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

Submission #751: Slotermeyer's NES Magician in 11:39.93

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Magician
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Magician (U).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 11:39.93
FrameCount: 41996
Re-record count: 528
Author's real name: Josh S.
Author's nickname: Slotermeyer
Submitter: Slotermeyer
Submitted at: 2005-07-16 18:51:14
Text last edited at: 2005-07-20 04:08:12
Text last edited by: Slotermeyer
Download: Download (5037 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:
Magician (US) for NES. Emulator used: FCEU 0.98.12, NTSC

Aims for fastest time.

Doesn't use warps or passwords (not possible), doesn't use death to save time (not possible). Takes hits to save time, and plenty of them.

I also take advantage of some pause abuse. Normally, text scrolls rather slowly when you trigger it, and the game freezes out certain types of input while this is going on (talking to NPCs, searching, etc.) but entering and exiting the inventory screen makes all the text appear in a block and can save some time if the text is long enough. I do this in a few places, and if you see me enter the inventory screen for no apparent reason, that's why. I also manipulate luck a bit (enemy behavior), mainly by jumping at certain times.

Magician is a pretty obscure and wretchedly hard game that I've always liked. It's an action game with some RPG elements. It keeps track of food and water, which the player has to stay on top of, and the spell system is pretty neat. All the spells are available either for purchase or to be found, but it's not necessary and you can enter them in manually, which I do for the vast majority. I also skip several sidequests that give hints as to some of the puzzles. I tried my best to minimize visits to the inventory screen by waiting until I needed both an item and a spell change whenever possible, that sort of thing. I pick up zero extraneous items, and I think my spell usage and route are very solid.

There are two spells that speed up your horizontal movement, Jump (level 4), and Fleet Foot (any level). Fleet Foot is pretty expensive, at 100 mana for level 1, while jump is 30. In testing I found out that 3 jumps saves almost the same amount of frames as one L1 fleet foot, and because it also allows me to avoid hits in some places I use Jump for my speedup spell. I only use Fleet Foot on one level where it's required. While I do get a decent amount of speedup in here and there, honestly it's not as much as I'd hoped when I started. Mana is just much too tight in levels 5 through 7 to allow any more than what's there. By the time I get to the boss on level 7 I have just enough to beat him, and you can see in the inventory screen how low I am on health for the last part of the game as well.

There's a slight possibility that an alternate route might be faster. There's an optional maze area in level 5 that holds a full mana potion, a normal mana potion, and an NPC that gives you mana. It's worth roughly 3500 to 4000 total mana, which is a lot. It's also very out of the way, but it's remotely possible that the extra mana might ultimately allow for a faster run. I seriously doubt it, but I admit I have not tried it yet.

Best spots: How quick I do the Reveal/Wakey Wakey spot in level 2, most of level 3, particularly the boss fight, jumping through level 6, and the wrecking balls on 7. Worst spot: the atrociously boring first level.

I should mention so I don't get criticized about it, that in chests and shops it allows you to move the cursor while text is scrolling, but you can't press buttons to do anything. I play around with the cursor in one spot, it wastes no time at all.

If you're wondering about the ending, to get the full ending you have to finish with maximum points, and do it three times, each one with progressively harder monsters (the last time through is a real bear). The full ending is not worth the trouble.

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