TASVideos

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

Submission #5306: Galedog's SNES The Ninja Warriors in 28:46.89

Console: Super NES
Game name: The Ninja Warriors
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Ninja Warriors Again, The (J).fig
Branch:
Emulator: snes9x 1.51
Movie length: 28:46.89
FrameCount: 103784
Re-record count: 12477
Author's real name: Dan Hale
Author's nickname: Galedog
Submitter: galedog
Submitted at: 2016-12-01 15:59:55
Text last edited at: 2016-12-15 01:39:30
Text last edited by: galedog
Download: Download (10353 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Introduction

The Ninja Warriors Again is a beat em up for the Super Nintendo and Super Famicom which blends the single-plane style of games like Kung Fu and Vigilante with more ambitious fighting mechanics from games like Streets of Rage and Final Fight. This tool-assisted speedrun aims to clear Hard mode in the fastest time possible and improves upon the previous author's TAS (http://tasvideos.org/1191M.html) by roughly 3.5 minutes.

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Game Objectives

  • Emulator used: snes9x 1.51
  • Lua script used from previous author's movie http://dromiceius.googlepages.com/ninjawarriors.lua
  • Hardest difficulty
  • Aims for fastest time
  • RNG manipulation used
  • Damage taken as a cost for enemy setups and damage given
  • Improvements include better grouping of enemies for lengthy combos and efficient movement for optimal screen scrolling
  • Japanese version used due to western release replacing all female enemies with stronger and more random foes

Comments

Overview

The game consists of 8 stages with end bosses that you must fight your way through using strikes, grappling moves, and a blaster which has 2 functions: a combo finisher which inflicts heavy damage on all enemies it collides with, and a bomb which deals heavy damage to all active enemies. Frequently throughout the game, a pseudo-infinite combo is used to perpetually damage groups of enemies. RNG is manipulated by carefully choosing frames for varying inputs to exploit the enemy AI's actions, such as ducking to stop them from blocking etc.

Character description

  • Ninja: Strength
  • Kamaitachi: Speed
  • Kunoichi: Strength and Speed

With movement speed nearly equivalent to Kamaitachi and strength that actually exceeds Ninja, Kunoichi is the ideal choice for a speedrun. Scrolling the screen is very fast and easy with her throws which quickly drive herself and enemies forward, as well as her somersault jump which allows her to easily ignore anything blocking her path. Fast attack speed and recovery allow her to perpetually combo enemies by using her neutral jump attack(stun) in place of the basic combo finisher(knockdown). She can change the direction of her attacks mid-combo to deal with enemies on either side as well. She also possesses the rapid punch, the strongest grappling attack in the game(52 dmg). However, unlike every other grappling attack in the game, it grants 0 invincibility frames, so it must be used wisely. Despite being the most powerful character in the game, she is typecast as the weak character, so she has the longest animation when lifting objects. However, characters are invincible while lifting objects, so this ends up being yet another benefit for her(most notably on Stage 7 during the bomb shower). The only real disadvantage she possesses is having the shortest attack range, though it is actually a perfectly fine reach for a beat em up character.

Stage comments

Stage 1

I immediately save some time when control is gained by somersaulting to scroll the screen. In most cases, the game will infinitely spawn basic mook enemies until the screen has been completely scrolled. On the second wave of enemies, the pseudo-infinite combo with Kunoichi's neutral jump attack sees its first use. A little more time is saved by grouping the first female enemies of the game. The infinite is again used on the boss to save a little time.

Stage 2

Somersaulting again initially saves some time scrolling the screen. Throughout this level, significant time is saved by rushing the screen scroll and grouping enemies for big combos. The first robot mooks are seen here at the dock and just before the boss. These enemies can only be stricken from behind, with items, or grabbed. The boss gets thoroughly pummeled with the infinite.

Stage 3

This stage is where Hard difficulty really begins to show differences from Normal mode. A lot of higher class enemies throughout this level. The only significance though is the increased HP, as they will all get trapped and beaten up before they have the opportunity to do anything. The boss again gets caught in the infinite, but due to his excessive RNG, the combo must be interrupted by grabbing him a few times.

Stage 4

Very minimal differences from the previous TAS on the first section of this stage. The boss fight isn't terribly different either, but the public garage area sees much better grouping of enemies.

Stage 5

This stage features many of the suit wearing enemies. These guys have a jump kick that is brutal and punishing for RTA runs, but generally are complete punching bags and rarely do anything to escape your attacks. A clone of the Stage 1 boss appears here, but like most beat em up boss clones, he has no wakeup i-frames, so he's a bit of a punching bag too. The top floor of this stage is the first really challenging part of the game. Mainly because of all the claw-wielding enemies who have huge range and have the most chaotic AI in the game. Besides successfully grouping them, attacking them at all can be annoying, even with tool assistance. Some time is saved on the boss just by spending more time attacking him and having less focus on keeping the mooks away.

Stage 6

A pretty short and easy stage. Time is saved through the usual better grouping of enemies and spending more time attacking during the boss fight. The rapid punch attack, as well as the combo finish blaster, really speed up this boss.

Stage 7

As one of the most frustrating stages for RTA, I expected this stage to be very annoying to TAS, but it turned out to be quite easy. Kunoichi's i-frames and big damage from lifting and throwing the bikes make the bomb shower section pretty smooth. On the last screen outside, I get rid of the gas tank, boxes and energy capsules as those sprites prevent an extra enemy from spawning if you don't. The robot section is taken straight from my RTA strategy: group them with the blaster and attack them from behind. The grouping of female enemies on the elevator is also the same method used in RTA, but with frame perfect attacks which stop them from blocking and really speed it up. This boss is the second most punishing section in real time, but with tool assistance, the infinite makes very short work of him.

Stage 8

The right path was chosen here as I find it to be much simpler than the left. The first few sections of this stage are quite easy with basic grouping of enemies. The real fun begins at the giant hit squad section after the yellow box, which must be removed along with the energy capsule to allow an extra enemy sprite on screen. Featuring nearly every enemy type in the game, and facing them all at the same time, this section is already ridiculous enough on Normal mode and effortlessly squashes many RTA attempts. On Hard mode, it seems more like the developers were just making a cruel joke. This was by far the most time consuming part of this TAS. It almost felt that despite my best efforts, this section was just taking an eternity, but it actually looks pretty good once played back. After this section, you're greeted with a few really easy low-class enemies, as well as a clone of the stage 1 boss again. Then it's one more squad of mid-class enemies before the final boss. The end boss is really simple. You just have to throw enemies at him. In real-time, the RNG can be extremely frustrating, but with tool assistance I finished this section in mere minutes.

Other comments

Overall, I hoped to get this movie under 30 minutes, but I never expected it to be as low as 28. This game only has one plane of movement, and it's pretty well programmed which results in very little exploitation or glitches. Thus, it was a fairly simple, straight forward TAS.


Masterjun: Judging.

Masterjun: Nice improvements! However, this movie is still long and the gameplay doesn't have a lot of variation. The improvements don't make it much more entertaining to grant a rise in tiers. Accepting to the Vault as an improvement to the previous movie.

feos: Pub Again.

feos: The US version is called The Ninja Warriors, so I changed the game name to that.


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