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

Submission #551: Zettaijin's NES Fist of the North Star in 08:26.02

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Fist of the North Star
Game version: USA
ROM filename: fist of the north star (u).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 08:26.02
FrameCount: 30361
Re-record count: 1789
Author's real name: Sylvain Parent
Author's nickname: Zettaijin
Submitter: Zettaijin
Submitted at: 2005-02-16 06:58:52
Text last edited at: 2011-12-07 23:40:22
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (8886 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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Author's comments and explanations:
Emulator: FCEU

Warps: The game has none, and doesn't have shortcuts or password either.

The game itself: Better than the original Hokuto no Ken for the Famicom, HNK II/Fist of the North Star was its obligatory sequel. I say obligatory because of the anime series' popularity. It's a slightly mundane and certainly crazy side scroller/walk and punch game with little rhyme or reason, but still superior than the original for sure. Lacking the strategic aspects of the SMS HNK game, Fist of the North Star was all about speed and reflexes, only it added horrible gameplay to up the frustration level. It was quite hard for the time, so much so that many North Americans gave up on it. I picked it up again a few years back, wrote a FAQ and recently decided to gave it a proper run.

Purpose of this run: No damage whatsoever to the all mighty Kenshirou and making a cool movie to watch.

Speed is not my main goal (although I try to be as quick about it as I can), hence it isn't as fast as ziplock's run. To my defense I would say that my run involves a few cool moves that are for all intent and purposes impossible to do on a real console due to limits in human reflexes and the sheer random nature of certain later encounters (the numerous fist fodder foes sliding around during the last portion of Falco's stage).

It is not, however, a 100% kill game and the realistic nature of such a goal depends entirely on Falco's stage. I suspect that there are too many foes on screen at one time for Ken to hit. Blame the lousy hit detection. But I do hit every single boss' weak point for the sheer aesthetic value of doing so.

Programming errors: The only real error here is more of an oversight on the part of the programmers, but a minor one. As ziplock stated in his own run and as I did in my thread for this game over in the NES forum, you can "corner" bosses to a certain extent. The game doesn't allow for hits when sprites are too close to one another. A rule of thumb is: if they mingle, they don't register. So a boss will automatically try to get some distance if he's too close. But if he gets to the end of the screen he'll turn back only to seek distance again, thus going back and forth with no purpose.

There's a key distance where you can do this and register hits since you're not run by a dumb CPU's AI. This, of course, is easier with earlier, slower bosses. Later ones are more or less impossible to corner properly due to speed. The sliders (Falco and Shula) are especially bad in this regard.

Furthermore, kicks, punches and fireballs work with different "hit boxes". Kicks, for example, work bad when in close and rarely register. Some bosses, like Solia, can try to kick you when in close but won't be able to hit, but you can hit back with punches.

On CPU AI: I've tried long and hard to comprehend the workings of the CPU's AI in an attempt to manipulate luck. So far, the AI seems rather stuck in its ways. In many cases, trying to hit a weak point will result in the CPU doing something that brings it out of my way or forces me to jump or do something I would rather not do. This was clearly the case with Bask. There are no visible patterns and bosses often decide on certain actions well in advance with little desire to change these plans no matter what. Re-records help, but even they cannot completely overthrow the plans of bosses.

In all cases, I manipulate the boss behaviour to a certain degree, forcing them to delay or even withold any and all attacks for a significant amount of time (compared to a normal game). Rapid fire punching helps tremendously.

Others: To jump or not to jump? Eventually, I decided that I had enough of the pogo stick antics and ran my way through the stage. Speed wise there isn't much difference, I'd even venture so far as to say none. This is why I chose to pick up stars at the result of losing time.

Last words: My run and ziplock's run are two different beasts. One aims for pure speed, the other for cool tricks and no damage. I completed it a while back and lacking feedback in the forum, I decided to try my luck with the judges with what I consider to be a very good run. Further info on the game can be gained by checking out my FAQ and reading the thread over in the NES forum.

Bisqwit: This movie reminds me of Legend of Kage - both are somewhat boring, but this movie lacks the skillfulness of WalkerBoh's movie.
Or at least it looks like so.
Most importantly, it seems like the test audience, that is, the forum users, haven't much enjoyed watching this movie, and therefore I'm rejecting your submission.

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