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

Submission #5381: StarvinStruthers's A2600 H.E.R.O. in 09:51.01

Console: Atari 2600
Game name: H.E.R.O.
Game version: USA
ROM filename: H.E.R.O. (1984) (Activision, John Van Ryzin) (AZ-036-04).bin
Emulator: BizHawk-
Movie length: 09:51.01
FrameCount: 35415
Re-record count: 24872
Author's real name: Casey
Author's nickname: StarvinStruthers
Submitter: StarvinStruthers
Submitted at: 2017-02-02 06:33:06
Text last edited at: 2017-03-09 16:18:38
Text last edited by: Fog
Download: Download (5658 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:


first completed tas

very fun to make

will make more

upon initially completing this tas i accidentally discovered a glitch

this glitch ended up being useful for saving frames

glitch is referred to as "door skip" below


  • delve into caves
  • blow up walls/doors
  • rescue 20 dudes


  • bizhawk


  • fast


  • up input has a delay that tends to vary
  • down input has no effect during flight
  • descending in flight can be a waiting game
  • cannot drop bombs in the air


  • drop as many extra bombs as you can if stage has under 6 doors
  • some stages require all 6 bombs for 6 doors (level 7-19)
  • only one bomb on screen at a time
  • cannot drop bombs in any of the final rooms
  • bomb count at the end of each stage is 16 frames per bomb
  • bomb drop during stage takes about 1-8 frames
  • don't drop the extra bomb in stage 20 due to inputs/time ending before post stage bomb count


  • some doors you can perform what i call a "bomb skip" on
  • to do the bomb skip you hover a minimum of 7 pixels over bomb
  • fly passed the door without waiting for bomb hitbox to disappear
  • there is a threshold where this will work or not depending on how long ago you were descending
  • bomb skip works on all doors in horizontal rooms with appropriate setup
  • i counted 36 bomb skips in this tas (possible more could be added to future tas)


  • some doors can be broken via a bomb placed on the previous screen
  • place bomb and move to new room before it explodes
  • bomb is carried to x position 147 on new screen <--BASED NRGZAM FIGURED THIS OUT
  • x position 147 hits the right side door in all horizontally linked rooms
  • there are 8 door skips in this tas (i believe that is the maximum amount possible)


level 1: drop 1 extra bomb

level 2: drop 3 extra bombs

level 3: drop 3 extra bombs - blow up wall/enemy at same time

level 4: drop 2 extra bombs - 1 bomb skip

level 5: drop 4 extra bombs - wiggle passed the turtle head this skips 2 doors (this is the only turtle head you can skip.. i know it's a snake)

level 6: drop 1 extra bomb - 1 bomb skip

level 7: (begin 6 doors and horizontal rooms) 2 bomb skips

level 8: 2 bomb skips

level 9: 2 door skips - 1 bomb skip

level 10: 2 bomb skips

level 11: 3 bomb skips

level 12: 3 bomb skips

level 13: 5 bomb skips

level 14: 3 bomb skips - 1 door skip

level 15: 4 bomb skips

level 16: 2 bomb skips - 1 door skip

level 17: 3 bomb skips

level 18: 1 door skip - 1 bomb skip

level 19: 3 bomb skips

level 20: (5 doors) 3 door skips


  • this is my first completed tas so yeah probably
  • there are probably a few frames i missed
  • optimizing flight movement is kind of awkward
  • could possibly add more bomb skips i might have neglected?
  • possibly more glitches i'm unaware of


  • this is a one hit and you're dead kind of game
  • there are no damage boosts you can do without dying
  • when you die, you respawn at that same area and continue on
  • i was really hoping death could be abused in this game to save frames
  • unfortunately dying takes too much time and was never beneficial in testing

feos: Replaced the movie with a trimmed one, also judging...

feos: So I examined the comparison video posted by FractalFusion and went to the frames where this run looked like it was losing frames. And it was... losing frames... due to falling longer. I tried improving this run in such places and I couldn't. The physics just got sludgier after heavy core improvements by Alyosha. So this run is no sub-optimal, it's a real gameplay improvement, as even with those emulation slow-downs in some places, the final time is still shorter.

Accepting as an improvement to the existing run.

I also looked at the bottom of all Moons movies sorted by entertainment, and the existing H.E.R.O. run is far from the bottom. This game also gets positive feedback once again. So I can't downgrade it to Vault, even though the actual entertainment ratings aren't 6+. It still seems the cutoff is fairly unreliable, and the decision is up to the real human. So Moons it is again.

Fog: Processing.

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