TASVideos

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

Submission #5325: £e Nécroyeur's Arcade Donkey Kong in 01:29.94

Console: Arcade
Game name: Donkey Kong
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: DKONGJO1.ZIP
Branch:
Emulator: MAME-RR 0.139 v0.1-alpha
Movie length: 01:29.94
FrameCount: 5451
Re-record count: 168
Author's real name: George Murphy
Author's nickname: £e Nécroyeur
Submitter: £e Nécroyeur
Submitted at: 2016-12-18 05:17:01
Text last edited at: 2017-01-17 14:15:52
Text last edited by: £e Nécroyeur
Download: Download (43954 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)


Donkey Kong is an arcade platform game released by Nintendo in 1981. It presented an early (if not the first) example of the platform genre, and was the first to incorporate multiple playfields, as well as the ability to jump. It is also the first game designed for Nintendo by Shigeru Miyamoto, and his influence was immediately apparent, as he introduced both the eponymous Donkey Kong and Mario (originally named Mr. Video and then Jumpman) in his debut game. Donkey Kong would become one of the most influential and commercially successful arcade games of all time, and some 35 years hence, competition for the highest score remains fierce.


Game Objectives

  • Aims for fastest game completion
  • Aims for maximum score without sacrificing Frames
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Manipulates luck
  • Entertains without sacrificing Frames
  • Becomes history's best-selling video game franchise

DIP Switch Settings

  • Bonus Life set to 20,000 points


Tricks and Glitches

Walk Backward:

When the joystick is held right or left while Mario is standing on a surface, he will move 1 pixel for each of the first 2 Frames and then move no Frames on every 3rd Frame. The joystick may be pressed in the opposite direction on the 3rd Frame of the cycle without disrupting Mario's rate of movement. Pressing the joystick opposite direction on the 3rd Frame of each cycle for successive cycles causes Mario to walk in a direction while facing the opposite direction.

Wiggle Walk:

When the joystick is held right or left while Mario is standing on a surface, he will move 1 pixel for each of the first 2 Frames and then move no Frames on every 3rd Frame. The joystick may be pressed in the opposite direction on the 3rd Frame of the cycle without disrupting Mario's rate of movement. Pressing the joystick opposite direction on the 3rd Frame of every other cycle (each 6th Frame) for successive cycles causes Mario to walk in a direction while alternating the direction he is facing. There are 2 types of Wiggle Walk: the "Noisy Wiggle" and the "Silent Wiggle". The type of Wiggle Walk is determined by the specific cycle on which the Wiggle Walk was begun. The "Noisy Wiggle" causes Mario's walking sound effect to be started on every 6th Frame. The "Silent Wiggle" causes Mario to move in essentially the same way, but without allowing Mario's walking sound effect to be played.

Manipulate RNG:

The RNG is affected by Mario's location, control input, and the Frame count. By using a combination of Walk Backward and Wiggle Walk, enemies and obstacles can be manipulated to spawn and/or behave in a favorable manner without sacrificing Frames.

Phantom Ladder:

This technique requires a Ladder with a "ceiling". This is a Ladder which Mario can climb, but which does not allow Mario to pass through to the surface above it. These occur only on the 25 m (Broken Ladder) and 50 m (Telescoping Ladder) Stages. When Mario has reached the "ceiling" of a Ladder, the joystick is held down for 4 Frames, and then the joystick is pressed up for 1 Frame. This causes Mario to move up beyond the "ceiling" by 2 pixels. By continuing this pattern of input, Mario can climb up a Phantom Ladder at the normal rate of 2 pixels per each 5 Frames.

Fall Through The Floor:

This is a known technique, applicable only to the oldest variant of the game (Japan set 3 by the MAME standard). The Cutting Room Floor has an informative article on Donkey Kong: https://tcrf.net/Donkey_Kong_(Arcade) If Mario is at X 207 and jumps to the right, he will fall just beyond the end of the girder from which he jumped, bounce off of the right edge of the screen, and fall through the next girder below him. Note that the article at tcrf.net incorrectly indicates this as a jump from X 240; this is not possible as Mario's maximum X position is only X 234. This also applies to a jump to the left made from X 49 on the left side of the screen. Mario can only fall through one girder. If Mario falls through a girder and lands on a 2nd girder, he is killed. If Mario falls through the bottom girder, he will also fall through the bottom of the screen and wraparound to the top of the screen, which immediately completes the Stage. It is the ultimate power in the universe.

Comments

The Japanese version plays through the Stages in order 1-2-3-4, while in the US version they changed the order of Stages to 1-4-1-3-4-1-2-3-4. As such, this TAS plays on the Japanese version of the game so as to display all 4 of the playfields more quickly.

In order to run this game, MAME requires both DKONGJO1.ZIP and DKONG.ZIP. DKONG.ZIP (US set 1) is the "Original" ROM set and DKONGJO1.ZIP (Japan set 3) is the "Clone" ROM set. MAME requires that any Clone ROM set also requires the Original ROM set to run, as the Original ROM set includes the information for the hardware shared between the 2 versions.

Stage By Stage Comments

25 m:

The Fall Through The Floor technique is used. This technique saves 196 Frames compared to using the Phantom Ladder technique at the first Broken Ladder, and saves 829 Frames saved compared to the fastest normal completion of the Stage.

50 m:

Cement is manipulated to spawn at a favorable location. It is not possible to fully climb up the Telescoping Ladder before it begins to descend. The Phantom Ladder technique is used to supersede this effect. Using the Phantom Ladder technique saves 239 Frames saved compared to the fastest normal completion of the Stage.

75 m:

It is not possible to reach the descending platform in time to jump onto the girder above the nearest short Ladder. Mario must instead jump to the girder below and climb up.

100 m:

The Fireballs are allowed to spawn randomly and are then manipulated to behave in a favorable manner.

Other Comments

This TAS is dedicated to feos. Натурально! :)

Thanks to Fortranm for referring me to the TCRF article.


Mothrayas: There are a few different ways of defining full completion for a game of this nature. Normally, an endless game of this sort would have completion defined by progressing through the game until the difficulty level is maxed out. However, since this is the version of Donkey Kong with the infamous kill screen, it is not technically endless, and an end-point could instead be defined by going up to the kill screen (and even a bit further beyond).

However, this movie does neither of the above, only going through each level once in their easiest difficulty - following the site movie rules, this does not constitute clearing the game.

As such, rejecting - but looking forward to seeing a version that takes on the legendary kill screen.


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