TASVideos

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

Submission #6636: Bloopiero's NES Hammerin' Harry in 06:45.9

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Hammerin' Harry
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Daiku no Gen-san (Japan).nes
Branch:
Emulator: BizHawk 2.3.2
Movie length: 06:45.9
FrameCount: 24394
Re-record count: 37429
Author's real name: Justin Kastler
Author's nickname: Bloopiero
Submitter: Bloopiero
Submitted at: 2020-02-23 23:39:54
Text last edited at: 2020-03-13 15:52:21
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (9497 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Thanks for checking out my first solo TAS on the site! Hammerin' Harry is a popular series in Japan, known there as Gen the Carpenter. After a few previous improvements with incrementally better movement and powerup changes, the NES iteration finally gets the overhaul it deserves. This run includes many new tricks and skips, boss fights done in half the time, major lag reduction, and some (hopefully) interesting playarounds. This is an improvement over the previous submission of 777 frames (lucky!), or 12.93 seconds at 60.098813897441 fps.

Game Objectives

  • Aims for shortest input
  • Uses glitches to save time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Genre: Action, Platform


Temp Encode


(Link to video)
(make sure to watch at 60fps for o p t i m a l freeruns)


RAM Addresses

Address Value
044A X Position
0438 X Subpixel
000A Y Position
0505 Various Boss Healths
04FE S4 Boss Health
04FE Player Health
0708 Elevator Requirement


Timesaves

Section Frames Saved Seconds Saved
Stage 1 4 0.07
Stage 1 Boss 44 0.73
Stage 2 70 1.16
Stage 2 Boss 0 0.00
Stage 3 219 3.64
Stage 3 Boss 42 0.70
Stage 4 111 1.85
Stage 4 Boss 49 0.82
Stage 5 155 2.58
Stage 5 Boss 84 1.40
Total 777 12.93


Stage by Stage Comments

Stage 1

Despite this being the least interesting stage in the game due to how flat it is, there are still a few small changes. An important part of this TAS is that movement is on a cycle between 1 and 2 units on each frame that you’re moving at full speed. McBobX knew about this, but apparently didn’t figure it out until later in the game, as he doesn’t do most of the optimal 2-pixel jumps in this level. That saved 3f overall, and the noticeable difference that saved the last frame is slowing down a bit to pass through one of the electric enemies instead of jumping over him (landing from a jump always causes 2f of no movement).

Stage 1 Boss

And already, there are some major changes coming into play! Because of how this boss’ damage animation works, if you can hit him with an upwards hammer early enough into it, the game registers a hit without making him go into knockback. It’s possible to make him unbeatable if you use this on the last hit, but here it saves a nice 44f. I do find it odd that 3 people in a row failed to find something that happens almost automatically if you’re being optimal, but I’m not complaining.

Stage 2

This is where the levels start to become more vertical, and more interesting in general. On the first waterfall engineer, being able to jump sooner before the second hit saved 4f. I start the movement after the waterfall with a +2, saving a unit, which you’ll see repeatedly in many parts of this run. On all of the ladders in this level, I jump off and then regrab them to gain height much faster than before, saving more than half a second throughout. At the falling platform, the midair walking tech gets its first use, allowing me to jump off to the left much sooner without hitting the spikes above me; this is done by alternating between a direction and no input every frame. I also get hit on the left of the soldier, which allows me to use more ladder jumping, cutting off another big chunk of time.

When jumping into the spikes, there are set intervals where the falling platform can eject you to, instead of moving you by a specific amount when you jump into it; thus, by jumping sooner, I get boosted forwards 9 units instead of 4. The second waterfall engineer is improved in a similar manner to the first one, although it’s helped by another small use of midair walking, allowing me to grab onto the ladder high enough that I don’t need to wait to climb it, saving a total of 10f; I also jump into the gap between boxes to avoid falling off them and wasting the 2f. Although there were no changes to the miniboss, I start walking to the right sooner before it starts scrolling, and dropping off of the ladder instead of jumping saved a surprising 14f.

Stage 2 Boss

Not too much to say about this, considering it’s the only unimproved segment in the whole run. If we had an extra point of health, we could save 28f getting hit by a falling bomb after the third hit and immediately getting the fourth one in, but the other uses of health in the level save much more time, and there aren’t any convenient medicine bottles anywhere before this.

Stage 3

This level gets the trophy for Most Improved. I remove several unnecessary jumps at the beginning, and defeat the miniboss a lot quicker using nitrogenesis’ old strat that McBobX decided to change for some reason. But the big timesave is quite obvious - I hover across the ocean instead of going into the looping autoscroller, saving over 3 seconds! Getting damage boosted by the seagull to stop the hover sooner saves a large amount of time, but it would’ve meant that the old boss strat would be a bit slower, due to it having its own damage boost. Luckily, the new strat there doesn’t require it, so this level can enjoy not having any tradeoffs. It’s just too bad that we don’t get to hear the cellist’s music anymore.

Stage 3 Boss

The only thing that can damage this boss is downwards smashes, and ones done in midair have much less endlag than grounded ones. Here, I'm able to repeatedly slide off of the car for one frame in order to chain multiple midairs together. That, combined with getting the final hit in earlier using the hammer’s disjointed front hitbox, cut off nearly a second from an already quick fight.

Stage 4

The beginning section is mostly the same, besides a few small changes. I destroy the box at the start to adjust rng, and it doesn’t waste any time because you can attack way before moving while a level is fading in. Although jumping over the plumber means I have to waste some frames landing and pressing against the pipe wall, the greater vertical speed dropping through the floor more than makes up for it. I avoid a few other landing frames, and drop through pipes at opportune times to waste as little speed as possible, along with getting rid of the 3 lag frames. When grabbing the hammer upgrade, I break the box a few frames earlier, but I also jump while touching it to have the pipe on the right stop me for fewer frames. I’m also able to make the final jump much sooner by breaking the box above me. Overall, I enter the elevator 16f earlier.

Hitting the secretary as soon as possible with my neutral attack doesn’t actually do any meaningful damage, but she does fly backwards faster than she would otherwise, allowing me to land the next two hits sooner. I’m also able to destroy the wall a bit faster by scrolling the screen more. This floor is where the huge lag reduction happens - by adjusting my movement pattern and destroying the stack of 3 boxes, I save 32f from lag alone. I have to waste a few in-game frames here to get the best enemy pattern in the next room, and I spend that extra time doing the movement adjustment I mentioned.

The wall on this floor has half the health of the others for some reason, so a neutral attack reaches it sooner than a downwards one. The elevator in this room is on a counter, and when it reaches 9, it opens. You advance this count by killing women while the screen is fully scrolled to the right. I manipulate one to appear as the first enemy, and then kill them as soon as they spawn after that point. In total, understanding that system saved a second and a half from the old runs. Not much happens on the last floor, besides saving 2f by only landing on the desk while the wall is in the process of breaking.

Stage 4 Boss

Pretty obvious changes here. I take advantage of the boss being able to screenwrap, and damage boost off of her twice to get the hits in the moment she’s vulnerable, saving a great 49f.

Stage 5

And we’re already at the final stage! This may not be the most improved one, but it is the only one with a changed route, which I think is interesting. I grab a hard hat at the beginning to use for later, taking advantage of the trick I mentioned earlier where you can attack way before moving. The climb to the top and damage boost off of the flame is the same as before, although I get rid of 8f of lag during the spike ball section, and use a neutral attack to break the wall a bit quicker. After grabbing the necessary medicine bottle, I do a midair walk to avoid having to wait a long time for the moving ball to swing back around. This also serves a double purpose of keeping the screen scrolled more to the left, giving me a larger window to avoid the waterfalls. This results in a huge amount of time spent waiting gone, saving over 2 seconds! I damage boost through the second waterfall as normal, and reach the end with 5f less lag; however, instead of waiting for the final waterfall, I use the hard hat I picked up before to go straight through it without taking any knockback. Unfortunately, the flashing colors introduce an unavoidable 4f of lag, but it’s definitely worth it. Finally, I grab a medicine bottle from the last box, which I’ll use in the upcoming segment.

Stage 5 Boss

We take advantage of the medicine we just got to use the strat here that speedrunners do, where hitting the boss from his right side avoids him flying back up top. I deal the final hit a full 84f faster, saving a combined total of 777 frames! Thanks for sticking with me through this rambling explanation. Onwards to Hammerin’ Harry 2! (the much worse one)


Special Thanks

McBobX, nitrogenesis, and Randil for providing much of the baseline for this run.

pip_johnson and Death_Devil, for their great speedruns of the game.

EZGames69, for threatening me.


Suggested Screenshots

13250

A cool preview of the hover over the ocean.


19221

In earlier revisions of my run, there were many more sprite oddities. This is, unfortunately, the only double pants remaining in the final product.


ThunderAxe31: Judging.

ThunderAxe31: Accepting as improvement over the current publication.

feos: Pub.


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