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

Submission #3430: goofydylan8's NES Uncanny X-Men in 05:05.81

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Uncanny X-Men
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Uncanny X-Men, The (USA).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 05:05.81
FrameCount: 18379
Re-record count: (unknown)
Author's real name: Dylan Alcorn
Author's nickname: goofydylan8
Submitter: goofydylan8
Submitted at: 2012-01-19 01:43:09
Text last edited at: 2012-11-28 19:38:56
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (4006 bytes)
Status: published
Click to view the actual publication
Submission instructions
Discuss this submission (also rating / voting)
List all submissions by this submitter
List pages on this site that refer to this submission
View submission text history
Back to the submission list
Author's comments and explanations:
In this run the X-Men regularly commit suicide and ignore the bosses and level objectives to get save the world from Magneto and his evil mutants.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: fceux-2.1.5-win32 with TAS Edit
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes Damage to save time
  • Abuses death to save time
  • Controls two characters
  • Genre: Platform


Uncanny X-Men is LJN's first foray into the X-Men universe and overall it is a poor performance on their part. To beat the game you play as one of the X-Men (Wolverine, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Colossus, and Storm) and then a second player or the AI controls another X-Men character. The goal of the game is to get two keys in each level and use these keys to get through otherwise impenetrable walls defeating the bosses (Boomerang, White Queen, Sabretooth, Juggernaut) collecting a floppy disk that they drop and escape the level. After you beat the four levels you enter a code and go to the secret Magneto level. This level is set up in the same way except you get an end screen when you finish this level.

In this run I technically play two characters but by far the fastest strategy is to have only the single character, Nightcrawler, alive so the second character is immediately killed off in the quickest way I could find. Using only Nightcrawler is much faster as well because of a few reasons: 1) He is at least twice as fast as any of the other X-Men characters so with a second character a lot of time is wasted at the edge of the screen waiting for the other character to move to a point where the screen can move. 2) Nightcrawler has the ability to "teleport" through objects by running through them at the expense of some health. This means Nightcrawler can take short cuts that the other characters can't. 3) Like part two Nightcrawler's ability to pass through object helps to get to the bosses. As said in the first paragraph to get to the boss fights you must normally collect two keys that are located in the levels which unlock two doors immediately before the boss. When programming Nightcrawlers teleport ability LJN did not account for these doors and thus Nightcrawler can pass through the doors without collecting the keys.

There are really only two cons to using Nightcrawler those being that he has the least health of all characters in the game and as passing through objects removes health you must plan which obstacles you will pass through so that you can get to the end of the game before your health runs out. The second con is his attack. Half of the mutants in the game have the ability to shoot lasers long distance as an attack but the other half including Nightcrawler only are able to do what I believe to be a kick (your sprite just moves forward a few pixels without changing and then returns back to its previous spot). Because of this Nightcrawler has to move to avoid certain enemies that could have just been shot at with the laser. A benefit of this move is that for a frame it moves you forward more pixels than you would be able to run so it can be used to end levels faster saving almost a second overall.

Luck manipulation is shown in the game from the enemy position and the enemies that appear. The location and type of enemies that appear are depending on the x location of the character on the screen when it scrolls past the point of loading the new level portion. I have adjusted to find the fastest possible route but it is not possible to entirely avoid enemies. First to completely avoid enemies in some cases you have to move further than you would to avoid them later on. The second reason is that some enemies are better than others because the game is quite laggy and certain enemy combinations are much worse than others.

Also in this run the bosses are never attacked. Another programming flaw by LJN was that the floppy disks that the bosses drop are not necassary to finish the level so it is faster to never bother with the bosses and continue back to the beginning of the levels once the boss fight starts.

Finally, even though it does not affect the run at all I would like to point out another two errors LJN made in creating this game. First is that the last level is actually a secret bonus level that you must enter a code to get to after you beat the other four levels. The only indication in the game or in the game manual is a cryptic message when you finish a level that says "Seek the advice of the leader of the X-Men, Professor X, if you are not abel to make it to the final mission." Yes the typo is displayed in game. It turns out this message and some others are part of a secret message telling you to find the code on the back of the NES cartridge, but when you look they printed the wrong code. They say that the code is "+B+Up together with Start" when in fact the required combination is "Select+B+Up together with Start" so even if you did finish the game they make it impossible to beat the game.

Other comments

Even with with the poor design this was the most fun TAS I have done so far. I hope you all enjoy

DarkKobold: Judging. This will be a hard decision.

DarkKobold: In the end, there really isn't much TAS potential in this game. The run was done well, for what the game is. However, in the end, this game really lacks any technical merit to demonstrate in a TAS. Additionally, a large amount of the audience found it rather dull, Thus, it really fails to be a publishable-worthy TAS.
turska: Unrejecting.

Mothrayas: Judging in consideration of the vault.

Mothrayas: Accepting for the vault.

Ilari: Processing

Similar submissions (by title and categories where applicable):