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Submission #5728: £e Nécroyeur's Arcade Jail Break in 01:36.62

Console: Arcade
Game name: Jail Break
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: JAILBREK.ZIP
Branch:
Emulator: MAME-RR v0.139 v0.1-beta
Movie length: 01:36.62
FrameCount: 5856
Re-record count: 66073
Author's real name: George Murphy
Author's nickname: £e Nécroyeur
Submitter: £e Nécroyeur
Submitted at: 2017-12-01 10:41:16
Intended tier: Moons
Text last edited at: 2017-12-11 15:46:05
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (47859 bytes)
Status: decision: accepted
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(Link to video)


Jail Break is an arcade game produced and released by Konami in 1986. The game's story is loosely based on the 1981 film Escape from New York, wherein Manhattan has become an island prison from which the hero must rescue the President of the United States, who is being held hostage. In Jail Break, the game's hero, Aki, must fight through 5 stages to rescue the warden of a prison following a mass escape. The settings for the various stages are all real locations in and around Manhattan, and the game follows a logical geographic progression. Even the game's original title, マンハッタン24分署: N.Y.151・西・第100ストリート (Manhattan 24 Bunsho: N.Y. 151 Nishi Dai 100 Sutorīto) refers, with curious specificity, to the New York City Police Department 24th Precinct, down to the address at 151 West 100th Street! Of technical interest, Jail Break was built on modified Green Beret (Rush'n Attack) hardware. Certain sound effects may be familiar to those who played contemporary Konami arcade games--even the NES games of the era used this shared sample library. The game also features digitized speech, using the same hardware as previous games such as Track & Field.


Game Objectives

  • Aims for fastest game completion
  • Aims for maximum score without sacrificing Frames
  • Uses maximum difficulty settings
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Uses U+D/L+R
  • Entertains without sacrificing Frames
  • Teleports Behind You

DIP Switch Settings

  • Lives set to 1
  • Coin A set to Free Play
  • Bonus Life set to 40K 80K+
  • Difficulty set to Very Difficult


"Thank me very much."

Tricks and Glitches

The Bum's Rush:

Ordinarily, Aki travels at a rate of 1 pixel per Frame. Using this technique, Aki can travel at a rate 37 times greater: 111 pixels per each 3 Frames, or 37 pixels per Frame. Hold Down, Right, and Left on the joystick simultaneously to cause Aki to rush forward. The Bum's Rush prevents enemies from spawning. It also causes Aki's Y location to fluctuate and causes his sprite to appear glitched. Holding Up, Down, and Right or Up, Down, and Left on the joystick simultaneously produces mostly the same effect, but reduces Aki's speed somewhat to 64 pixels per each 2 Frames, or 32 pixels per Frame. This is useful in a situation where using either technique as the last movement increment will reach the destination, because the "slower" technique requires only 2 Frames of travel as opposed to 3 Frames of travel with the "faster" technique. As a point of reference, even if Aki could advance to the end of the Stage without interruption at his normal rate (which he can not), it would require 12,820 additional Frames...more than 2 times as long as the entire TAS.

Teleport:

While screen scrolling is unlocked, pressing Down, Right, and Left on the joystick simultaneously causes the screen to scroll rapidly. However, when the end of a Stage is reached and screen scrolling is locked, using this same input allows Aki to instantaneously move to an arbitrary location on the screen, including a location which is beyond the screen boundary. There are various locations to which Aki may teleport. Pressing Up, Down, and Right or Up, Down, and Left on the joystick simultaneously produces a similar effect, but allows fewer destination possibilities. Holding Teleport input allows Aki to change his location every Frame that the input is held.

Carry On:

Pressing Down, Right, and Left on the joystick simultaneously while any of the first 2 character memory blocks are occupied causes any of the characters occupying those memory blocks to be "carried" with Aki to his destination, where they are then juxtaposed near him. This technique applies to Citizens as well as Prisoners. This is useful for forcing Housewife to despawn early on Stage 2 through Stage 4.

Prevent Enemy Spawn:

If all 7 character memory blocks are occupied when an enemy is scheduled to spawn, the enemy will fail to spawn. In such a case, the game considers the enemy to have spawned and been destroyed. Destroying the final "scheduled" enemy of a Stage on the earliest possible Frame requires 30 Frames for the enemy to despawn after being destroyed. As such, it is faster to allow the 7 "occupying" enemies to remain destroyed but not yet despawned just long enough to prevent the final scheduled enemy from spawning. This is useful on Stage 1, where the last character scheduled to spawn is a Machinegan.

Angle On Demand:

Normally, when Aki changes angle he is facing by less than 90° and then fires a Weapon, the projectile will be fired at an intermediate angle between the original facing angle and the current facing angle. This effect persists for 8 Frames, after which a fired projectile's angle will match the current facing angle. This game mechanic allows firing at 16 possible angles with an 8-direction joystick. This 8-Frame delay can be prevented by simply changing the angle that Aki is facing by 90° or more before then turning to face the desired angle and firing. This technique allows for more precise firing in a shorter amount of time.

Kill The Warden:

Normally, if Aki hits the Warden with a projectile, the dynamite strapped to his chair is detonated, the message "MISS SHOT !!" is displayed, and the game is over, regardless of how many lives remain. However, the detonator has a delay, the Warden can be destroyed, and if Aki can destroy the Warden before the detonator delay expires, the explosion is prevented, and there is no penalty!

Comments

The hero's name is Aki.

When an enemy is hit, Aki becomes impervious to collision damage from enemies. This status persists until the enemy despawns. Note that Aki can still be hit by a projectile during this status.

A weapon can be fired at any of 15 different angles for pinpoint accuracy. To fire at a secondary-intermediate angle, first press the joystick in one of the 2 directions nearest to the desired angle for 1 Frame, and then press the joystick in the other nearest direction for 1 Frame. For the next 8 Frames, the Weapon will fire at the desired secondary-intermediate angle. For example, to fire at a 23° angle, press Right on the joystick for 1 Frame, press Up and Right on the joystick for 1 Frame, and then press the Shoot button. It does not matter in which order the directions are pressed on the joystick. Strangely, it is not possible to fire at a 202° angle, though it is possible to fire at all other secondary-intermediate angles.

Frighteningly, enemies are capable of chasing Aki even out of bounds. Furthermore, enemies can fire from anywhere out of bounds, unlike Aki.

After an enemy has been hit, it requires 30 Frames to despawn.

A maximum of 7 enemies are allowed to simultaneously occupy the screen.

Input can only be entered for 1 Frame per each 2 Frames.

Using Bum's Rush while there is an object on the screen causes the game to generate Lag Frames.

The playfield extends horizontally from X 32 to X 208. Horizontal center is X 120. Note that until the end of a Stage is reached, Aki can not move beyond X 128, as this is the point at which the screen begins to scroll.

The playfield extends vertically from Y 89 to Y 208. Vertical center is Y 148. Using Teleport can allow Aki to move beyond these limitations. If Aki walks up beyond Y 89 (where the background meets the playfield), he will not be able to walk back down to the playfield using normal input. However, he can return to the playfield by continuing to walk up beyond Y 0, which causes him to wraparound to the bottom of the screen, where he is then ejected back up to Y 208 within the playfield. Of course, using Teleport again can also allow Aki to escape from the background as desired.

The end of a Stage is at Screen X High 10 Screen X Lower 73.

Normal screen scroll speed is 1 pixel per Frame.

The Hand Pistol can be fired before the Stage begins, but the muzzle flash will not appear until joystick input is unlocked.

When Free Play is enabled, pressing the Start button for 1 Frame during the gameplay segment of demonstration mode will cause the game to crash.

If an enemy is hit while he is in attack posture, his attack will be allowed to complete before he is destroyed.

Coin must be held for a minimum of 2 Frames, though these 2 Frames do not necessarily need to be sequential.

If Aki is killed after the last enemy has been destroyed, the transition to the next Stage begins, and the Player does not lose a Life. The transition audio clip "Thank you. You've saved me." fails to play.

At the end of a Stage, when the last enemy despawns, the transition to the next Stage begins, regardless of whether the enemy was destroyed or simply walked off of the screen.

At the end of a Stage, after sufficient time has elapsed, the transition to the next Stage begins, regardless of whether any enemies remain.

If there are too many objects simultaneously occupying the screen, the game will generate Lag Frames to compensate.

Rescuing a Citizen requires 30 Frames.

A Citizen can not be harmed by a Prisoner.

Holding Right and Left on the joystick simultaneously causes Aki to run to the left while facing to the right.

The Weapons:

All weapons combined are allowed a maximum of 7 projectiles to simultaneously occupy the screen (e.g. 4 of Hand Pistol, 1 of Bazooka, and 2 of Tear Gas).

Hand Pistol does 1 Hit Point of damage. Hand Pistol allows a maximum of 7 projectiles to simultaneously occupy the screen. A Hand Pistol projectile moves faster than the other Weapon types. Aki must be at Y 68 or lower on the screen in order for a Hand Pistol projectile to avoid being destroyed by the background. At Y 68, Hand Pistol must be fired directly down. Starting at Y 70, Hand Pistol may be fired downward at a 45° angle. At Y 71 and lower, Hand Pistol may be fired at any angle. Aki must be at Y 13 or higher on the screen in order for a Hand Pistol projectile to wraparound to the bottom of the screen. Aki must be at Y 8 or higher on the screen in order for a Hand Pistol projectile fired at any angle to wraparound to the bottom of the screen.

Bazooka does 1 Hit Point of damage per each Frame that it is in contact with a target. Bazooka allows a maximum of 1 projectile to occupy the screen. If there are 3 Tear Gas projectiles on the screen, Bazooka can not be fired. A Bazooka projectile moves slower than a Hand Pistol projectile, but faster than a Tear Gas projectile. Aki must be at Y 69 or lower on the screen in order for a Bazooka projectile to avoid being destroyed by the background. At Y 69, Bazooka must be fired directly down. Starting at Y 70, Bazooka may be fired downward at a 45° angle. At Y 71 and lower, Bazooka may be fired at any angle. Aki must be at Y 12 or higher on the screen in order for a Bazooka projectile to wraparound to the bottom of the screen. Aki must be at Y 10 or higher on the screen in order for a Bazooka projectile fired at any angle to wraparound to the bottom of the screen. A Bazooka projectile will penetrate any Enemy or Citizen. Any.

Tear Gas does 1 Hit Point of damage per each Frame that it is in contact with a target. Tear Gas allows a maximum of 3 projectiles to simultaneously occupy the screen. If there is a Bazooka projectile on the screen, only 2 Tear Gas projectiles can be fired. A Tear Gas projectile moves slower than the other Weapon types. Aki must be at Y 40 or lower on the screen in order for a Tear Gas projectile to avoid being destroyed by the background. At Y 40, Tear Gas must be fired directly down. Starting at Y 44, Tear Gas may be fired downward at a 45° angle. At Y 45 and lower, Tear Gas may be fired at any angle. Aki must be at Y 12 or higher on the screen in order for a Tear Gas projectile to wraparound to the bottom of the screen. Aki must be at Y 6 or higher on the screen in order for a Tear Gas projectile fired at any angle to wraparound to the bottom of the screen. A Tear Gas projectile has homing capability against an enemy in a window. When a Tear Gas projectile collides with an obstacle, enemy, or Citizen, it explodes. The explosion from Tear Gas remains damaging for 16 Frames until it has despawned. If an additional target collides with a Tear Gas explosion before the explosion's timer has expired, the explosion's timer is reset to 16. If a target remains in contact with a Tear Gas explosion, the explosion's timer remains at 16 until the target is destroyed. It is the ultimate power in the universe.

The Enemies

Cats is worth 200 points. Cats is unarmed.

Molotov Cocktail is worth 200 points. The explosion from Molotov Cocktail remains damaging until it has despawned. The Molotov Cocktail itself can not hit Aki. Molotov Cocktail enters attack posture 32 Frames after spawning. Attack posture requires 16 Frames. Molotov Cocktail enters attack posture 32 Frames after attack posture ends. If there are no mitigating factors, Molotov Cocktail enters attack posture every 54 Frames until he is either destroyed or despawned. Note that if there are (or are scheduled to be) 8 enemy projectiles on the screen, Molotov Cocktail will not attack as scheduled. He may attack after a delay of 2-4 Frames, or he may not attack again at all until one of the enemy projectiles on the screen has despawned. If it is the latter, Molotov Cocktail will enter attack posture 18 Frames after one of the enemy projectiles on the screen has despawned.

Machinegan [sic] is worth 200 points. Machinegan enters attack posture 32 Frames after spawning. Attack posture requires 22 Frames. Machinegan enters attack posture 32 Frames after attack posture ends. If there are no mitigating factors, Machinegan enters attack posture every 54 Frames until he is either destroyed or despawned. Note that if there are (or are scheduled to be) 8 enemy projectiles on the screen, Machinegan will not fire as scheduled. He may fire after a delay of 2-4 Frames, or he may not fire again at all until one of the enemy projectiles on the screen has despawned. If it is the latter, Machinegan will enter attack posture 18 Frames after one of the enemy projectiles on the screen has despawned.

Trash Truck is worth 400 points. Trash Truck can only be destroyed with Bazooka.

The Score:

Drum is worth 100 points. Drum can only be destroyed with Bazooka.

Citizen is worth 500 points.

Housewife is worth 1,000 points.

Child is worth 2,000 points.

Batman is worth 5,000 points.

Topless Woman is worth 5,000 points.

Stage By Stage Comments

Stage 1: Upper West Side:

Unlike the other Stages, the game's voice-over does not announce the name of Stage 1. However, assuming a point of origin at West 100th Street, it seems reasonable that the setting for Stage 1 is the Upper West Side.

Using Bum's Rush prevents 5 Machinegan from spawning at the end of the Stage.

Hold Down, Right, and Left on the joystick for 80 Frames from Frame 840 to Frame 920 to reach Screen X High 10 Screen X Low 9.

Press Up, Down, and Right or Up, Down, and Left on the joystick on Frame 920 to reach Screen X High 10 Screen X Low 73 on Frame 922. This saves 1 Frame compared to pressing Down, Right, and Left on Frame 920.

Enemy 14 is scheduled to spawn on Frame 1578.

Machinegan 7-13 are allowed to remain just long enough to prevent Machinegan 14 from spawning. This allows the final enemy to be destroyed on an earlier Frame. This saves 20 Frames compared to allowing Machinegan 14 to spawn and then destroying him on the earliest possible Frame.

Aki is killed during the battle, but his sense of civic duty will not let him rest. Onward!

Stage 2: Battery Park:

Using Bum's Rush prevents 5 Machinegan from spawning at the end of the Stage.

Machinegan, Molotov Cocktail, and Housewife spawn at the end of the Stage.

Rescuing Housewife gains Bazooka.

The final character to spawn on this Stage is Housewife. Because Housewife travels vertically, she can be carried to a vertical screen boundary and forced to quickly despawn. The ideal location to which to Carry Housewife is between Y 15 and Y 29. Prior to the final Teleport Aki's location is adjusted such that 1 Frame of Carrying Housewife will cause her to instantaneously despawn. This saves 30 Frames compared to shooting Housewife (thank God), and saves 118 Frames compared to rescuing her.

Stage 3 and Stage 4 progress in the same manner as Stage 2.

Stage 3: The Navy Yard:

Presumably, this Stage refers to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Rescuing Housewife gains Tear Gas.

Stage 4: Manhattan Bridge:

Aki becomes as a dervish as enemies are cut down all around him.

Stage 5: Manhattan Prison:

This Stage is announced simply as "Manhattan Prison". Considering the proximity to Manhattan Bridge, and its high-profile nature, this can be inferred to mean the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Aki scores a sixfer with the Bazooka.

Rather than preventing the final enemy from spawning, he is allowed to spawn as scheduled. This allows Aki time to move to and attack this enemy from long range. This in turn allows Aki time to move to and attack the final enemies from maximum range. Thus, input is ended on the earliest possible Frame.

Normally, if Aki hits the Warden with a projectile, the dynamite strapped to his chair is detonated, the message "MISS SHOT !!" is displayed, and the game is over, regardless of how many lives remain. However, the detonator has a delay, the Warden can be destroyed, and if Aki can destroy the Warden before the detonator delay expires, the explosion is prevented, and there is no penalty! When the Warden is hit for the 1st time, the bomb is armed, and the delay timer begins to increment at a rate of 1 per Frame. Additionally, Aki becomes invincible. When the Warden is hit again, his damage counter is incremented. Each hit increments this damage counter by 1, to a maximum of 30. When the Warden's damage counter is at 30, the next hit will disarm the bomb and destroy the Warden. It is difficult to tell whether this game mechanic is a glitch or an Easter egg. Considering Konami's penchant for such things (even within this game), as well as the relative ease of exploiting it, it is plausible that it could be the latter. The Warden is worth 200 points per hit, to a maximum of 6,400 points. More than any bonus in the game!

The final shot is fired from maximum effective range at a 45° angle. The combination of the slowest-moving projectile with indefinite damage duration makes Tear Gas a godsend for ending a TAS of this game.

Simultaneous with firing the final shot, Aki also Teleports back within the screen boundary. Otherwise, when the cutscene begins, Aki would run down into the screen boundary continuously, and thus never be able to complete the transition to the ending.

Suggested Screenshot

Frame 1568


feos: Okay, okay, FINE! Judging.

feos: This run is incredible. I don't remember ever seeing opposite directions cause so much damage to the game. And with everything broken apart, it remains highly entertaining as well!

The legitimacy questions were thoroughly discussed in the thread, the bottom line is that even on arcades opposite directions are possible if you send input data directly to the ports, just like TASBot sends those to home consoles. On the other hand, opposite analog directions are completely impossible by nature, even though this game doesn't have that. So we're not breaking any rules here, just acting consistent with the all-time site stance.

One more note, this run didn't use my modified input system, it used what was already available in mame 0.139. The latter just wasn't very consistent with what opposing directions it allowed. Anyway, later on mame switched to allowing all directions through an option.

Accepting to Moons.


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