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

Submission #920: Slotermeyer's NES Magician in 10:59.95

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Magician
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Magician (U).nes
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 10:59.95
FrameCount: 39597
Re-record count: 839
Author's real name: Josh S.
Author's nickname: Slotermeyer
Submitter: Slotermeyer
Submitted at: 2005-12-18 22:27:30
Text last edited at: 2006-06-12 23:18:57
Text last edited by: adelikat
Download: Download (3076 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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Author's comments and explanations:
Magician (US) for NES. Emulator used: FCEU 0.98.12 blip, NTSC

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. Manipulates luck.

I decided to go back and improve this one again. This is my third submission, and is 19 seconds faster than the last one. Some of this improvement comes from frame-perfect menus and boss fights. I didn't really understand how frame advance worked when I made the earlier versions, so I used slowdown instead. Now that I know how to do it properly I wanted to fix that. I also found a tactical change that really helped and it accounts for maybe 10 to 12 seconds of improvement.

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, as well as puzzle points. As a result, I don't get the best ending.

If you play around with the game at all, you'll note that if you enter an unknown spell in the spell screen, it usually kills you. The way this works is that any unknown spell has (I think) a 1 in 4 chance of giving you any of three death animations, or healing you 20%. Even the same unknown spell will do different things different times.

I was about halfway through level 6 and much too low on health to make it, so I backtracked to level 4 and luck manipulated to restore my health using this trick. This cost me virtually no time, since on level 4 I was able to fit it into an inventory visit I already needed, and really set me up to be more aggressive taking damage in later levels, so it worked out very well. In level 8, I also refill my health using this trick, instead of casting shield spells to keep me alive against the final boss. This is worth about 5 seconds in and of itself.

I am able to move faster throughout by using the Jump spell, and Fleet Foot in a couple spots. This costs mana, and I can't just jump through the game nonstop. Planning the route is all about mana management and having just enough to get past the various bosses so that all the rest is used on gaining time or other required stuff. Also, the game scrolls text slowly, but entering the inventory makes it all appear as a block. I often time my inventory visits to avoid text scrolling. In a few instances, it's faster to go in and out of inventory to scroll text even if I'm not changing spells or items.

adelikat This is a well planned run, but unfortunately it fails to deliver. This game doesn't seem to entertain the audience, regardless of how fast and well planned it is.

It is certainly a game that requires you to be familiar with it before watching the run. Unfortunately, no one is. Sorry, but rejecting

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