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

Submission #6390: Lobsterzelda's A2600 Road Runner in 06:47.17

Console: Atari 2600
Game name: Road Runner
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Road Runner.bin
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.3.1
Movie length: 06:47.17
FrameCount: 24399
Re-record count: 8126
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: Lobsterzelda
Submitter: Lobsterzelda
Submitted at: 2019-05-17 04:23:18
Text last edited at: 2019-05-18 06:22:55
Text last edited by: Lobsterzelda
Download: Download (5675 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:

Emulator Version:

BizHawk V. 2.3.1

Programming Errors:

When Wile E. Coyote gets far enough behind you that he is offscreen, he will put on roller skates and move much faster to try to catch you. At certain points, I would have been caught before I could stop the coyote. To prevent this, I moved forward for 5 frames, paused for 1 frame when the Coyote went off screen, and then kept repeating this as needed. This tactic of scrolling the coyote enabled me to get just enough distance between me and the coyote for me to complete my escape. An example of this can be seen at 5:14 in the encode linked below.


In this game you lose a life whenever you hit an obstacle (such as a landmine, a truck, or a cliff) or get caught by the coyote. When you get caught by the coyote, he spends a few frames sliding in front of you before he begins his animation of carrying you off the screen, at which point you lose a life. However, Wile E. Coyote is still vulnerable to being hit by obstacles when he is in the middle of his animation sliding forward when he has just grabbed you and picked you up. At several points in the run, I make use of this tactic to escape from Wile E.'s clutches. As such, there are no deaths in this run, though I do get "hit" by the coyote at a few points. For an example of this, see 4:29 in the encode below.


The goal of this TAS was to beat all 8 levels of the game as fast as possible

Game Description:

Released in 1989, this is one of the last officially licensed Atari 2600 games that Atari released. In the scorching desert of Arizona, you play as a Road Runner, chased by your eternal nemesis Wile E. Coyote. Wile E. is a very crafty coyote. He has planted landmines throughout the road you are on in an effort to catch you, and also has guns placed throughout portions of the road to try to hit you. Additionally, he has roller skates and rockets he can use to try to catch up to you if you start to get away from him. As if this wasn't bad enough, there are also trucks, cliffs, and falling boulders that you must dodge as well. While it may seem as though things are stacked in the coyote's favor, don't despair! The same obstacles that can hurt you can also hurt the coyote. Wile E. can be blown up by his own landmines, or hit by a truck in the midst of his relentless pursuit to catch you. However, if you want to have any hope of surviving this predator, you'll have to go fast!!!!!

TASing Process:

In this game, you move the fastest when you are moving left or jumping left, both of which are the same speed. You lose time if you stop moving, if you move to the right, or if you move up or down to switch which lane of the road you are on or how high up you are on the ledge in levels that take place outside the road. Wile E. will move slowly behind you until you get far enough ahead that he is scrolled off the screen. Then, he will charge forwards using roller skates to try to catch you. To stop his charge, you can eat bird seed that is scattered throughout the road, or you can lure Wile E. into running into an obstacle, since he always stays on the same horizontal line as you. If you don't have any obstacles ahead to stop him, you can move until Wile goes off screen, pause for a frame, then move forward for 5 frames, and then repeat, until you are close enough to an obstacle to lure him into it. Wile E. will only go on his roller skates if you move left while he is off screen, so doing this allows you to move forward a little further before he begins his charge. Below is a summary of the process of making each of the 8 levels.

Level 1:

This level is pretty straightforward. Just run to the left and jump over the occasional truck that appears. Wile will be unable to catch up to you as long as you keep running.

Level 2:

Like level 1, this level is also straightforward. All you need to do is run left and jump over any cliffs in front of you. Wile E. will get closer to you than he did in level 1, but if you don't stop running, he still can't catch you.

Level 3:

This is the first level where Wile E. Coyote can use roller skates to quickly catch up to you, so from here on out, you have to be crafty to avoid being eaten. 5 times during the level, I move up or down to either eat bird seed or lure Wile E. into an obstacle. In each case, I move the minimum amount up or down that I need to to stop Wile E, and I do this as few times as possible in the level.

Level 4:

In this level, Wile E.'s guns fire at you at specific points on the road. As long as you jump while the bullet is passing through you, then you won't be hit. Wile E. also occasionally moves towards you in a rocket ship, where if he touches you, he captures you. However, you can avoid his ship each time it appears by moving either up or down for 3 frames to get out of his ship's way.

Level 5:

Due to the large amount of bird seed scattered throughout this level, I am able to stop Wile E. Coyote dead in his tracks without having to move very much, making this a relatively easy level.

Level 6:

This is the level where you have to dodge falling rocks. Although you can't cross the path when there are rocks blocking it, Wile E. is free to keep chasing you while you are waiting. Fortunately, I take advantage of the fact that Wile E. moves in front of you when he captures you to lure him into the rocks. By getting right next to the rocks before Wile E. grabs me, I am able to cause him to get hit by a rock and crushed before he can carry me off, which simultaneously removes the threat of being captured by Wile and the need to slow down to avoid being caught by Wile E. all at once. I am also able to save time by jumping over the rocks as they are falling on the first frame that I can clear the rocks without being hit by them.

Level 7:

This level is pretty similar to level 5. You just need to keep running and hitting the occasional bird seed/luring Wile E. into the occasional obstacle to keep going without slowing down.

Level 8:

This level follows a similar format to level 4, with Wile E.'s guns trying to mow you down and Wile E. trying to collect you with his rocket ship. After avoiding all of these obstacles and making it to the end of the level, you have beaten the game!

This game makes for an entertaining TAS, as the quick thinking strategies that the TAS uses to escape Wile E. greatly resemble what the actual cartoon looks like (albeit with Atari 2600 graphics). This has the effect of making the TAS seem almost like a movie showing the TV show, which is an effect which is aided by the animations of Wile E. being blown up and flattened by obstacles, and by the Acme signs scattered throughout the game.

I think that this will make a good addition to TASVideo's collection of movies, and I hope you enjoy watching it!

(Link to video)

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