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Submission #4925: Alyosha's NES G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor in 07:15.28

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor
Game version: USA
ROM filename: G.I. Joe - A Real American Hero - The Atlantis Factor (USA).nes
Branch:
Emulator: FCEUX 2.2.2
Movie length: 07:15.28
FrameCount: 26160
Re-record count: 9937
Author's real name: David M
Author's nickname: Alyosha
Submitter: Alyosha
Submitted at: 2015-12-03 09:50:47
Text last edited at: 2015-12-06 12:48:29
Text last edited by: fsvgm777
Download: Download (6244 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
G.I. Joe: The Atlantic Factor is an action sidescroller and sequel to the first G.I Joe for the NES. The game is quite good and features several playable characters, several paths, and numerous upgrades to get along the way. The present run follows the same route as the current publication, using General Hawk to jump kick quickly through each level and abusing attack mechanics to quickly kill bosses. This run is an improvement of about 25 seconds over the current publication, and 5 seconds over the cancelled submission due to overall better optimization.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: FCEUX 2.2.2
  • Beats the game as fast as possible.

Temp Encode

Comments

The basic idea in this run is to get level 4 fists and laser as fast as possible. Jump kicking is available at level 3 fists which is the fastest form of movement. upgraded laser with some abuse of the game mechanics offers the highest DPS. Lag is a huge factor in this run, and about half of the improvement over the cancelled submission is due to better lag management, but there is still a lot here. Other then that some bosses are slightly improved and ammo management is a bit better.

One thing I'd like to note is that the current run has the 'heavy luck manipulation' tag, but this run has no such thing in it, every drop and enemy is fixed. The only slight manipulation is getting Destro's flying orb pattern to end the fastest and be closest to the ground, which as far as I can tell is determined by your position on screen (as such I purposely take a hit here to get that pattern.)

Stage by stage comments

Nothing particularly stands out compared to the cancelled 7:20 submission. Generally speaking careful lag management is used throughout the run. In level 3 I rescue 2 hostages who are on the other side of pits with a better route which is just barely possible. I am able to use ammo just a bit more conservatively and save some collection which you'll notice in level 5. Besides that the improvements are subtle and spread throughout the run.

Boss Strategies

Most of the run is jump kicking through levels as fast as possible, but bosses require some forethought. Firstly, there are 2 basic boss types, ones that have a knock back mechanic and ones that don't. Most bosses are of the latter type, meaning you can just stand right next to them and hit them as quickly as possible. Bosses with knock back though are more challenging, as whenever you hit them with a bare handed technique they get knocked back a considerable distance. Not only that, but they are invulnerable while in the air after knock back. So for these bosses it is preferable to use the laser since it doesn't knock them back. here is a brief run down of bosses and their strategies. For reference, boss HP is at address 0440, and miniboss HP usually around 044E with some slight variation.

Miniboss one/two: The fastest way to damage these bosses is with rapid kicks, since they do 3 damage and at this point is the strongest move you have. This utilizes the fact that when you switch weapons with select it cancels the animation of the kick and you can immediately start the next one. Since you can switch weapons every other frame, this gives the highest DPS you currently have. Right at the end of the second miniboss I get the knee drop move. This does 8 damage so it is a perfect finishing move. It is impractical to use most of the time though since it knocks General Hawk back if it doesn't kill the enemy.

Miniboss three: This is the first mini boss with the knock back mechanic. A standing jump kick followed up by a knee drop is the fastest way to damage him since you don't have the laser yet. Some bullet shots in between (1 damage each) set up the final knee drop perfectly at 8 hp.

Overkill: Just stand next to him and rapid kick. Getting hit from one side of him to the other speeds up the fight slightly as well.

After you get the Laser: The laser (at level 4) also does 8 damage if you hit both beams. For knockback bosses this is the best approach except for the last hit, where a knee drop saves ammo. It gives you an extra weapon to cycle through though, which leads to the next speed technique as used on destro.

Destro: Now that we have the laser, the highest DPS move is to fire a laser shot, switch to a kick, then back to the next laser shot. This whole process takes 10 frames and does 11 damage.

Final stage bosses: After beating Destro you get the useless rocket launcher, which is really just another item to cycle through. To manage ammo a little bit the last speed technique to use is rapid punching. Press B, then a directional, then B again, and there you go!

Cobra Commander: There is no solid ground around the commander so getting hang time to hit him with the laser is the fastest approach. This is the only time in the run where you'll see only one beam of the laser hit a boss, as the commander's HP and the height you can sustain perfectly match up for this to be fastest.

Other comments

I came across this game just browsing through NES runs. It looked like a really good game and the published run definitely needed some improvement. I eventually realized though that there was a cancelled submission as well and there was apparently some drama associated with the whole thing. So while I enjoyed TASing this game I'm also happy to tie up this loose end and give this good NES game a more optimized run and a clean slate.


Samsara: G.I. Judge. Porkchop sandwiches.

Samsara: Accepted as an improvement to the published run. Due to a positive audience reception, I'm upgrading it to Moons as well.

fsvgm777: Processing.


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