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

Submission #6605: Ninja-kun's FDS Esper Dream in 40:06.67

Console: Famicom Disk System
Game name: Esper Dream
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Esper Dream (Japan) (v1.0) [b].zip
Emulator: BizHawk 2.3.2
Movie length: 40:06.67
FrameCount: 144638
Re-record count: 48347
Author's real name: 悠志
Author's nickname: Ninja-kun
Submitter: Ninja-kun
Submitted at: 2020-01-24 17:38:16
Text last edited at: 2020-02-16 22:21:39
Text last edited by: Dacicus
Download: Download (49533 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

Game objective

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 2.3.2
  • Complete the game as quick as possible - the time is from the timing of starting the Disk System to the timing of the last input at the clock tower


This game is an action RPG game which was published in 1987 by Konami. A short summary of the story is followed... A player was requested to save the world inside a book and when he woke up he realized he is there already. So his purpose is, to beat 5 bosses of enemies to get 5 miracle capsules and to save a mayor's daughter, in addition he needs to gather 2 items which are necessary to go back to the original world - a small stick and a reg gem.

There are 5 Worlds in the book, and enemies in World 4 and 5 are surprisingly strong which can't be comparable with ones in area 1 or 2, so in a normal play, we need to go to the area 1 first, and earn the EXP to raise the player's level, try next.

In this TASplay, below is a chart in order to complete the game as fast as possible.

  1. Earn big money in World 2 by using a glitch - if the player encounter enemies which were generated when the player is in a specific Y-position, they will be some kind of points 'P'. If the player takes it, he can earn over 10k GOLD by each. Even in a normal play everyone can use this glitch.
  2. Buy weapons and armors in the first village by using the money above and go to a next one thanks to these weapons, and buy a stronger weapon and armor. Also buy an EP(Esper point) auto-recovery pill, ESP beam and ESP life up as well.
  3. Raise a level to 2, as a result gain EP by 30. Use ESP life up which requires 250 EP point. Suddenly the player's EP will be gone up to 9780 because EP auto-recovery pill is to recover EP to a current maximum EP value. In this case, it should be recovered to 30 but as ESP life-up needs 250 EP, even after the recovery EP will be negative, can't offset -220 (30-250). Then, for some reasons, memory underflow is happened and EP will be gone up to 9,780, which equal to 10000 - 220.
  4. Go to World 3 to get a triple beam, to reinforce ESP beam to 3x, and get a red beam in area 5 to make ESP beam much stronger
  5. With theas all weapons, beat all bosses in addition to gathering required 2 iteams

In order to shorten completion time especially for battle scenes, I tried to do below

  1. Try to have preferable numbers of enemies in good positions, in every battles
  • By pushing select buttons or wait for 1-3 frames before each battle (in case the select button don't work to get good result) to change variables
  1. Leverage a technique, 'cancelling ESP beam'
  • Basically, we need to wait for a while to shoot another ESP beam, there is a cool down period
  • In the field, at the same frame in which the player encounters enemies, we can shoot ESP beam
  • This beam will be shot just at the timing of the battle is started, it can make a damage to enemies
  • If the player shoots another beam, the original one will be disappeared immediately - cancellation
  • So the player can beat enemies faster by leveraging it. For example, beat enemies at right with the first ESP beam which was shot in the field, and immediately after that shoot next one toward enemies at left without any cool-down period
  1. use Select button effectively
  • Select button is for switching ESP, in the field no loss at all, in the battle field both enemies and the player can't move for some frames after select button is pushed
  • In the field, this is used for changing randomness as above
  • In the battle field, even when they player and enemies can't move at all, the ESP beam will not be stopped.
So if we push the select button just after the player shoot the beam, as the enemies can't move ESP beam can be easily hit to them.
If we repeatedly use this, the player can put damages continuously to enemies w/o any countryattacks

Stage by stage comments

Actually, in TAS, we don't need to stick an order of areas, however, as the player moves very slowly, we should consider which root is the shortest. I tried to have many roots by calculating required frames. As a result, I found out the chart which is applied in RTA movies is the best one. So the player will beat the boss in area 5 (= the last boss), and will destroy all in a reverse order, 4,3,2,1. :)

In the dungeon in the area 5, the player needs to earn EXP by fighting with many of them in order to raise levels to gain ESP teleport, which is mandatory to shorten times.


Actually there are not so much opportunities to improve this movies other than optimizing each battle more. Even for battles, they were optimized so even if we can shorten it, it will not show big differences.

Only one time I experienced some enemies on the filed were suddenly disappeared so I didn't need to fight with them. If I can reproduce that situation we can reduce the number of the fights but I couldn't do it successfully.

slamo: Optimization seems pretty good in this one. There are a couple of weird spots, but it seems these are just for despawning and/or enemy manipulation. The overall routing looks reasonable enough, and you made good use of the EP underflow exploit. The battles are also admirable compared to the RTA run.

There hasn't been too much feedback on this movie, but audience reception overall was ok. I found the movie somewhat entertaining at first, but the battles and dungeons do get fairly repetitive. Accepting to Vault.

Dacicus: Processing...

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