optimal at least). The run takes heavy advantage of the fact that the game requires for all the blocks on the field to land before groups blocks of common type are destroyed. This allows for solutions that are far faster than would be possible if the blocks didn't have to land. I refer to this strategy as "block-juggling".


Blocking an elevator with a block that doesn't touch the ceiling or floor.

This occurs when two blocks are dropped on an elevator with one placed to rest on the other. The bottom block starts falling and if by the time it landed it fell less than a block-height, the top block stays suspended and acts as a barrier to the elevator holding the bottom block. This trick also works if done below the elevator.

Using a block that is temporarily suspended in mid air as a platform for other blocks.

There are a number of examples of this in the run, including removing some blocks from a suspended stack.

Moving a block in mid air.

If you pick up a resting block with a cursor before some blocks are to be destroyed and hold it during the destruction, then the input to move the block will succeed if tried one frame before the game starts making suspended blocks fall and resuming elevator movement. This is used to make some interesting solutions, especially near the end where the level looks like it has been lost until it gets rescued with this trick.

Destruction of lone blocks.

This occurs if two or more blocks of the same type are grouped together for destruction, but before the destruction, some of the blocks in the group are allowed to fall. Even if the group breaking results in some of it's blocks being isolated from the others of the group, they will still be destroyed as though they are still part of that former group. This probably happens because the game does not test for group breaking and thus does not remove these blocks from the list of those to be destroyed.

To save time, suspended blocks are made to fall faster when appropriate by pointing the cursor over the blocks one at a time and tapping A.

Possible improvements in the future

The solutions are not guaranteed to be optimal as many levels contain large numbers of blocks. In the future, I may find faster solutions to any of those levels that may not be optimally solved in this submission.

No ReRecords

This TAS was made by manually editing the file in the Crimson text editor after it was created with the Record Movie option in the emulator. I estimate that I made an average 50 edits per level, if the end-of-level bonus screen is included. There are 160 levels so the edit count would be about 8000. This would have been the ReRecord count if I were to have used ReRecording. If the re-record count is absolutely important, feel free to edit it by replacing 0 this figure before publishing this run.

klmz: Submission file updated with one 370 frames shorter due to changes in certain levels by the author. The re-record count was manually set to 8000+1 as the author suggested.

Mukki: Judging...

Mukki: The viewer response to this one has been broadly positive. While lengthy puzzle games don't often make for good TASes the fact that this run includes many unexpected and seemingly impossible solutions definitely puts it above the rest. I agree that games of this nature can be quite entertaining where the author can become more creative with the puzzles and avoid simply manufacturing a walkthrough. Accepting...

ledauphinbenoit: Processing...

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