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

Submission #3947: MESHUGGAH's NES The California Raisins: The Grape Escape in 04:51.5

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: The California Raisins: The Grape Escape
Game version: USA,r2
ROM filename: California Raisins, The - The Grape Escape (U) (Prototype) [a1].nes
Emulator: FCEUX 2.2.1
Movie length: 04:51.5
FrameCount: 17519
Re-record count: 42974
Author's real name: Oliver H.
Author's nickname: MESHUGGAH
Submitter: MESHUGGAH
Submitted at: 2013-04-11 21:26:43
Text last edited at: 2013-04-17 14:56:24
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (3299 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:


This TAS plays the unreleased The California Raisins: The Grape Escape prototype (version 2) on the harder ("difficulty" > "normal") difficulty. There's 4 levels which can be accessed in any way and it has the Michael Jackson mode: You can moonwalk by holding the select button. Notice the character's only damage source is his weapon which can fire if his last projectile (maybe grape extract) is "ended". There's no mario style.

Wikipedia article can be found here

Notice that the temp encode is 30fps, therefore you will miss even frames. Sorry...

(Link to video)


  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates enemies (closer and away)
  • Plays with death
  • Moonwalks. Dances. Walks. Jumps. Shoots for no reason
  • Lag frame removing like a boss

What did you planned?

  • Avoiding simple musical notes - The only item that increases your score (by 100 per notes). This way I can shorten the score screen (wiht 10 frames / note) after battles.
  • Taking damage to save time - To abuse the "jump inside an enemy" bug, I can skip the bridge section nearly entirely.

What did you abused?

  • Jumping on first frame - You can jump on the very first frame of starting a level. You need to start it with B to abuse it (so A is not pressed before the previous non-lag frame). This way I can kill the 1st enemy to make it a violent movie.
  • Jumping from enemy - You have a 1 frame window to jump again if you are inside an enemy. If it has more health, you have a much wider frame window.
  • The octo jump system (8 jump, only starting from land)
You can press "A" 8 times (initial jump is included). The next "A" must be pressed within 7 frames after the last "A" (A,_,_,_,_,_,_,A) (notice you lose 1 because the speed change is 8 frames long and you only have 7 frame window). The speed change is 4+4+3+3+2+2+1+1 if you press A one time. If you touch something, you can't continue your jump combo. So the fastest jump would be ( "A" and wait 1 frame ) x 8 --> (4+4) x 8 + 3+3+2+2+1+1 = 76. The highest jump would be ("A" and wait 6 frames ) x 8 --> (4+4+3+3+2+2+1) x 8 = 152! This means it will like "jumping" again in mid air, and actually "flies" very high. This had to be optimized by making the "jump boost" by ( "A" and wait 1 frame ) without sacrificing all "jump counts" to reach a high place.
  • Manipulating enemy spawns - Enemies spawn locations depends on the character's X and Y pos (respectively...). Notice how I abused it at level 1 bridge section.
  • Manipulating enemies away - You can scroll them away from the screen if you are fast(er) enough.
  • Manipulating entities - You can manipulate things like "elevator", "bridge", "gas puff" by jumping at an exact frame with exact X and Y position to alter them. Things can happen like a bridge goes to wrong order (doesn't saves time in this TAS, because you need to wait the delayed spawn), gas puff doesn't spawns (abused in this TAS), elevator get stucks (doesn't saves time), etc. Sometimes this can be achieved also by producing lag frames at these exact frames (with shooting and holding U (instant lag) ).
  • Horizontal vine boost - Grabbing a vine from left to right with U for 1 frame saves 1 frame. 'Nough said.
  • Vertical vine boost - Jumping on vines every 7 frames while climbing (U) saves 1 frame.
  • Manipulate bosses - Bosses has predefined actions. The only way to start at a different action is to delay the enter of that stage where the boss loads (for example level 1 boss: the final section after jumping off from the bridge section).
  • Reducing lag frames - Lag frames occurs if
... the hero touches the floor / ceiling. This can be avoided with different jump start/length. ... you shoot when multiple (2-3) enemies are on screen. ... pressing U which only useful on vines to climb lags heavily at multiple (2-3) enemies are on screen. ... you advance through a "load next level data" checkpoint. Sometimes I had to keep myself between various positions (for example level 1 "elevator" skips) to avoid this. ... enemy spawns/moves when multiple (2-3) enemeies are on screen. Kill them at the most favorable time.

It was funny to optimize it with these rules in mind.

Some miraculous lag frame reduces can be seen at Stage 2 - I could even save a frame by touching a ceiling to avoid a lag frame. - ignoring the "touch the floor" lag frame by jumping on the enemy, stage 3: jumping on plane to remove 10 lag frames, etc...

Impossible improvements

Stage 1: It's possible to gain 1-2 frames by "horizontal vine boosting" before the elevator sections but gives a lot worse enemies at the bridge section, rendering it useless. This is because you would enter the "bridge" section faster (after elevator) and messes up the possibilities greatly.

Stage 2: It's possible to gain 1-2 frames by jumping over the last rock on the level but gives a lot worse lag at the multiple enemies. Same issue as above.

Generally: when the system is on heavy load (B and U holding at multiple enemies), you can also add more lag by holding select (moonwalk button). I haven't got ever improvement with this, but there's a possibility

Possible improvements

  • It's possible to change the lag pattern by starting levels in different order. You need to waste 0-1-2 frames to change level (depending where are you are and where do you want to go). But I couldn't get the bridge section as fast as in this version. So, the challange is up to YOU! =)


It's possible to make a BizHawk sync by adding 2 lagframes before the start and 1 lagframe for starting the level. I can make one if you need... I hope you liked my movie, see you until my next TAS =)

feos: Accepting.

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