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

Submission #5279: DrD2k9's NES Beetlejuice in 08:40.96

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Beetlejuice
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Beetlejuice (U) [!].nes
Emulator: FCEUX 2.2.3
Movie length: 08:40.96
FrameCount: 31309
Re-record count: 13887
Author's real name: Mike D
Author's nickname: DrD2k9
Submitter: DrD2k9
Submitted at: 2016-11-03 01:04:48
Text last edited at: 2016-12-09 03:28:22
Text last edited by: Fog
Download: Download (13180 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Beetlejuice - NES

Based on the 1988 film (not the animated TV series), this game combines side-view platforming and top-view based action. It was made by RARE.

The premise of the film follows a ghost named Beetlejuice as he helps a newly-dead couple to scare a new family from the now dead couples former home. The game doesn't match this very well.

General notes

  • This game is very hard to play normally!
  • Optimizing the TAS itself was difficult as multiple route options exist for most stages, and enemy spawn points are RNG based (more obvious on top-down levels).
  • Side-scrolling levels are basic platforming consisting of timed jumping and the occasional attack. Sometimes the goal is to simply reach the exit. With others times, items need to be collected in the level to finish.
  • Top-view levels often have a mild adventure element in that you must find various objects to give to other people before a route will open to the exit. On a few occasions all the enemies must be scared (killed) before you can exit through the door.
    • This particular run utilizes warp glitches during the top-view levels to save a significant chunk of time. More details in the stage descriptions. Details on how to perform the glitch are below.

Warp Glitch - Only works on top-view levels.

This glitch is performed by pressing all four directional buttons on the same frame. Doing so immediately adds 256 to Beetlejuice's horizontal coordinate position instantly transporting him approximately one screen width to the right. While minor out of bounds can be obtained, limited motion is available when you get out of bounds. In most cases the glitch is only beneficial when there is normal walkable ground at the resulting x-coordinate. If the resultant position is on the room exit point, the glitch will immediately exit the room without any more necessary movement. As this glitch requires all four directions to be pressed at once, it is not possible on a standard NES controller. Other combinations of movement buttons not possible on the standard controller also affected horizontal and vertical position coordinates, but none were beneficial.

To my knowledge, this is the first known beneficial use of this glitch. It may even be the first known mention of the glitch in general.

Stage Specifics

What I call a stage is the given portion of the game between views of the in game map, not on the breakdown given in the game manual. I further subdivide stages into multiple parts by how many screen blackouts there are for the stage (with the exception of shops/beetle holes).

Stage 1 - The town.

  • Part 1 - Get the key. Unlock the building.
  • Part 2 - Run through the building turning off switches and searching for the Book for the Recently Deceased.
    • While it's possible to get through the light beams at the beginning in one pass with properly timed input, I opted not to do this for multiple reasons.
      • Obtains the invulnerability flower near the first switch. This allows for quicker movement through the rest of the building. A second flower is obtained near the Book for the Recently Deceased protecting from the enemy at the exit.
      • The timing with this method yields more optimal position of the cloud lifts.
  • Part 3 - Traverse the rooftops and clouds to reach the garage.
    • A brief dip into the beetle hole is used to obtain vouchers to purchase scares.
  • Part 4 - BOSS - A man (gardener?) with a bug-sprayer is in the garage.

Stage 2 - The Sewers.

  • Part 1 - Platforming through the sewers.
    • A damage boost is used to reach a platform at the far left edge of the level (frame 6424) which also stops the beetle's motion allowing for faster screen scrolling than hopping to the platform and hopping again to doge the beetle. The screen only scrolls vertically when you're standing on something.
  • Part 2 - BOSS - A football player kicks balls at you. (Why is there a football player in the sewer?)

Stage 3 - The Basement. This is the first top-down scene and is only one screen.

  • Part 1 - Get a scare. Get the key. Exit room.

Stage 4 - The House.

  • Part 1 - The first warp glitch is here. After obtaining the key, warp back to the right. Get scare. Exit
  • Part 2 - Get to end of path. Avoid floating door to the Netherworld.
  • Parts 3 & 4 - Warp glitch is used to exit the room.
  • Part 5 - Gotta kill the enemies with the hammer.
  • Part 6 - Get to end of path.
  • Part 7 - Gotta kill the enemies, get the key, and exit.
    • The toilet paper can be acquired, but I have no idea what it is supposed to be used for.

Stage 5 - The Attic.

  • Part 1 - Warp glitch to the exit.
  • Part 2 - Get to exit.
  • Parts 3-5 - Warp glitch to exit the room.
  • Parts 6-8 - Get key. Get out.
  • Part 9 - Warp to get the mouse. Leave room by scaring kid.
  • Part 10 - Get through.
  • Part 11 - Warp glitch to get ring. Warp glitch to get key. Give ring to open path. Get Glasses. Do a little dance to avoid getting hit by bug. Exit.

Stage 6 The Graveyard.

  • Part 1 - Platform to tower entrance.
  • Part 2 - Platform up through the tower to get the chalk.
  • Part 3 - Platform to 2nd tower.
  • Part 4 - BOSS - Wizard who shoots lightning at you.

Stage 7 Back in the Attic.

  • Part 1 - Give glasses to guy to exit.
  • Part 2 - Use teleport and warp glitch to reach the exit.

Stage 8 The Waiting Room to the Afterlife.

  • Part 1 - Collect the numbers 1-6 and exit.

Final Thoughts

The last input is the last frame of input necessary to exit the final stage.

I will also be submitting a run that does not use this glitch and will update this description when I have a link to that submission. I have also submitted a run without the glitches. It can be seen here for comparison: http://tasvideos.org/5280S.html

Samsara: Judging.

Samsara: Resetting.

GoddessMaria: Judging.

GoddessMaria: I have to say, this is quite well done! This movie manages to take what would normally be flaws in the game design and makes it into something great. I see little to no issue with optimization and the audience response was mostly positive, so with that being said...

Accepting for Moons.

Fog: Processing.

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