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

Submission #4114: CoolKirby's A2600 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial in 00:25.13

Console: Atari 2600
Game name: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
Game version: USA
ROM filename: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) (Atari).a26
Emulator: BizHawk 1.5.2
Movie length: 00:25.13
FrameCount: 1506
Re-record count: 1250
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: CoolKirby
Submitter: CoolKirby
Submitted at: 2013-11-24 23:41:18
Text last edited at: 2013-12-19 14:42:54
Text last edited by: turska
Download: Download (607 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
This is a 9 frame improvement to adelikat and Cardboard's published run through the use of a new trick I discovered.

(Link to video)

About this run

  • Aims for fastest real-time (shortest input)
  • Emulator used: BizHawk 1.5.2 (syncs on 1.5.3 as well)
  • Genre: Adventure

The published run's submission text was ridiculously hard on this game, but I don't think the person who made it did a bad job given the time he had to work on it. The game is complete, there aren't any game-breaking glitches, and it's not unfairly hard like Cheetahmen II. And it's not nearly as hard to TAS as they said it was either; Kirby's Adventure is more of a Nightmare (see what I did there?) to TAS than this.

7 frames were saved from the new trick, and 2 frames were saved from more accurate emulation (BizHawk 1.3.0's CPU timing fix). Since I wouldn't want anyone to think I sneakily improved a well-optimized run through emulation differences alone, I've recreated my run on BizHawk 1.2.0, the version used by the published run.

The new trick

When exiting a pit, instead of holding Up to float straight up after pressing B to stretch E.T.'s neck, you can hold Up + Left/Right instead and somehow save a few frames each time you do it. How many frames it saves (if any) each time seems to depend on how much invisible lag is reduced while rising out of the hole.


  • 2 frames saved from less startup lag
  • 2 frames saved from using the new trick in the first pit
  • 6 frames saved from using the new trick in the second pit (and apparently lag reduction)
  • 1 frame lost due to a worse position at the end (but it's worth it; a better position would lose five more of the lag frames I saved)

Possible improvements?

My original motivation to start this two days ago was seeing a new SDA speedrun for this game while updating the SDARunsWithoutAPublishedTAS page. I noticed it used a much faster route than the published TAS, utilizing the teleport points spread out across the map, so I immediately decided to make a faster run using this route.

Optimizing the movement and using my new trick, I saved over a second from the published run. Unfortunately, teleporting even once messes up the FBI Agent's timer, and no matter what I did before warping back to the main area, I couldn't stop him from walking in during the final countdown and scaring away the mothership. I later found out that this behavior was already known by the previous authors and they couldn't find a solution either. Since there was no way to keep the time I had saved, I settled for improving the no-teleport route.

This is my original run, but with additional input to manipulate the men as well as provide entertainment during the countdown. This beats the real-time run by 56 frames and the published TAS by 98 frames at the frame the mothership is visible. I don't expect timing to change for TASes just to make the mothership appear earlier, but if a way is ever found to use the teleports and still keep the Agent and Scientist away, this movie should be useful.

Thanks to

  • DSmon for his real-time speedrun, which motivated me to make both runs (even though the teleport route didn't work out)
  • adelikat and Cardboard for the previous run and all the helpful information in their submission text
  • Spikestuff for his RTA vs. TAS comparison videos
  • The BizHawk team for the awesome emulator
  • You, for watching

Suggested screenshot


turska: Judging.
turska: Accepting for publication as an improvement to the published movie.

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