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

Submission #887: Dacicus's GB Wizards & Warriors X: Fortress of Fear in 10:50.42

Console: Game Boy
Game name: Wizards & Warriors X: Fortress of Fear
Game version: USA/Europe
ROM filename: Wizards & Warriors Chapter X - The Fortress of Fear (UE) [!].gb
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 10:50.42
FrameCount: 39025
Re-record count: 5404
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: Dacicus
Submitter: Dacicus
Submitted at: 2005-11-24 10:02:08
Text last edited at: 2006-01-26 23:16:16
Text last edited by: dacicus
Download: Download (1610 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:

The Story
According to the dates given in the manuals, this game takes place after Wizards & Warriors III, although it was published earlier. Malkil is back at his evil deeds. He has abducted Princess Elaine and taken her to his Fortress of Fear. It's up to Kuros to save her.

The Movie
The goal of this movie was to get through the game without taking any damage. It's definitely possible to complete it more quickly if one takes damage, but I decided to go for a no-damage run because it's ridiculously easy to get hurt. Enemies hurt you by draining your life; you don't get pushed back upon contact, you just lose life. Furthermore, you have only a few frames of invincibility after getting hurt, so it's easy to die from only one enemy. As in many games, you can also lose life from falling too much. However, I think the programmers overdid it in this case, because even normal jumps from one ledge to another thats only a few pixels lower can hurt you.

One other thing that made the recording hard was that there was no way to tell if your hits reached their target in frame advance. Successful hits are indicated by a special sound, but you can't hear it as you're recording frame by frame. Therefore, I had to press the attack button and then switch back to full speed in order to check if the attack succeeded. Even then it was hard determine success if the attacks were very close together, since there was little time between the sounds.

I only opened two treasure chests during the recording. The first one contained the Spell of Invincibility. As far as I can tell, that's the only chest from which you can get the Spell in the entire game. It was actually impossible to avoid that chest, since the enemy would have turned around and hit me if I would have tried to jump over it. The spell allowed me to walk through several enemies without having to worry about taking damage. I'm not sure how much time it saved, since I had to wait for the screen saying I picked up the Spell to go away. You can't speed up any of those message screens, which probably increase the length of the movie by at least 3 minutes.

I obtained the Boots of Jumping from the second chest. This required going out of the way a little bit, but the Boots were essential. They allow you to jump higher and farther, as well as allowing you to fall any height without taking damage.

Programming Errors
The game has weird collision detection. For example, there are some times when my sword attack clearly did not hit the target, but it caused damage anyway. This can be easily seen with the jumping fish in level 1-0.

I discovered one glitch in the game. If you attack with your sword on a moving platform as it reaches the top of its movement, the animation may stay in place even if the platform starts moving down. You can then jump off of air as soon as the attacking animation is finished. This doesn't always happen, and I'm not quite sure what causes it. I used it near the beginning of level 3-1 to get past a bat and a fireball that would have required some waiting in order to get by with normal jumps. That was the only time I was on a platform at the right time to use the glitch, and it was the only time I would have had to wait on a platform if I didn't use it.

Very many things in Wizards & Warriors X are manipulable. They range from what enemies appear at any given time to the amount of health they have (or maybe it's the strength of your attacks that varies). I'm not sure how to manipulate the game in all cases, but it seems to depend on how quickly you're moving through any level, what buttons you're pressing and how long you're pressing them, and maybe even how much life you have. Here are several examples:

I think it would be interesting for someone to take a look at the code for the game and try to determine what formula it uses to spawn the enemies and their health. In the best case, it might be possible to manipulate all of them out of existence. That would make an interesting movie, although it could take longer to actually get rid of them all.

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