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

Submission #484: Josh the FunkDOC's NES Startropics in 1:06:47.55

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Startropics
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Startropics (U).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 1:06:47.55
FrameCount: 240453
Re-record count: 11935
Author's real name: Josh Ballard
Author's nickname: Josh the FunkDOC
Submitter: Josh the FunkDOC
Submitted at: 2004-12-26 06:14:09
Text last edited at: 2004-12-26 15:13:06
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (13424 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Hello all, here's a little Christmas present! =)

Actually, as you can see from the time, "little" is just a TAD off. =P I will warn everyone, much of this movie's time is in boring dialogue and walking around that must be done (actually, ALL of Chapter 4 falls into this category). And yes, you actually DO have to talk to all those people in villages. So, you can opt to skip these scenes or think of them as intermissions, whatever you want. I optimized them anyway, of course, but it doesn't make them any more fun. =(

But when you enter dungeons, the game becomes quite entertaining to watch. The combat is rather similar to Zelda except faster-paced, and it has an impressive variety of weapons. In fact, I use every single weapon in this game at some point, which surprised me. And you need to do a variety of things to progress...kill all enemies in a room, kill some enemies in a room, kill one enemy in a room, hit a switch, or just run through.

There's quite a bit of luck manipulation in this game as well...bosses especially, but quite a few normal enemies as well. Anything I do that seems odd is probably in there for this reason.

This is a no-damage run, which means it isn't as fast as possible. I prefer it this way because of the following:

  1. I don't think getting hit would save more than 3-4 seconds total.
  2. It looks awful. It's not like Wai Wai World, where your movement is unaffected, or Vice/Ninja Gaiden, where it can move you upward and forward...it stops you in your tracks for a little bit.
  3. I always found this game to be hard because of your extremely clumsy controls (more on this below), and personally think no damage is impressive for this reason (along with the game's length, of course!).

Alright then, to explain said clumsy controls...all terrain in this game is divided into squares. Once you start moving onto a square, you usually can't stop doing so; there are ways around it, which I still don't fully understand myself...I just used trial and error with frame advance to figure things out in this run. Also, after moving onto a given square and changing direction, your character hesitates for a bit before moving again (highly annoying). And when you're between squares, and change direction and immediately attack, you hesitate for a variable amount of time upon moving to the given square; this leads to a lot of seemingly pointless pauses in this run. Also, after landing from a jump sometimes, you randomly can't move for awhile; I only had this happen a couple times, thankfully. And finally, your guy can only jump straight up unless there's a block in front of him.

Actually, just about all that's left now is weapon/dungeon/boss explanations. I'll do the normal weapons first...

Yo-yo: Start with it, it sucks, but you're stuck with it until you're most of the way through Chapter 3. Has little range, only deals 1 point of damage. Like all normal weapons, though, it can be executed very quickly; the closer you are to an enemy, the shorter its animation is.

Shooting Star: Deals 2 points of damage, has actual range! This baby is more like it...only downer is that you need at least 6 full hearts in order to use it. BTW, I'll explain something here...I could never manipulate enemy item drops, no matter what I tried, and thus went out of my way in some dungeons to acquire hearts. This weapon is the whole reason for that.

Super Nova: Only available for the last two dungeons, deals 2.5 points of damage (making it the second-strongest weapon in the game, behind the Super Laser). Also flies across the entire screen, but requires 11 full hearts to use.

OK, now I'll do some notes on dungeons...their bosses, what weapons I use in them, etc.

Chapter 1: The torch found here deals twice as much damage as the yoyo but is slightly slower to execute (btw, treasure chests are solid objects, so sometimes you are forced to open them as seen here). Thus, it's better for multi-hit enemies but worse against those with only 1 HP. There is one multi-hit enemy I kill with the yoyo...this is one of those weird stopping issues I mentioned when talking about the controls, and I still don't know why in the hell it worked that way here. And the boss can only be damaged when his mouth is open...requires some luck to get right.

Chapter 2: The baseball bat is hands down the worst weapon in the game. It's also twice as strong as the yoyo, but so freaking SLOW that it's almost never worth it. However, it's awesome in that one room with the starfish because they take a long time to chase and kill if you don't take them out right away. The Snowman Doll is not actually a weapon per se, but rather a "Magic Item"; you must pause the game in order to use it. Still, it's great to have because without it you cannot kill the boss in one flurry. Said boss is a bitch to manipulate, but the doll helped me maintain my sanity.

Chapter 3, Dungeon 1 (3-1 for short): The Bola is just as weak as the yoyo and slower to execute, but it's still helpful because it flies across the entire screen.

3-2: The Slingshot is pretty much like the Shooting Star except that it has slightly less range and is slower. But since I don't have the Shooting Star yet, it helps out big-time in one room here. And the boss, Magma, requires a lot of manipulation...this fight is the only area in the game where taking damage would save a noticeable amount of time, I believe.

3-3: You can't manipulate those stupid dogs, not very much anyway. I pause a lot here for what looks to be no reason. Actually, though, I'm waiting for invisible ghosts to pass by! They can only be killed after you expose them with the Rod of Sight, as seen later on. The Magic Mirror's only purpose is to reflect the projectiles of a certain few enemies and kill them. There's a Lantern here that can light up the dark area, but it's way out of the way so I don't bother with it. Most people assume that the boss here can only be hit with bolas, but as can be seen that is far from the truth. ;)

3-4: Total joke, easiest dungeon in the game, nothing more than a testing ground for the Shooting Star.

3-5: Pretty simple stuff here, nice of them to go easy after 3-2 and 3-3.

Chapter 5: The metal ball doesn't move until you hit it, and it can't be killed. The giant bowling ball things can be halted by hitting them with the shooting star.

6-1: The Anklet turns your clothes orange and allows you to jump twice as far as you normally can. Its effects wear off once you leave the room, though. The first boss here is just like the one in Chapter 2 except easier. The shoes, upon usage, make you kick everything in the room for 2 points of damage...very fun and useful. The second boss, in addition to being a GIANT FRICKIN' MOAI HEAD, is rather similar to the Chapter 1 guy except he can only be damaged by the baseballs (which themselves have no effect on anything else).

6-2: The Asterisk is one of my favorite weapons...does 2 points of damage, splits in two when you press B a second time. Ideally you would be able to use 21 of them here, but only 20 are along the path, so I didn't use them in one situation where they would only have saved a couple frames. The minibosses here are pretty sad, though they do kill you if you touch them. The semi-invisible rock guys are only vulerable when they reach a wall. The boss just gets owned hard by the asterisks. =)

7-1: Yep, you can run pacifist through this whole thing up until the biker guys near the end. The warp tiles, obviously, teleport you around the dungeon. The Laser is awesome...only does 2 points of damage but it's fricken FAST, one of the best weapons here in the endgame. The bosses just fly around and shoot, nothing special.

7-2: The Laser is faster than the Super Nova for distance fighting, but the Super Nova is better up close due to its increased speed and damage advantage. A couple areas here (the ones with lightning) are extremely difficult to manipulate properly. The Super Laser deals 3.5 points of damage and is key to beating the first boss here. The second boss can be knocked backwards by dealing 8 points of damage; this is why I use my last Super Lasers near the end.

Chapter 8: The first Zoda form can attack you with a claw, but I managed to always avoid this. Yes, you HAVE to grab that stupid max-life pill, though having the Super Nova is quite nice. The core heals itself if you don't take it out fast enough. The last boss is the only one where the Super Nova is best, because you can actually stay close to him the whole time.

Oh yeah, and a part of the ending is included here because it requires input.

Before I go, some special thanks are in order...

That's pretty much it, enjoy!

Hoping you all had a merry Christmas,


Bisqwit: Deleted the double submission.

Bisqwit: Queuing for encoding, based on previews.

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