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

Submission #5641: Flip's GB Dr. Franken in 13:03.27

Console: Game Boy
Game name: Dr. Franken
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Dr.Franken (USA).gb
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.1.1
Movie length: 13:03.27
FrameCount: 46783
Re-record count: 17963
Author's real name: Phil Hutchinson
Author's nickname: Flip
Submitter: Flip
Submitted at: 2017-08-24 11:33:53
Text last edited at: 2017-09-11 02:36:06
Text last edited by: Fog
Download: Download (11143 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Dr.Franken is platformer for Gameboy where our main character Frankie has to search his mansion for parts of his girlfriend to construct. This requires finding 10 body parts, plus a few accessories to help with the surgery.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.1.1
  • Genre: Platform
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses programming errors in the game

(Link to video)


Movement info

Running speed has value 5, with diagonal jumps giving us 4, vertical falling speed being 3, and finally skid turns slows us down to 2. We can shoot (in bursts) to stop our movement for x coord manipulation. Since acceleration is basically instant for non skid movement, it basically means we need to use various combinations of movement types in order for us to gain the proper x coordinates needed to take the fastest paths through a room. When taking either a North/South exit, or an Up/Down one we find that usually the X Coords are preserved between them; and thus causes multiple rooms to be dependent on each other. There may be a slightly faster path to complete one room, yet costs more time in the next by not setting us up for either speed or health preservation. All room chains therefore need to be planned as a single route, rather than considering them to be independent ones.

Health Management

Frankie's health starts at 208, with enemies doing 15 damage (upon leaving their hitbox), and environmental damage such as pits/spikes doing 10 points. The health tokens you see provide +30 HP, thus allow us to take an extra 2 hits. As always, these get collected as long as the time deviation required to get them is less than the time saved by being damaged. Obviously factoring things like this becomes a huge pain, since we don't initially know how much time could be saved in each room by being hit, plus enemy behavior itself is RNG based as it gets affected by when we enter a particular room. This always means the first draft will never be completely optimised in terms of HP management, leaving room for improvement. We may want to simply edit the TAS once finished, to remove all the small savings and replace them with larger ones, but sadly the game is not edit friendly at all. It doesn't help that 3/4 frames are lag, so a small change here guarantees that the run doesn't sync properly, since jumps etc will not longer be in the correct spot. So as expected, the initial run had room for improvement, and as such was not submitted here. I got to work on an improvement immediately, and saved 12 seconds overall, which is this current run. For the ~0 people who care, the initial run has also been encoded on youtube.


-It's possible to fall through certain staircases early, at the sections supported by pillars. The pillars themselves act as platforms, such that there isn't a complete ceiling beneath. These gives a window of opportunity to clip through them.
-We can access an Up exit at any point along the top of the screen, not just at the top of the stairs. This saves time in both rooms, and we can avoid extra moving barrels.
-We can jump slightly after going off a corner, and so jumping from slightly lower down and thus having less air time.

feos: This s a nice TAS, but the game is not quite entertaining. The map is a messy maze, room transitions and items produce constant flashing, the pace is slow and abrupt, the music is slow and somnolent, it's also the same track all along... Overall, the run is very hard to closely follow and enjoy. Accepting to the Vault.

Fog: Processing for Stovent.

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