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

Submission #7111: nymx's C64 Astro-Panic! in 00:44.65

Console: Commodore 64
Game name: Astro-Panic!
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: Astro-Panic!_(SWIM).d64
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.5.2
Movie length: 00:44.65
FrameCount: 2238
Re-record count: 7660
Author's real name: Doug Albanese
Author's nickname: nymx
Submitter: nymx
Submitted at: 2021-04-28 02:46:28
Text last edited at: 2021-05-07 16:29:37
Text last edited by: Zinfidel
Download: Download (4436 bytes)
Status: published
Click to view the actual publication
Submission instructions
Discuss this submission (also rating / voting)
List all submissions by this submitter
List pages on this site that refer to this submission
View submission text history
Back to the submission list
Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)


I'm really happy to see the very first submission of a "Compute's Gazette" game to this site. This game was published in February 1984, via the very popular magazine for the Commodore computer series. It was a monthly issue that provided articles for many different things. Some of which included, BASIC programming tips, Machine Language Tutorials, "Type-In" games, review of software, and more. The author, Charles Brannon, was a great contributor to the magazine for many articles and programs. Astro-Panic was one of his most popular games, written completely in Machine Language.

Why TAS this game?

When this was published, the article made mention of something to "look out" for around Level 15. I kinda figure it was a joke, so I browsed YouTube to find videos of players that couldn't get too far in this game. As stated in the publication, "no one ever made it beyond level 12". So, because it was a favorite childhood game, I decided to TAS it and find out what happens past that. I was surprised to discover what Charles Brannon has waiting for at Level 15!


This game is absolutely an RNG nightmare. Every frame can adjust an enemy ship, when its about to bounce off a border. The variations were enormous and prompted me to attempt a BOTed run. After checking a number of BOTing techniques, I realized it was not going to be an easy task...so I attempted to approach it manually. My first attempt was about a year ago (basically a test TAS), where I completed the game having collected up a number of tricks that would be applied to the final version. Just recently, I finally decided to get back to it. This game took me about 2 months to TAS. My final version is something that I am completely satisfied with, in terms of its optimization.

Article Text

"Astro-PANIC!" is a fast-paced, high-speed, all-machine-language game. The object is to defend your cannon, maneuvering it left and right as alien saucers dodge and dive in a relentless attack.

Special Thanks

Aran;Jaeger for taking a stab at a mathematical approach to beating this game.
DrD2k9 for providing a review of my game choice and decision on stopping at Level 14
feos, for reviewing my concerns over submitting this, and confirming the Level 14 decision

feos: This is a good movie and it makes the game look easy, because it shoots the enemies so fast, and they pause every time you kill one. If they just kept flying around, it'd be much more obvious how insanely hard it gets in the later levels. Even though feedback was mixed between Yes and Meh, the overall support is still 76% (10/6/1).

Game difficulty drops to 0 after this movie ends, so it's a legitimate end point.

The author couldn't find a non-cracked version of this game, but admittedly, the crack doesn't affect gameplay if you just don't use the cheat functionality. It only affects the RNG in a way that makes it impossible to just resync on a clean version: you'd have to redo the whole run.

We definitely prefer the clean version, so if someone in the future makes another TAS attempt, we want the non-cracked version to be used. But demanding it right now would be too restrictive in my opinion.

Accepting to Moons.

Zinfidel: Processing...

Similar submissions (by title and categories where applicable):