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

Submission #6917: nymx's SNES Q*Bert 3 "X-Bert" in 15:24.69

Console: Super NES
Game name: Q*Bert 3
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: Q-bert 3 (U) [!].smc
Branch: X-Bert
Emulator: lsnes rr2-B23
Movie length: 15:24.69
FrameCount: 55573
Re-record count: 86961
Author's real name: Doug Albanese
Author's nickname: nymx
Submitter: nymx
Submitted at: 2020-10-22 13:14:24
Text last edited at: 2020-11-11 02:53:04
Text last edited by: Zinfidel
Download: Download (22197 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

Twitch Stream Commentary with Worsel

Temp Encode

X-Bert Levels!

If I'm going to completely TAS this game, I'm going to solve the X-Bert Levels at record pace.
These levels can only be reached by the code BYYY BYYY at the options screen. Since I was already there in the options area...I decided to cut off those HORRIBLE sounds and backgrounds! I know...Thank you very much for your approval. :) This mode presents 20 of the hardest levels the game has to offer...which is played from the beginning like the normal mode.

Special Thanks

Thanks goes out to Worsel for helping me stream this TAS and to put commentary to it.

Game Details

Q-Bert 3 came from the concept of the classic arcade game. Even though this game is classified as a puzzle, it had action qualities as well.
The object of the game is to change the color of each cube to the designated color, noted at the top of the screen. As the game progresses, the coloring patterns change.
During the quest of completing each screen, enemy avoidance is necessary to stay alive. The basic concept of identifying enemies, would be to note their color...which Q-bert 3 veers a bit from. Basically, Purple and Red (Coily, the purple snake, Ugg and Wrong way are bad...with the exception of red fruit. With Q-bert 3, the addition of new enemies include non-purple/red enemies...such as the Frog (which follows you around slowly), Pipes (which shoots tiny red balls) , Hats (which bounce back and forward in a defined/static pattern), and purple kisses (which move around in a defined pattern and then drop off of the cubes).


  • any%
  • Real-Time

Tools Used:

  • lsnes Emulator rr2-B23

Level Coloring Patterns

Note: A is the first color (original starting color), and B & C follow suit. Parenthesis indicates a repeating color changes for when continuous hopping occurs.

Levels 1 - 20: (ABC)


The intensity of these levels presented many difficulties in optimization.
  • Parity: A lot of times, Q*bert must hop on a float disc to be moved around to reset the hopping pattern to offset the coloring in a way that would allow the colors to sync up for completion. In this TAS, parity was carefully planned to eliminate time.
  • Lag Reduction: These levels had a lot more activity, in regards to enemies, which forced me to heavily experiment with strategies and routes.
  • Strategies: Dying (falling off the grid, or running into select enemies), use of freeze balls (sometimes avoiding them), planning for Slick/Sam to color in cubes, and use of escape disks.
  • Routing: The increase of size and activity produced tons of options and made for a lot of chaos to figure out. Reducing the time, with these in consideration, came down to utilizing deaths mostly or creative timing of escape disks. In some cases, running into enemies to clear paths and reset my plan prevailed.

Existing run

There is only one speed run that I could find and it has a few mistakes in it...but the runner did a great job beating it. If you are interested in a comparison to a human run, please check out:

(Link to video)

His run completes this mode in about 34 minutes. I am happy that I was able to produce a TAS that was less than half the RTA length. This should convey the level of difficulty this mode has to offer.

ThunderAxe31: File replaced per author request for a more accurate rerecord count value.

feos: Little to no feedback, and gameplay is still essentially the same as in the main game. Accepting to Vault as a new branch, since it plays the unlockable harder levels.

Zinfidel: Processing...

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