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

Submission #5995: klmz's NES Chack'n Pop in 05:42.83

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Chack'n Pop
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Chack 'n Pop (J).nes
Emulator: FCEUX 2.2.2
Movie length: 05:42.83
FrameCount: 20604
Re-record count: 4929
Author's real name: K.H.
Author's nickname: klmz
Submitter: klmz
Submitted at: 2018-06-14 09:29:40
Text last edited at: 2020-05-10 09:41:44
Text last edited by: CoolKirby
Download: Download (3226 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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Author's comments and explanations:
Chack'n Pop (ちゃっくんぽっぷ) is often considered as the classic predecessor of the very popular Bubble Bobble series. Originally an arcade game, it features a small yellow creature named Chack'n who can walk on the floor and ceiling, climb steps, and drop bombs.

This run improves the currently published [2128] NES Chack'n Pop (JPN) by GeminiSaint in 06:55.63 by 4375 frames as well as the TAS uploaded by ぺろったー on nicovideo by 24 frames.

(Link to video)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: FCEUX 2.2.2
  • Aims for fastest input time.
  • Allows deaths to save time.
  • Manipulates luck.


Death warp

This is a big time-saver. It warps the character to the starting point and all released hearts directly to the goal with the corresponding blocking "wall" removed.

Invincibility Powerup

This is a second big time-saver. This powerup morphs from a bomb after two or more Monstas are eliminated at the same time if and only if the amount of bombs exploded in the current stage is equal to a magical number, which is the digit of Pi indexed with the number of the stage.

It makes the character move faster, jump higher and become invincible to enemies, but the effects only last before the changed tune ends.

AI Manipulation

This game has a very chaotic PRNG. Still enemies are manipulated to move in the ways as favorable as theoretically possible according to the study on the AI. Sometimes waiting is still inevitable.

Stage by Stage Comments

The TAS made by ぺろったー was highly optimized.

Stage 6

The Magical Digit for the powerup is 9. Fortunately there is plenty of time to spam enough bombs to get the powerup in time.

I thought up a strategy to arrive a the right wing of the the map earlier, but it didn't work. Compared to ぺろったー's TAS, the right wing was actually 1 frame faster, but the 16-frame rule of the heart movement nullified that.

Stage 7

The Magical Digit for the powerup is 2. Too small to be practical.

Anyways, I found that the bomb could blow up from midair the Monsta Egg on the right side of the map near the goal. Hence this makes the first steady improvement in this run compared to the previous TAS record.

I destroyed the Monsta guarding the heart on the left along with the cage. It's infeasible to drop a bomb from the left side to break through the floor because the AI algorithm wouldn't leave room for Chack'n to survive between the Monsta and the blast.

Stage 9

The Magical Digit for the powerup is 5. Quite a strain on bomb usage as there are a lot of walls to break, but it's still manageable.

The enemy manipulation to get the powerup is however the most difficult part in this run. And another improvement is acquired here.

mtvf1 suggested an alternative strategy to get the powerup but the AI unfortunately doesn't allow that to happen.

Other comments

Thanks to all previous players! Additionally thanks to mtfv1 for the encode!

ThunderAxe31: Judging.

ThunderAxe31: Unlike the versions for Arcade and SG-1000, the game used for this submission doesn't feature any kind of ending, as it just endlessly repeats the 9 level layouts available. For this kind of game, our Movie Rules require to complete all available game contents, which includes beating the game after reaching the highest level of difficulty, if applicable. In this game, the difficulty reaches the maximum from Maze 9 and onwards, by making the hatching time of the Monsta eggs faster. For this reason, from Maze 10 to Maze 17, the game provides a harder challenge that inevitably results in different TASing contents compared to the Mazes beaten during the first loop. However, it must be noted that Maze 18, which is the last round of the second loop, features both same level layout and same difficulty setting used for Maze 9, and thus would result redundant, except that for RNG manipulation.

Since the movie in this submission does stop before beating Maze 17, it can't be considered as beating the game, according to our rules. While we already have a published movie that stops after beating Maze 9, it must be noted that our Movie Rules are applied even if there are published movies that break them. Rejecting for not completing all game contents.

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