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

Submission #5405: Meerkov's NES Cobra Triangle in 16:43.73

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Cobra Triangle
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Cobra Triangle (U) [o1].nes
Emulator: Bizhawk 1.11.6
Movie length: 16:43.73
FrameCount: 60323
Re-record count: 13539
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: Meerkov
Submitter: Meerkov
Submitted at: 2017-02-26 21:14:33
Text last edited at: 2017-03-10 19:14:00
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (8602 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
This is an any% speedrun of Cobra Triangle, for the NES. Where it doesn't cost time, this run shows off tricks and glitches.

Cobra Triangle is a vehicle based shooter. The game has a few different level types to keep things interesting. The most recent run of this game was from 2005. As one of the oldest unbroken records on the site, it seemed ripe for an update. The previous run by Adelikat was done using an old version of FCEU. This run doesn't sync on modern emulators, so I dug up an old copy of the emulator so I could get timing information for comparison. Due to emulator differences, load times are sometimes a frame longer or shorter.

(Link to video)

Level Types

  • Race: You just need to get to the end. Two of the races have two exits. Depending on which of the 4 possible exit combinations you choose, it changes the order and sometimes the composition of the levels.

  • Mines: Deliver mines from the start to the end without the enemy boats stealing them back.

  • Rapids: Get to the finish while either Logs or Icicles obstruct you.

  • Guard: Make sure the enemy boats can't kidnap all the swimmers. Ends when time runs out.

  • Boss: A giant monster appears for you to kill.

  • Bonus: This level is an autoscroller. Shoot as many targets as you can for bonus points.

  • Pods: Get some free upgrade modules. Ends when time runs out.

Comparison to Previous run:

Level Type Adelikat Meerkov Improvement
0 Game Start 667 664 3
1 Race 1 2742 2617 125
2 Pods 1 3278 3279 -1
3 Mines 1 2097 2021 76
4 Logs 1 1885 1886 -1
5 Boss 1 1053 1039 14
6 Bonus 1 1887 1886 1
7 Guard 1 4178 4179 -1
8 Falls 1 1344 1344 0
9 Race 2 3678 3672 6
10 Boss 2 1125 1042 83
11 Bonus 2 2095 2096 -1
12 Logs 2 2312 2319 -7
13 Mines 2 2916 2886 30
14 Race 3 5077 5034 43
15 Pods 2 3280 3280 0
16 Guard 2 5096 5096 0
17 Boss 3 1055 1032 23
18 Bonus 3 2154 2155 -1
19 Race 4 5108 5041 67
20 Logs 3 2093 2094 -1
21 Mines 3 2882 2887 -1
22 Falls 2 1349 1349 0
23 Boss 4 947 894 53
24 Boss 5 976 530 446
Total Frames 61274 60322 956

Level Breakdown:

Level 1: Race

I used RNG manipulation to get the upgrade PODs much faster. I take the same route (left in Level 1, and Right in Level 9) because it seems to be the best route. Note: If you go (right/right) then, although levels change order, the only important difference is that the final Logs level is replaced by an 8 second longer Icicle level. Other than that, the order and composition of the levels is largely irrelevant (e.g. the Mines 2 and Mines 3 levels appear in opposite order, with the later one having whirlpools. Otherwise they are unchanged).

Level 2: Pods

I purposely do not get homing missiles. This allows greater control of my weapons during boss battles. Otherwise, homing missles tend to stay on screen too long, when it would be better to have them despawn so you can fire again.

Level 3, 13, 21: Mines

In all the Mines levels, I use better AI manipulation through bumping them or positioning my boat so they need to do a full U-turn, which helps prevent them from catching up too fast. The AI moves faster than you, except while turning. In one level I manipulate them into crashing into eachother which reduces their velocity greatly.

Level 5, 10, 17, 23: Bosses 1-4

Because I don't have homing missiles I can control my shots much easier. I use Force on two of these levels so I can get very close to the boss (invincibility). Note: Force doesn't prevent the boss from tossing you. The crab boss is the hardest to optimize because depending on the RNG it may do a variety of different types of attacks, or continue moving in different directions.

Level 7, 16: Guard

These levels have a fixed time, so I show off two AI glitches. The first is, if you are holding the last victim, no more boats will spawn. The boat that is still searching for it will try to steal it from you, however due to the AI, it will get stuck waiting for you to move, which causes it to just sit there.

The second glitch is that after a boat captures a swimmer, it will try to navigate to one of the exits. However because the boats have a wide turning radius, it can get stuck in a loop trying to turn towards the exit. The player can help it happen by bumping the enemy boat. Because the player doesn't have the victim, this also prevents UFOs from spawning, meaning we can just sit here and watch the boat spin around.

Level 12: Logs

I lose 7 frames because instead of using the Force on this level, I used it on the previous boss.

Level 24: Boss Shark

The final level of the game, and the biggest improvement. Through better timing of attacks, I am able to kill the boss in a single attack cycle, instead of two cycles used in the first run. This saves over 7 seconds.

Misc Notes:

At the end of the level, you can get 1000 points for spinning around. I alternate L and R to achieve massive bonus points.

Your score rolls over after 999,999. My final score is 1,597,450.

In the Race levels, there are Ramps you can use to make jumps. I tried to use them to shortcut parts of the race, however it seems it's not possible.

If you drive onto the ramp from any direction other than the intended part, you just pass through it. This means you can freely drive through the ramps from the back, in the POD levels, which I demonstrate.

adelikat: Replaced movie file with one with a cleaned up header. Gives it proper sync settings, the hash of a good dump, 1.12 header info, and removes an unnecessary soft reset on frame 1 (an artifact of .fcm conversion). The actual content of the movie is unchanged.
Masterjun: Judging.

Masterjun: This game might seem like it's going to be boring, but it's fast-paced and entertaining especially in this run. Great improvements, not only speed-wise, but also in the entertainment. Showing off glitches and playing around with the broken AI's certainly make this run very fun to watch!

The previous run is in the Vault but this new run is entertaining enough to grant an upgrade. Accepting to Moons as an improvement to the previous run.

feos: Pub.

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