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

Submission #463: Josh the FunkDOC's NES Ninja Gaiden 2 in 09:34.02

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Ninja Gaiden 2
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Ninja Gaiden 2 - The Dark Sword of Chaos (U).nes
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 09:34.02
FrameCount: 34441
Re-record count: 11026
Author's real name: Josh Ballard
Author's nickname: Josh the FunkDOC
Submitter: Josh the FunkDOC
Submitted at: 2004-12-11 20:42:36
Text last edited at: 2005-03-02 13:57:08
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (4595 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:
Yes, folks, I've been talking about it for a while and now my Ninja Gaiden 2 movie is done, almost exactly 1 minute faster than the current one.

I assume y'all are familiar with the basics of the game. If someone isn't, just tell me and I'll edit it into here.

Now then, here are the improvements over the current run:

1. Frame-by-frame walljumping. If you've seen the other Ninja Gaiden movies on this site, you should be familiar with this. Here's the trick: 2 frames BEFORE grabbing onto the wall, make the motion to jump off of it. On the next frame, move toward the wall. Ideally you will be able to repeat this as much as needed, but sometimes you may need to move toward the wall for a few frames the first time.

2. Faster boss fights. I'll talk about this more later.

3. Climbing up some walls from the right side, then jumping through them to the left in order to reach the next room quicker. You'll notice this in Acts 3 and 7.

4. A variety of little things too numerous to mention.

5. The Glitch. I'll describe this in further detail in a bit.

And here are a couple aesthetic decisions of mine:

1. Only pick up what you absolutely need to. I do grab a couple errant bonus-point items because opening their containers is a necessary part of some movements. But I only pick up the minimum of powerups and weapons, as I feel it shows an impressive knowledge of the game.

2. Kill lots of stuff. This movie is sort of the opposite of BoltR's Ninja Gaiden video in this sense. Unlike NG1, it doesn't waste any time to kill enemies via jump slashing, and the ninja doubles that follow you can lead to some extremely cool-looking and skillful kills.

Now then, before getting to boss techniques and The Glitch, let me explain a few other things...

- Using a special weapon makes you pause for 1 frame. Taking damage has no effect on the time if you're knocked forward. Hence, I avoid the former as much as possible and tend to receive a lot of the latter.

- There is one spot in 7-2 where I move back and forth as a bird comes at me. This is because I need him to reach a certain point in order to be able to kill him, then grab the blue ninja powerup ahead, THEN jump onto the ladder at the right spot.

- Also in 7-2, the music is random and can be the theme of one of these four stages: 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, and 3-2. This can be manipulated by letting the cutscene before 7-2 play for certain amounts of time. I happened to be extraordinarily lucky here, as the song I wanted (1-1) turned out to be what I got upon skipping the cutscene ASAP.

- Ok, this is the last 7-2 bit...watch closely for the triple kill near the end. I was tremendously happy with this, as I wanted to pull off at least one of these in the video and feared I wouldn't be able to.

- Sometimes, at the start of a room, I move backward for seemingly no reason. Those who have seen BoltR's NG movie or stx-Vile's NG2 will know why this is...for those who haven't, sometimes you need to move backward to a certain point in order to make the screen scroll forward.

- Nope, the wind in 2-2 cannot be manipulated. Sucks, I know. =/

- In 3-1 I hit a flame with the normal throwing star; this is because the flames are invincible to the sword while forming.

- Sometimes I jump right before a bat appears; this is to make him spawn above me so I can run under him.

- This run utilizes every special weapon in the game at some point. The normal throwing star and dragon balls (downward fireballs) are used exactly once each, the windmill throwing star and invincible fire wheel are each used twice, and the fire wheel is abused a whole hell of a lot. =P

Alright then, time for a brief word on the boss fights!

One of the most important techniques used is jump-cancelling. What I mean by this is that when slashing or using a special weapon, you can cancel the animation at any time by jumping. Thus, with this, you can slash twice or throw the fire wheel twice in rapid succession. You can see this in pretty much every boss fight somewhere. And one more thing...when you jump cancel an attack, it also cancels the ninja doubles' attack animations; this allows for all those rapid fire wheels, and is abused in the last boss fight to make the doubles slash more quickly.

Proper positioning of these ninja doubles is also key to some boss fights. They follow your movements, and attack when you attack; they actually behave almost exactly like the Options in Gradius. The important thing to mention on this subject is that the doubles will not move if you are standing still, but will move if you jump in place. So when you see me jump, it's to move them; when you see me stand still, that's to keep them in place.

That's just about it actually, except for a couple notes on individual bosses...

- The Act 3 boss can only be damaged while he's flying. This is why you see me wait for quite a bit.

- Ashtar (Act 5 boss) seems to have a bit of randomness to when he disappears; I had to let the cutscene before him play for 2 frames in order to kill him before this happened.

- In the battle against the first Act 7 boss, I jump and slash him twice. This is because at that point, I would have only gotten 1 point of damage from Fire Wheels due to the position of the boss and the doubles.

And now, finally, in full detail...here is THE GLITCH! =)

To perform it, press left+right simultaneously. That's all there is to it. However, there is far more to its *behavior*...

When climbing a wall, press left+right+A and you will jump through it. However, you can ONLY move to the right with this glitch, so you can't do this on some walls. This is the main use of it, as pretty much every time I climb a wall from the left side I use it.

What happens when you get into the wall wildly varies depending on the specific wall. Often you'll just fall through it and die, so you need to wait until you're almost at the top to use it. However, some walls have solid ground inside them, and you can use it to jump to the top (this can be seen in 4-2, among other places). I show off with this a bit after defeating a couple bosses.

The Glitch also helps a bit with walljumping. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes you need to wait a few frames on the first rep before you can start it. If you're climbing it from the left side, though, left+right eliminates this need and allows you to perform the fastest possible walljump from the beginning. This is because of one specific property: When you are in the air facing to the left and you press left+right, you will move backward at the normal forward speed. Facing backward is why you sometimes are slow to start the walljump, and this fixes that problem.

There is one place where the above property is a pretty major timesaver: The final ladder in Act 2. The wind pushes you backward here, and if you jump off the wall facing to the left and try to go back to the right, you won't be able to reach the ladder again. But with left+right, you will be able to, and thus with it you can walljump up this ladder.

If you're standing on the ground and you use left+right, you will glide along the ground at normal speed, your feet never moving the whole time. This is true even if you're facing to the left, as you'll just glide backwards. This is generally used just to show off, but it does have a purpose in a couple spots in Act 7. To be specific...in 7-1 after the scroll, I make use of it to kill the bird approaching from the left without wasting time. At the end of 7-2, I do this after taking my last hit so that I can kill enemies there without losing time (this is also the reason I was able to pull off that triple kill I talked about earlier). And against the first Act 7 boss, I do it to get the doubles to face the boss (as he is to my left).

And, well...that's pretty much it! I am very proud of this and feel it is by far my best movie yet, so hopefully you'll all enjoy it!

Before I go, though, some special thanks go out to...

BoltR - For help with walljumping and some other suggestions.

TheAxeMan - His movies exposed me to walljumping and good usage of jump-cancelling for the first time.

stx-Vile - For making a timeattack which highly entertained me at the time and used a lot of tricks that are still present (particularly that wall glitch in Act 5), and telling me about using the fire wheel to get the double in Act 1. Also, it was through one of his posts that I first learned about The Glitch.

The Nesvideos people - For being such a helpful and cool community which I am happy to be a part of.

Alright, just the mandatory stuff and I'm outta here...

- Uses FCE Ultra

- No warps or passwords (don't exist)

- As fast as possible

- Takes damage to save time

- Abuses programming errors in the game

- (Slightly) manipulates luck.

EDIT: This is cancelled because I found an improvement to Acts 3 and 7. Additionally, it MAY be possible to speed up 4-1 and a couple boss fights.

Adios,

Josh.


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