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

Submission #3852: AndiHoffi's NES Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos "100%" in 11:06.47

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Solstice (U).nes
Branch: 100%
Emulator: FCEUX 2.2.0
Movie length: 11:06.47
FrameCount: 40054
Re-record count: 44184
Author's real name: Andreas Hoffmann
Author's nickname: AndiHoffi
Submitter: AndiHoffi
Submitted at: 2013-01-31 00:13:12
Text last edited at: 2013-02-04 21:00:37
Text last edited by: AndiHoffi
Download: Download (48328 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
This movie uses a brand new route and many smaller or bigger in-room-improvements to be 4124 frames (68.73s) faster than the current one.

There are very many small improvements that add up. I will only mention the ones I think are worth mentioning. For the room-numbers I will be using the ones in RAM-address 0015.

New Route

The most important improvement in this run is the new route. At the beginning of this year, I finally wanted to finish the game for the first time (and without support). During this, I developed my own 100%-Route. After I beat the game, I watched the run on this site and saw that my route visited substantially less rooms more than once (31 "room entries" less). I did not change the order in which the areas are visited, but “only” the routes inside the areas. Nevertheless, the route is 2803 frames faster (when using the same in-room-durations as the current run and counting each tower as a single room).

In detail:

  • Castle: 1198 frames
  • Caves: 877 frames
  • Gardens of pain: 184 frames
  • Slaughter yards: 544 frames


I actually went through each and every room in order to find the ones with the shortest time for pausing (to activate the magic). The duration seems to depend on the room’s size and the size of the map that has to be displayed. This did not save very much, but still about 15 frames.

Individual rooms in the in-game-order

Room 176

I like the snatch from the guy’s head. I was trying to push the hat down with the help of a blue potion. Suddenly it came lose from below and I was able to get it without the potion. And without snatching the hat down, I would not have made it out of the room before the exit is blocked by the enemy.

SE-Tower (the one with the staff, starts at room 44)

Originally, I just did not want to wait for the elevator and use the box to jump across the room. Half way through I saw the box in the room above and tried to get it. This is a really close one! If this box came down only 4 frames later, I would not be able get it. This is my favorite improvement and saved 435 frames.

Upgrade-Tower in the caves (starts at room 230)

Here I got around the waiting for the elevator by dropping down one room again, worth about 200 frames (pausing already subtracted).

Room 173

That's a bad room. Waiting for this thing to go up costs exactly 56 frames. But pausing in order to use a potion would have cost at least 58 frames. Since there is no other way to reach the room on the other side, we just have to stand there patiently…

Room 170

Here we have the only double spike-jump in the entire run.

NW-Tower (starts at room 30)

Used another approach here, worth 221 frames.

Room 29

I spent several hours in this room and tried different routes. You wouldn't believe how many potential paths there are in this relatively simple room. Unfortunately, the spectacular routes that use a spike-jump to get on the pillars were a bit too slow. So all I could do is this lame spike-jump and save 4 frames.

Room 28 (staff)

I start on the lower platform, which makes the timing a bit harder. But I can use the times where I “wait” on the box to walk to the left, which makes up for 14 frames.

Room 50

Using a blue potion now to jump on the enemies. This made the room 82 frames faster, while the pausing necessary before costs only 71 frames.

Room 90 (staff)

Found a new in-room-route being worth 21 frames.

Room 249

Please be my guest to witness the hardest-earned 8 frames in the run. It took me two full evenings to figure these out. This room has the only random enemy that I really needed to behave nicely. In the first version, it fled directly to the far-away-corner of the room. Then it took a few hours to figure out how the RNG works: Each time, the game needs a random decision, it consumes the next random number. There seems to be no direct way to influence this. So if you want to manipulate an enemy, all you can do is wait in another room with random enemies for one to hit a wall and to need new directions that come from the RNG.

After about one additional hour of trying around, I got a better behavior where I won 24 frames (26 in room minus 2 for the waiting). And then, it took two evenings to find the perfect behavior and make sure that there is no better way to get it. This brought these 8 frames: 14 in the room minus 6 for the additional waiting time. So please hold in for a moment and honour the effort necessary to get through the room in this trivial fashion in just 49 frames.

Final words

I hope you can enjoy the movie. I did my best to avoid boring waiting times. And hopefully the new moves do help a little as well.

Special Thanks to

  • TAS-Editor - as I learned, this is still pretty new, but I would never have made this TAS without it!
  • Randil for the support during the making of the run

feos: Accepting this improvement.
Ilari: Processing.

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