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

Submission #4757: adelikat's A7800 Ninja Golf in 11:29.67

Console: Atari 7800
Game name: Ninja Golf
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: Ninja Golf (1990) (Atari).a78
Emulator: BizHawk 1.10.0
Movie length: 11:29.67
FrameCount: 41327
Re-record count: 7291
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: adelikat
Submitter: adelikat
Submitted at: 2015-07-09 18:10:05
Text last edited at: 2015-07-25 16:34:06
Text last edited by: Fog
Download: Download (10269 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

Ninja Golf is an unusual platforming/golfing game for the Atari 7800. Golf video games are boring. So they did the obvious and spiced it up with ninjas because ninjas make everthing cooler. Even better, you battle other ninjas, giant gophers, giant frogs, sharks (sharks make everything cooler too!) and instead of putting the ball in the hole, you fight a giant dragon. Dragons make everything cooler.

I was made aware of this game from James Rolfe's "James & Mike Mondays" where they played this game. I was looking for a good 7800 game for my all platforms challenge. Unfortunately all the games I tried just weren't inspiring. But I would have never thought a game with golf in the title would be worth trying. When I saw this game I knew it was worthy of a TAS.

This game has difficulty settings. I picked the hardest, kamikaze. In this difficulty, enemies are more numerous and more aggressive, you have less health, the bosses have more health and are faster, power-ups like invincibility and health are less effective.

Route planning this game is interesting. There's 4 types of terrain, the green, the rough, sand traps, and water. Like most golf games, the better the terrain, the farther you can hit the ball. Unlike most golf games, you have to travel to your ball. So the fewer squares you travel over the better, but also the fewer types of terrain the better. Lastly, the smoother terrain is easier to travel quickly. To make matters more complicated, there are power-ups along the way, and depend on your route. Health ups are useful since taking damage is necessary to save time. Also, there is an invincibility that is super useful. So the optimal route factors in terrain, shot distance, travel distance, and power ups optimally.

Once you have your route, you have to travel efficiently. Getting hit costs time. Jumping costs time. Ninjas and other enemies can be manipulated to miss. I do this by moving left for 1 frame at the right time to manipulate misses. Also, ninjas can be manipulated to appear on your left first. When possible this is best since you don't have to jump over them or take hits to get them to your left. Once 3 ninjas are on your left it is just a matter of manipulate them to constantly miss. Gophers, frogs, and sharks have a chance to go right through you. When possible, it is best to manipulate this. A lot of the run is managing luck but often the amount of frames you lose manipulating is greater than the cost of the action you are trying to avoid. So you see me take some hits and make some jumps along the way. The water is where the most compromises are needed, since sharks very rarely pass right through you, and there are so many.

There are nine holes in the game. When you get your ball anywhere on the green and arrive at your ball, a boss fight ensues where you fight a dragon. The dragon's health is a base value depending on difficulty plus 1 point for each hole. The boss always has the same pattern except he's faster on each consecutive hole. For the most part, optimizing the boss is straight forward and tedious and boring and not fun. The one consideration is that when he's at 0 health he somewhat slowly scrolls off screen. If his right-moving speed is fast enough, it is usually better to wait for him to get to the edge of the screen before the last hit, to minimize that slow scrolling. Getting hit by the dragon's fireballs is very costly. But on the later stages, it is advantageous to take some hits. This makes it worth it to get health along the way even though most of the time you are avoiding damage during the levels.

Well, that was too much text for a game of this nature. I hope you enjoy the TAS. I'm not sure it is moon-worthy, but it is a truly bizarre game and a good laugh to watch.

ars4326: Ninjas, boss dragons, and a bag full of 9-irons, eh? Let's give this one a shot! Judging...

ars4326: Hello, Adelikat. This was another well-optimized run, and the descriptive submission text greatly helped in understanding what was going on and pinpointed where the various RNG manipulations were talking place. The stage routing and boss fights looked tight, as well. The general consensus from the thread expresses the same recognition for tech quality, while yet also indicating that the traveling segments tended to not be as interesting, overall.

Accepting for publication to Vault!

Fog: Processing...

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