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

Submission #4854: tormented's GBA Garfield and His Nine Lives in 10:07.79

Console: Game Boy Advance
Game name: Garfield and His Nine Lives
Game version: USA
ROM filename: 2143 - Garfield and His Nine Lives (U)(Trashman).gba
Emulator: BizHawk
Movie length: 10:07.79
FrameCount: 36302
Re-record count: 20077
Author's real name: Tracy Aarons
Author's nickname: tormented
Submitter: tormented
Submitted at: 2015-09-26 00:36:06
Text last edited at: 2015-10-04 08:35:12
Text last edited by: fsvgm777
Download: Download (17427 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Garfield and His Nine Lives is a decent Game Boy Advance platformer. It's fairly short and not all that challenging, but it's got a really good soundtrack (probably one of my favorites on the GBA) and colorful visuals. I'm surprised nobody has touched it before.

Behind the Music

So one day a few months ago I decide to livestream myself playing this game. The chat all laughs at me because I suck ass. Like, literally, I was dying every other second. Even though this was basically the final word on my baseline awfulness at video games, I decided to try to become as good as possible at this game to show everyone. Eventually, that led to me streaming myself speedrunning the game. Someone in the room suggested I try making a TAS of the game. I had heard of TAS but had no idea how to make one. Regardless of that, I followed his advice, and picked up a TASing emulator and had at it. It was pretty grueling, but the end result was worth it.


There a few bugs in this game - here's one I recorded: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORFhYjqm1NE - but they're pretty useless. The dialogue skip is the only good one I found for a TAS. At the start of each level, there are triggers that bring up slow dialogue boxes. By jumping and kicking while landing, there exists a one frame window where you can jump again without triggering the dialogue box. In some levels you're able to jump again even without kicking, haven't found out why. In Obedience Class, the window for the dialogue trigger is so small that you can simply just jump over it.

If you hold left+right, Garfield will jump slowly to the right while facing backwards. This is used for entertainment during the final boss.

Comments on the Levels

I'll probably add annotations to the YT video soon enough to explain key things.

Arbuckle Farms

You have to pick up all the eggs. Simple enough. You get to see me use jumpkicks to decrease jump height, a big trick used frequently throughout the run.

Haunted House

This is the only level where skipping the dialogue box at the beginning is impossible. You can't trigger the exit without also triggering the dialogue box. It's sad, but at least it's just one level. We take an alternate route here to save time.


A simple level. The jump kick at the beginning is to avoid triggering the text box. Lag reduction is key here. Dodging the monkeys is easy, but I take damage from a thrown pie near the end to bypass one that I would have had to go out of my way to kill. Near the end of the level, you see me stutter while hopping over some flaming hoops. The reason is because you have to land in a very teeny-tiny area to avoid being bounced up high by the trampolines, which wastes time.

Spiders in the Sewers

This is a very easy level. Sometimes I avoid jumping off ledges in favor of walking off; while this appears slower, it's actually faster because the ledges I walk off have rats in bad positions that would make jumping slower. The mid-air kick that seems useless near the end is actually to make Garfield avoid grabbing the ladder; he can't grab those when he's attacking.

Up a Tree

It is possible to skip the dialogue box here; however, it's slower. The jumps required would end up making me bump into the tree for quite a few frames, and since it's only one text box, it's faster to just close it immediately. Near the end, I use jumpkicks to shorten my climbing time.

Alley Cat

A very linear level. It's entirely walking right. The boss doesn't look great, but it's actually the only way to beat him quickly. Normally, you're supposed to wait until he jumps up in the air before you can hit him, which takes a really long time. However, by going kamikaze on his ass you can damage him and kill him just before dying.

Obedience Class

Not a whole lot of obedience here... just going around rescuing cats and dodging dogs. There are a few routes to this level... testing shown mine was the fastest by a good ten seconds.

Dr. Dupes and the Odie Clones

There are only a few pixels that Garfield can stand on to avoid being damaged by all those mousetraps. The waiting out the steam might raise some questions, but the steam cycle can't be manipulated, so we just have to wait.

Kitchen Cat-astrophe

A bit lame for a final level, no? Odie Clones would've been better. The final boss is on a set timer, so we just have to dick around until we can beat him. Woohoo, 10:11.

Special Thanks

in no real order: pkkao, JAY LENO, RobynS, got4n, emu, goofydylan8, halodude862

Samsara: I'd say I hate Mondays, but I'd prefer to say something more Nermal. Judging~

Samsara: Replaced the movie file with a 226 frame faster version.

Previous Framecount: 36528 (10:11.58) | New Framecount: 36302 (10:07.79)

Samsara: This was quite a nice run overall! The submission text was very helpful in clearing up some of the questions I had while watching, and it's clear you put in a lot of time and effort into not just the TAS, but understanding the game itself.

Voter/thread feedback is positive, and the run is technically sound. Great job on your first TAS! Accepting to Moon(day)s!

fsvgm777: Processing.

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