Arsene Lupin the Third - Babiron no Ougon Densetsu (Legend of the Gold of Babylon) is a short, obscure MSX2 platformer by Toho, based on the animated film of the same name. This movie aims to complete the game as fast as possible.
Temporary encode for your viewing pleasure
- Emulator used: openMSX 0.10.1, but it will sync fine on openMSX 0.11.0
- Bios used: Panasonic FS-A1WSX
- Aims for fastest time
- Takes damage to save time
- Genre: Platformer
This is yet another Arsene Lupin game on the MSX2, also released by Toho. You take the role of Arsene Lupin the Third on his quest to help a mysterious space woman with purple seashell hair get back her golden spaceship. Or something.
The game is a screen by screen Run-right-for-justice-er, where Lupin's job is to run past countless foes to reach the end of each level. Lupin also gets bubble gum to shoot at his enemies, but it's only of limited utility.
Falling down bottomless pits isn't directly lethal, but Lupin is sent to a room where he has to avoid flames flying across the screen. If Lupin survives, he gets teleported back to the screen he came from. Certain enemies also send Lupin down into the the pit if he touches them.
Lupin's momentum works in an odd way. If you hold a direction key, Lupin's speed accelerates linearilly by 1 every frame until it hits his top speed, 40. If your speed is at or below 16, letting go of that direction or turning around will instantly stop Lupin. Otherwise, Lupin conserves his speed for several frames before it resets to 0.
The game is not very well programmed, frequently exhibiting a copious amount of lag even if very few enemies are present on the screen. Additionally, it is trivial to get Lupin stuck inside of walls or get on the top of the screen Super Mario style.
Managing your score is the most important part of the run. Towards the end, there is a section where you need to damage boost multiple times, to clear several gaps as quick as possible. To do this, you need as many hearts as you can muster up to this point.
Throughout the game, items randomly spawn throughout the levels when Lupin reaches certain areas of the screen. Picking up items gives Lupin score. Every 3,000 points, Lupin gets an extra heart. Every 10,000 points, however, a long and unskippable bonus game is activated. This wastes a lot of time, so, ideally, throughout the run, I get a score in the range of 9,000 to 10,000 points. I end up with 9,300 points, which is exactly as much as I need.
Stage by Stage Comments
The reason you see me jump nearly all the time is because this actually causes less lag than running across flat ground. Apparently the game can't handle cycling Lupin's walk animation, go figure. Otherwise, this stage is mostly straightforward. Several enemies are manipulated to act favorably.
Lupin conserves his momentum throughout levels, so I jump into the stone tablet a certain way to be able to jump over an enemy in the first screen of the second stage.
A long and arduous desert level. Many enemies are placed in the way so that they can't be jumped over. You can briefly stun them with bubble gum, clip into their hitbox and turn around. This pushes Lupin to the other side of them.
The game doesn't prevent Lupin from entering the status bar area, so that's how I deal with this stage. While in the ceiling, I can't jump too high, because otherwise your Y position wraps around and you land in the bottom of the screen.
Mostly straightforward stage. In one screen, I hit a spinning top with bubble gum so that it turns around, giving me enough time to make it onto the ledge and jump over it.
Very tight corridors in this stage, but most of it is once again alleviated by hopping over the ceiling. I collect the final items here to get enough score for the next stage. The hole in the ceiling Lupin jumps through has incredibly precise collision detection, making it really hard to get through.
This stage is what I needed all those hearts for. The ships only move if Lupin stands on them, and the fire spawns if Lupin reaches a certain area of the screen. I try to manipulate the fire in each screen to spawn at the earliest possible frame I can still catch a damage boost off it. In the later screens, the mushroom guys are increasingly inconveniently placed. What's more, every time you kill an enemy, another one -instantly- spawns in its place.
In the last boat ride, I carefully conserve my speed at 40 until the boat is close enough to the edge so that I can reach it. You'd think I could cut the final jump in the level closer than I do, but I can't. You can thank the game's awful collision detection for that.
Of course, this game too must have a horrible, repetetive bridge section. Thankfully, this one goes by quicker thanks to Lupin's faster movement speed. There's not much I can do about the lag in those screens except jump by quickly.
At the end of the game, Lupin has to jump up a spire to reach Space Lady. I make sure to approach the top blocks in a certain way to reset my speed to zero. That way, I can turn around quicker in the next screen. Hitting the edge or falling down in -any- of those screens sends you all the way back to the bottom. Finally, I approach Seashell Hair and the game ends.
" I may get on it at some point, but not now, I think. "
-myself, January 12th, 2011.
Well, that crosses another game off the list.
This game definitely wasn't very fun to TAS. At its best, TASing was just dull and mindless, at its worst, input inconsistensies, lag, Lupin's odd movement and the game's horrible collision detection made it very asinine. At least it runs at 60 fps and not 20, which is more than I can say for the other Lupin game. TASing this game literally broke my Right-key. If you try hard enough, you can probably squeeze some more frames from the movie here and there, but it's frankly not the type of game that really warrants all that attention.
Nethertheless, I hope you find the movie enjoyable to watch. I'm pretty happy to finally have it done. I don't think it has really enough going for it to be a Moon unfortunately, but hey, at least there's a TAS for this game now.
I'd like to thank Quibus for motivating me to get around to doing this run. I'd also like to thank nitrogenesis, who originally suggested the game on the forums, as well as Vampier for being a cool dude. Shoutouts also go to #tasvideos for being a chill place. Until next time
: Reasonably good audience response. Accepting to Moons.