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

Submission #4164: scrimpeh's MSX The Cure in 08:40.85

Console: MSX Home Computer System
Game name: The Cure
Game version: any
ROM filename: thecure.rom
Emulator: openMSX 0.10.0
Movie length: 08:40.85
FrameCount: 31211
Re-record count: 19438
Author's real name: JPT
Author's nickname: scrimpeh
Submitter: scrimpeh
Submitted at: 2014-01-19 15:58:30
Text last edited at: 2017-10-08 13:05:45
Text last edited by: scrimpeh
Download: Download (150705 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
The Cure is a great MSX homebrew game by XL2S Entertainment. It was released as part of MSXdev’05, in which it won first place. You take control of our whip-wielding hero, out to rescue his girl from One, the most evil one. You can get the game here.

(Link to video)
Temporary encode in 480p, to replace with a proper one.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: openMSX 0.10.0
  • BIOS used: Panasonic FS-A1WSX
  • Aims for fastest possible time
  • Manipulates luck
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Genre: Platformer


The Cure is a 48KB MSX1 platformer that plays very much like Vampire Killer. The game is split up into 5 levels, each with 2 stages and a boss at the end. To proceed, you need to find a white key in the stage first before you can unlock the next stage. Like in Vampire Killer, there are various subweapons strewn around the levels which consume hearts on use. Most of the game is fairly straightforward to run, with the exception of the RNG, which is very cumbersome to manipulate. Manipulating luck is important in this run to set up enemies to be positioned properly for damage boosts as well as to keep enemies out of your way when their positioning is inconvenient. Further details are outlined in the stage-by-stage comments below.

Stage by stage comments

Stages 0 and 1

The clicking noises you hear during the bootup screen is me feeding input to the MSX to influence the RNG. This way, I set up a bat to spawn at the exact right moment in Stage 1-1 for a damage boost. Killing enemies also decreases the bat spawn timer, which is why I kill as many enemies as I can in the beginning. I found that taking damage and using the hit invulnerability to take out the boss as quick as possible is the fastest way to go. You can use the whip every 12 frames. The boss takes 2.33 damage from each whip swing. Every boss has 64 health. Boss movement, barring few exceptions is generally entirely fixed and cannot be manipulated.

Stage 2

The spiders do mad damage to you, which is why I try my best to avoid them. I have to approach the Key in Stage 2-2 from the upper route because the Medusa Heads are on a fixed timer from when you enter the screen. Therefore, it would take too long to wait for one to boost you over. I grab the stopwatch in Stage 2-2 to make dealing with the boss easier, because otherwise, he would move around the screen eratically, making it very hard to do damage to him. The Stage 2 boss takes 2.5 damage per swing.

Stage 3

The waterfalls are on a fixed timer from when you enter the screen. I fidgeted around with the RNG a bit to get a damage boost from a Merman in Stage 3-2. I also grab the stopwatch for the boss again. The Stage 3 boss takes 3 damage per hit.

Stage 4

Before picking up the end-of-level orb in Stage 3, I manipulated the RNG to set up the best damage boost I could from the skeletons in Stage 4-1. I grab the holy water in Stage 4-2 to deal with the boss easier, because it's right on the way. During the boss-fight, you start off in mid-air, but I can throw a bottle of holy water before falling to do some damage to the boss. The giant skull takes 1 damage per whip swing, which makes the holy water very useful for increasing your damage output.

Stage 5

Once more, the green fireballs in Stage 5-1 are on a fixed timer. Stage 5-2 is a big vertical shaft which you need to go down through twice to get the key and then to reach the boss door. The large traps do a lot of damage to you, which is why I need to conserve some health. The final boss has got two phases: The first one in which he teleports around and sends bats or projectile attacks at you. I take damage before he becomes vulnerable to be able to fight him with hit invulnerability. This way, I am able to finish the fight in three cycles. The first form takes 2 damage per hit. His second phase takes the form of the giant moon in the background. You need to hit a tiny black bat flying around erratically to do damage to him. Of the moon, only the teeth hurt you. The bat takes between 4 and 12 damage each swing.

Useful RAM Addresses:

Address Description
0xD9C4 Y Position
0xD9C5 X Position
0xDADC Hit Invulnerability
0xDAE3 Stopwatch Timer
0xDAE6 Player Health
0xDAE7 Enemy Health

Other comments

And that was The Cure. Really anticipated the game to be harder to TAS than it ended up being, which is why I had put it off so long. I'd like to thank XL2S Entertainment for putting out this incredible game, as well as Quibus and Vampier for their ongoing support, as well as #tasvideos for being a chill place. Special thanks also go out to msxsolutions, which put out a really useful map which helped me a lot to plan the route properly. The movie may yet be improved by finding better RNG seeds to get more damage boosts, but as it stands, I am very satisfied with the result.

I hope you enjoy watching the movie, and if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer.


feos: Accepting this shameless Castlevania clone (with cool music) to Moons.

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