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

Submission #4508: CoolKirby's Lynx Pac-Land in 20:36.11

Console: Atari Lynx
Game name: Pac-Land
Game version: USA/Europe
ROM filename: Pac-Land (USA, Europe).lnx
Emulator: BizHawk 1.9.1
Movie length: 20:36.11
FrameCount: 74041
Re-record count: 18371
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: CoolKirby
Submitter: CoolKirby
Submitted at: 2014-12-07 23:31:30
Text last edited at: 2014-12-16 08:18:41
Text last edited by: fsvgm777
Download: Download (7719 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Pac-Land is a classic platformer in which Pac-Man must travel across his colorful cartoon world to return lost fairies to Fairyland. This isn't as leisurely as it sounds, as his rivals, Blinky, Pinky, Inky, Clyde and Sue are out to get him along the way.

(Link to video)

About the run

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 1.9.1
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Plays until there is no new content
  • Manipulates luck
  • Uses warps
  • Genre: Platform

This run and the "warpless" run were created in tandem with the same set of savestates, which made it much easier to incorporate new tricks in both runs. This is also why their rerecord counts are similar.

The submission texts are not at all the same, though. If you have a question that's not answered in this text, you might find your answer in the other one.

About the game

A colorful platformer with simple physics. The original arcade game was released in August 1984 (before Super Mario Bros.) and was quite popular from what I hear.

The game is divided into "trips". Each one is a trip to Fairyland to return a little lost fairy and go home with some super boots the Fairy Queen gives you.

Pac-Man can walk, run, and jump. When he is running, his jump goes twice as high, allowing him to reach platforms and ghosts that he otherwise wouldn't be able to. I always run in this TAS unless I need to slow down to land on a platform.

Colliding with anywhere but the heads of the ghosts or their babies and falling into pits, quicksand or water is a one-hit kill.

No in-game lag (according to the lag counter), however most movement in the game happens once every three frames.

Address Set #72: Pac-Land
System: Atari Lynx
Download .wch file for: BizHawk
Domain Address Data Type Signed Endian Description
System Bus 0027 Word Unsigned Little X-Position

Level-by-level comments

Trip 1

Round 1

  • I choose to start from Trip 1 to play the full game.
  • Landing on the cars is slower since they're moving left, so I jump over them.

Round 2

  • I activate the warp by pushing the second tree stump backward. This is the earliest I can activate it, as the cacti can't be pushed in the Lynx version.
  • The "extra life" sound effect fittingly sounds like "w-w-w-waaaaaarp!"

Trip 3

Round 9

  • The warp gives me 80,000 points, so I'm actually ahead of the warpless TAS in score at this point.
  • Keeping Pac-Man suspended in midair (by autofiring Right) is not just done for entertainment; landing is almost always slower than remaining in midair.
  • I levitate lower to avoid the next few ghosts and despawn a few troublesome ones near the end.

Round 10

  • I jump to manipulate some ghosts out of the way so I can continue running at full speed.

Round 11

  • I only have one movement frame to jump off of many of these platforms.

Round 12

  • You can run across the tops of baby ghosts just like their parents.

Trip 4

Round 13

  • You can also run on top of the houses if you get high enough.

Round 14

  • Pac-Man must do a running jump to reach the next level up.
  • Our yellow hero can apparently unlock gates through ceilings with his head. That's some talent.
  • While the gate is opening, I get into the best position to run ahead. The warpless run doesn't have to do this as it's already in the best position for the gate it goes through.

Round 15

  • It's easy to get trapped on the bottom platform and have nowhere to go but into the water, so I avoid it when I can.

Round 16

  • It takes a lot of jumps to make it over ghosts that are flying at the top of the screen.

Trip 5

Round 17

  • After landing thanks to a conveniently dropped baby ghost, I jump to manipulate the ghosts out of my way.

Round 18

  • An extra key is picked up for the sole purpose of letting Pac-Man use his talent once again.
  • This time, I'm already in the best position for the gate I go through.

Round 19

  • A walking jump doesn't reach high enough to clear the second tall hoodoo, so I have to do a running jump onto it, even though it means getting stuck against it for a few frames.

Round 20

  • This stage is designed to make you run out of time, and when you do, Sue comes to get you.

Trip 6

Round 21

  • I walk for three extra frames at the beginning to despawn all troublesome double-decker buses.

Round 22

  • I waste a frame at the beginning to move Clyde down the screen so he won't get in the way, and walk for three extra frames to set the best pixel pattern for this round.
  • A conveniently located brown ghost allows me to speed up the last log section.

Round 23

  • These white levels are the easiest ones to optimize, by far.

Round 24

  • I show off falling into the holes and immediately jumping out using the super boots.

Trip 7

Round 25

  • During the forest section, a sound glitch occurs and the sound cuts out for almost a second.
  • Most of the skulls don't hurt you in this level, so I ignore the springboard and run across the desert.

Round 26

  • I can't start running any sooner at the beginning, but luckily that puts me into a pattern in which no ghosts appear for the whole level.

Round 27

  • This level is tough in real-time. The ghosts are everywhere and you can hardly see anything on the screen.

Round 28

  • I collect the apples in the warpless run, so I skillfully avoid them in this one.

Trip 8

Round 29

  • The key ghosts are the two that I spawn moving right, so spawning and jumping onto the other ghosts doesn't have to be optimal.
  • Unlike in the warpless run, I don't have a ghost to boost me onto the first cloud, so I have to land on the island.
  • One of the clouds is too high for Pac-Man to reach, so I wait a little for it to come down.

Round 30

  • I don't need to open the gate in the middle of the level, but it's faster than detouring around it.
  • Pac-Man opens both exit gates, because he can.

Round 31

  • The ghosts are here this time! And hard to avoid; I nearly collide with some of them.

Round 32

  • The final round with a unique layout. Jumping very high allows me to end input as early as possible.

Possible improvements

  • Saving frames somewhere early on. This could change the vertical positions of clouds and logs and enable faster routes through mountain levels.
  • Manipulating ghosts into positions where Pac-Man could jump off of them and skip waiting for logs or clouds. This is hard to do, though, as ghosts usually spawn in the way and force you to slow down.
  • Better manipulation of the ghosts in Round 29. This would be most likely to happen if frames could be somehow saved from earlier in the run.

Suggested screenshots

26153, 51208

Thanks to

  • The BizHawk devs for adding a Lynx core to the already awesome emulator
  • The creators of this partial walkthrough for their tips and teaching me about the warp
  • NPI for his longplay, which showed me the solution to Round 29
  • You, for watching

Mothrayas: Judging.

Mothrayas: Accepting for the Vault.

fsvgm777: Processing.

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