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

Submission #465: Spoony_Bard's NES Clash at Demonhead in 23:43.13

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Clash at Demonhead
Game version: USA
ROM filename: clash at demonhead (u).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 23:43.13
FrameCount: 85388
Re-record count: 2478
Author's real name: Mike Power
Author's nickname: Spoony_Bard
Submitter: Spoony_Bard
Submitted at: 2004-12-12 15:21:35
Text last edited at: 2004-12-22 00:58:17
Text last edited by: Spoony_Bard
Download: Download (11201 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:
Clash at Demonhead completed in 23:46

Ok, first of all this run is using FCEU, because for some reason the game messes up horribly in Famtasia whenever you access the menu.

I used no Warps or Passwords (I don't consider Bang's Teleportation Force Warping, explanation below)

I abused no Programming Errors, very little luck manipulation in this run due to the game's mechanics.

I take hits to save time.

There were a number of difficult things in the creation of this run. First of all I had to determine what was the fastest possible order to take with the Routes. That took a couple of playthroughs to get down pat, and I still found another shortcut in the middle of recording it which saved off even more time. After discovering that I took a bit of time to make sure there were NO OTHER such shortcuts I could have missed, and I can honestly say that this particular route plan is the best one.

Also what I had to consider, in devising the Map Route, was whether or not I'd have enough force points to use Teleportation in all the best places. Luckily I did, after discovering that one extra shortcut. Thus, there really is no faster Route Plan to take, it seems.

The next difficult thing to overcome was the fact that I could do very little luck manipulating in this game. Several tests concluded that the order in which enemies drop items is set, and the same for every playthrough. IE: The 5th enemy you kill drops cash, the 7th drops cash, the 9th drops an apple, the 13th drops cash, the 25th drops cash, the 30th drops a heart, etc. The only one static thing about it was that the order went Cash, Cash, Apple, Cash, Cash, Heart, and repeated. But there was no predictable pattern to which to take into account, I counted up to over 256 enemies and the pattern didn't repeat. The Shop is similar, in the fact that the order in which the items appear and are available or not available is also set in a pattern. IE: Jet Packs aren't available until the fourth Shopping Trip, and are occasionally absent from others. Since that also couldn't be manipulated it was something else to take into account in doing the Run.

With relation to the Shops, you'll notice I spent maybe 20 seconds or so right before I summon the shop the last time to build up cash. The reason I stopped to do that there was because had I instead bought a Shop Call and built up the rest of the cash I needed destroying enemies in my path, the next time I would have summoned the Shop there would have been no Jet Packs in stock. Thus I had to buy them in that last Shopping Trip. In the end, stopping to build up that cash may have taken about 20 seconds, but the final time was 13 seconds faster than not doing it.

In the very first Route I duck for a split second to avoid Tom Guycott. I couldn't just WALK under him because then he WILL hit you, but ducking for that one moment allows you to avoid him and continue. You can't, unfortunately, skip his dialogue, but it saves time and it looks amusing to dodge him and move on.

The hit detection in this game is lousy, to be honest. A lot of times when it looks like my shot connects with an enemy, it instead passes through it. I used a lot of re-records in just killing one or two enemies because of this. Thus in the video there are a number of wasted shots, I AM planning a revised run in the future, and that will be (hopefully) taken care of then. Also on the topic on wasted shots, when fighting bosses there are a number of times when it looks like my bullets go through them, a lot of the time that is either because it is the final hit which kills the boss, and passes through it as a result, or it is a result of re-recording the same motion over and over again trying to get the right outcome, and eventually having to shoot an extra shot. Like I said, hit-detection is screwy.

There are a number of cases in the movie where I have to jump twice to fit into a narrow passageway. Anyone familiar with this game would know that is unavoidable. It's simply a matter of game mechanics. In order to squeeze into those passageways by jumping, you have to be closer to the ledge than you can be by just walking, jumping once brings Bang juuuuust a bit closer so he can make it on a second attempt. It makes sense when you watch it, but no, it couldn't be avoided.

As I mentioned before, I don't consider this run as 'Uses Warps', because Bang's Teleportation ability is much like Link's Recorder in The Legend of Zelda. The game may be side-scrolling, but the overworld map is sort of similar in principle. There's no solid order of stages like in Super Mario Bros. where you can warp ahead in that set order. It's not necessary to use Teleportation to finish the game, but I'd hate to imagine how long it would take if you didn't use it!

While it appears I could have summoned the shop earlier than I did (the game sure does pick up after the first trip!) had I done that I would have had less and less cash throughout the game and thus I would have fell short on items near the end. My last shopping trip takes up just about all the cash I had left. It's important to note that I HAD to save enough Jetpack left when fighting That Samurai Guy, because the Right Sphere on his machine can only be it whether while using that, or by having a weapon like the Thundershot (which I wasn't wasting money on, the extra weapons don't deal more damage than your normal gun). So I could't really summon the shop much earlier since I needed to have some remaining Jetpack for that fight.

Right after the battle with Max on Route 7 I spend some time fighting some enemies, this is for two reasons. To build up just enough cash which I needed for my upcoming shopping spree, and to wait for my Boots to run out of energy, so I could buy a new pair to replace them. I had to summon the shop three times at that point, and I bought something each time (I wasn't sitting through that chatty shopkeeper for NOTHING) which I needed.

Right before the battle with Shark I use the Super Suit and three foods. This is because I didn't want to waste money on a Scubasuit, and as a result being underwater drains life. I needed a max life bar and the ability to absorb two of his (her? it's hard to tell) hits to survive the battle. I COULD have fought Shark from a distance and avoided his shots, but I wouldn't have been able to hit as frequently and would have drowned instead. I was on the edge of my seat after the fight, actually, had the Medallion been dropped a few moments later than it did I would have lost anyway!

Related to that, when I went underwater in Route 37, I bought one more can of food at the Shop to replenish my life bar once more. Even though it LOOKS like I still had one life bar extra when I exited the water, I would have drowned had I not used it. It has to do with the way damage is recorded, a life bar doesn't stand for a single hit. It would be better, I think, if Bang's life were represented by an accurate number. But using the Food replenished Bang's life up to the next Bar, meaning it was more than one bar. It's tricky to explain, but trust me, had I not used the food I would have drowned there.

In the first battle with the Demon I die. I don't consider this 'Loses lives' however, since that one death is MANDATORY. It's not even a real gameover, since the game places you back at the start of the Demon's Room instead of at the start of the Route you last entered like it normally would, Bang even has some dialogue as well. It is impossible to finish the game without 'dying' there. It's like one of those battles in an RPG where your party has to lose.

The Hermit is on Route 35, sadly I cannot warp directly to that Route, since the only way to access Route 35 is through Route 6. Teleportation only takes you to all the map 'Nodes' you've accessed already, and there is no such node before Route 35 on the map. So I have to go through that passageway again. At least it's faster the second time around with items.

Related to the above, after I meet Guycot and Faysha on route 33, I etner Route 39 first before I warp. That is for the same reason, that I needed to 'activate' the map 'Node' at that point to be able to warp back there later.

A couple of letters which fall into my path along the way I skip, because they would have activated an unnecessary dialogue which you didn't need to sit through. There is one boss in the game I didn't fight because he isn't necessary, Pandar on Route 31.

On Route 3 and Route 15 I enter the route, talk to Michael, and leave. This has to be done, as there is a sequence of events that need to be followed to get the Magic Stone. If you don't talk to Michael on Route 3 he isn't on Route 15, and thus he won't be on Route 27, and the Magic Stone will not be there if you don't talk to Michael first on that Route. Also the Sword of Apollo cannot be gotten until the Hermit tells you to get it, so I can't just pick it up when I pass by the statue the first time.

It looks like I get hit a lot more frequently after I start using the Boots and Jetpack, this is because I'm moving so much faster and it is much more difficult to kill an enemy so that their dying-explosion will vanish before I reach that spot.

All'n all, I beleive this is an entertaining run to watch. Clash at Demonhead is a fun game that is very difficult to win playing on a console. Especially if you're not familiar with the game, it can take awhile just to figure out what exactly you have to do. As I said before, the order in which I do everything I believe is the best way to do it. And I am planning on making a second version later, (after my exams are over) which will hopefully shoot for complete accuracy, better planning in cash pick ups and shopping, and only taking damage when I NEED to. But for now, here is my Version 1.

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