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

Submission #3396: Randil's NES Bram Stoker's Dracula in 13:19.85

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Bram Stoker's Dracula
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Bram Stoker's Dracula (U) [!].nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 13:19.85
FrameCount: 48070
Re-record count: 18971
Author's real name: Johan Södling
Author's nickname: Randil
Submitter: Randil
Submitted at: 2011-12-12 20:32:46
Text last edited at: 2012-01-18 18:33:05
Text last edited by: Brandon
Download: Download (8963 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)


Bram Stoker's Dracula is a pretty fast paced platformer, with many diffucult maze-like levels. You have to find your way through several levels and fight a boss every two levels. As with almost all NES games that are based on a movie, this game has little to do with the actual movie.


There have been 2 submissions of this game (actually 3, but the first one got cancelled immediately): Shiru's run held pretty good quality, and a lot of people found the game interesting - the game is pretty fast paced, it's short, and you can save a lot of time by taking damage which in turn forces you to plan ahead where to get extra health, giving the game another dimension of planning.

However, Shiru's run got some critisism - mostly that he could have planned health management better and played around more on the bosses you have to survive for a certain amount of time.

This is my attempt to redeem this game. I have improved Shiru's run by 59 seconds, mostly by taking more damage and killing bosses faster (details are in the next section). I think the game has TASing potential, and I hope it shows in this run.

Tricks and strategies

I'll list some tricks/strategies/notes on the TAS below, in no particular order.
  • You lose 1 frame when landing from a jump, so you should only jump when necessary.
  • If you jump directly after landing from a jump, you will lose an additional frame, adding up to 2 lost frames for this jump.
  • It's faster to shoot during a jump than when on ground, because the attack animation is much faster in air. This is used on bosses, where I usually make many small jumps with one shot each.
  • Attacking in mid-air will make you instantly fall down at top speed. This comes in handy a lot in the run.
  • Turning around on the ground takes several frames, while turning around in mid-air takes just 1 frame, so if you are to turn around it's faster to do so during a jump.
  • There are several weapons in this game, most notably the normal punch, the stones and the "3 stone" weapon. The 3 stone weapon deals 3 damage to bosses, while all other weapons only deals 1. This makes this weapon very attractive, and it's almost always worth getting it, even if it's slightly out of the way.
  • In this run I take a lot of damage to save time. Hearts give you 1 more health, and you can have a maximum of 6 health. I considered dying instead of taking damage, but since this costs around 300 frames and only gives you 2 hearts it's not worth it - it's much faster to grab hearts along the way.
  • After falling a certain height, you will notice that our hero starts flapping his arms. During this animation he moves 1 pixel per frame compared to the usual 2, so you want to avoid falling from too high if possible.
  • Coins (Those blue things that are found in question boxes) will be counted down at the end of the level, so I want to avoid these. Clocks (orange items from boxes) add to the total time, thus also wasting time at the end level countdown.
  • I tried to play around on the ghost bosses, where you have to wait a certain amount of time before you can proceed. I hope you find these sections entertaining.

Thanks to Shiru for his TAS. A lot of his tricks and strategies are used in this TAS.

That's all I can think of, I hope you enjoy!

feos: HD encode.

DarkKobold: Accepting for publication.

Brandon: Publication underway.

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