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Tool-assisted game movies
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Submission #470: Josh the FunkDOC's NES Ninja Gaiden 2 in 09:29.98

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: 09:29.98
FrameCount: 34199
Re-record count: 19586
Author's real name: Josh Ballard
Author's nickname: Josh the FunkDOC
Submitter: Josh the FunkDOC
Submitted at: 2004-12-16 01:53:03
Text last edited at: 2004-12-17 20:06:31
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (4710 bytes)
Status: published
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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, approximately 1:04 faster than the current one.

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

Anyway, 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. A variety of little things too numerous to mention.

4. 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 side effect of some necessary movements. However, I only acquire 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. Also, here are my improvements over my previous 9:34 video:

1. My “top-secret” trick, which is explained along with The Glitch.

2. Literally every boss battle except for the first is improved at least somewhat.

3. New shortcuts in Acts 3, 4, and 7 (especially 7!)

4. A better method of walljumping to the left, which comes into play a couple times.

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 delay a few frames before getting onto a ladder. This is so I won’t have to climb it at all, and it’s better than the delay that was in my last movie at this 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. This time I got the 3-2 music by skipping the scene ASAP, and as it’s also the music Drew got, I find it a somehow fitting end to all this…plus it’s one of my favorites. =D

- 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. =/

- Also in 2-2, I grab a different scroll this time. There are two in this stage, but you can only get one (the other turns into a blue ninja powerup). This is because I did the section with both scrolls a bit faster than last time; if I had gotten the first one, the wind would have pushed me into a wall and wasted time.

- 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 or kill him.

- When grabbing a ladder that takes you to another room, it is possible to immediately jump off before the next room appears. This is useful sometimes to make you fall more quickly (see 1-1 and 4-2 for examples), and it is needed in 4-1 in order to walk through that wall (don’t ask me why, that’s just how it is).

- 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. This aspect of the game is improved upon in the new movie to result in faster boss battles.

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.

- In the Act 6 and first Act 7 boss battles, I use the sword once; this is because either I can’t throw a fire wheel or doing so would have only done 1 damage anyway.

- After killing Ashtar (Act 5 boss) and playing around, take note of where I slash him as the screen fades. =P

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. I use this to hit quite a few enemies which I couldn’t normally, and position the doubles properly in some fights.

And finally, my top-secret improvement…the double jump! See, if you glitch through a wall and are high enough, you will stand on solid ground for one frame then fall; it is possible to perform a normal jump during this one frame. It is useful because it allows you to stop climbing walls and start moving forward slightly more quickly; however, it is not always the best option for a variety of reasons (generally speaking, the normal jump puts you in a bad position in some places due to its height).

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. It was also through watching them that I learned the proper way to walljump to the left.

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.

Ferret Warlord – For indirectly leading me to discover a shortcut in 3-2 via one of his posts, which set off this whole series of improvements.

Phil - For giving me his patched FCEU which enables left+right and up+down...obviously this movie wouldn't have been possible without it!

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.

But wait a minute…I’m not QUITE done yet! =)

Yes, it’s time for the Omake section! These are just a few short FCMs containing cool glitches which I couldn’t fit into the actual movie. Definitely worth checking out (slow-motion is recommended if you want to see what all goes on)...here are the links and a description of each:

http://www.filespace.org/PunchRockgroin/WallDeath.fcm - How to jump through a wall and kill yourself without left+right, pretty self-explanatory. Truncated, sorry your idea couldn't make it into the movie, but it's here now at least!

http://www.filespace.org/PunchRockgroin/Invincibility.fcm - If you slash on the last possible frame before a projectile hits you, it may pass through you instead. The projectile has to be at a certain position relative to you, though, which is why I never got to use it in the run.

http://www.filespace.org/PunchRockgroin/4-2AltRoute.fcm - A different way to reach the bottom of this ladder in 4-2. It seems faster, but is actually slower because there's no way to get onto that wall without wasting time. Sure looks neat, though. =)

http://www.filespace.org/PunchRockgroin/WallNormalJump.fcm - This one's pretty simple, only works on certain walls. Again, it looks fast but is actually slower than walljumping; this is due to the amount of time wasted as you descend from the jumps. However, if anyone were to try a legit glitched speedrun of this game, this is actually a very useful trick...it's only a few frames slower than walljumping and is quite easy to perform.

Well, that's all folks!

Adios,

Josh.


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