Kid Niki was one of the very first third-party games for the US release of the NES, a port of the arcade game of the same name, and the first in a trilogy of games, the other two of which weren't released outsie of Japan.
The story: the hero must rescue the girl and defeat the evil boss. Pretty basic, that it is.
Being an early game, Kid Niki is pretty darn simple. You have two moves: attack, and jump. The only attack consists of Niki spinning his little blade in a fashion that makes it resemble (and often mistaken for) a throwing star. When he jumps, it's always the same height, no matter how long the button is pressed. This makes this a somewhat easy game to do a TAS of, so I went ahead and did it.
This game is also quite buggy, another trait of early NES games. The collision detection is pretty substandard on the whole, and it makes this already tough game even tougher.
Also, one hit kills. Yikes.
There are eight stages, each filled with a combination of pre-positioned enemies, and enemies that come at you from both sides of the screen. Then there's a boss at the end of each stage, wherein a unique touch of this game shines through. All the bosses are tough enough to knock your blade away whenever you strike them, and you must go back to retrieve it, adding a new layer of strategy to their fights.
General notes and strategies:
- There's a slight pause when attacking, unless Niki attacks while jumping, so you'll see him doing a lot of jump attacks in this video.
- There are some moments when I seem to stop moving forward for a few frames for no apparent reason (especially in the final stage). This is just due to a game glitch where the player is temporarily blocked from moving forward in certain areas. It's always the same spots where this happens, and there's no way to get around them.
- The NES version of this game has several bonus areas, but very few of them work well as shortcuts.
Stage 1: Not much to this one. Occasionally I'll manage to strike the boss without losing my blade, but it's really hard to determine when it can be done (it's just a game glitch), so it only happens every so often.
Stage 2: Not much to say about stage 2. Moving on...
Stage 3: One of the few "shortcuts" that actually consumes less frames than the regular route is in this stage. It helps that it lets you leave the bonus area early, and you're dropped near the end of the stage no matter where you fall down. The boss is rather glitchy and I manage to affect her so that parts of her get destroyed quicker than they should.
Stage 4: Mercifully, this stage gives you a break from the regular, insanely repetitive stage tune. The rising platforms in the last half of the stage are weird in that they don't move up and down at regular intervals, and their movement could be affected. They also seemed to stay underwater longer when I jumped above them! Really annoying. There's a really cool bonus area here that involves turning a rock into a fish and jumping into it. Sadly, it's much slower than just going the regular way.
Stage 5: This level is so buggy! It may look like I mess up a few times but trust me, I get through pretty much as fast as possible. There are walls in the stage that simply can't be jumped over on the first try, due to sloppy programming. Also, Mad Monk is a horrible boss, and he's usually the reason no one was ever able to beat this game before there was savestating. He usually sends out various projectiles that kill Niki when he touches them, or comes within fifty pixels of them, or tries to jump over them. It's nuts. He's one of the cheapest bosses ever. It's fortunate that Niki can be cheap right back and exploit a position where his blade doesn't get knocked away more than a few pixels.
Stage 6: This is a neat stage. I'm rather proud that as platformy as it is, I manage to get through it without pausing once. The boss is sorta complicated. You're supposed to wait for him to attack you before you can attack him, otherwise, both his and your weapons get knocked away, and the whole fight slows down as y'all scramble to retrieve them. But there's an exploit where if you just attack in really close range, it connects.
Stage 7: The original arcade version of this stage was full of enemies.. pretty much every type you experienced during the game so far. They all had to be removed from the NES version due to system limitations, and we're left with a really sparse, dull stage. Thank goodness for shortcuts. Also, the boss is a real loser.
Stage 8: The whole stage is a boss stage! The first phase is a rerun of the previous stage's boss fight. In Phase 2, he sends out a little floating head to complicate things. It can be destroyed, but doing so knocks Niki's blade away, and he just immediately sends out another floating head to replace it. The third phase is just the boss standing around as bubbles float up (in the arcade version, he summons cool energy spheres instead of bubbles). The final phase is like the first one, except he'll try to run away whenever you get too close, which makes him kind of a pain, unless you have savestates.
I played this game a lot in my youth. I'm not sure why, it's so frustrating and terrible. I'm not sure, but I don't think I ever got past stage 4.
- Used FCEU 0.98.12 Blip
- Aims for fastest time
- Abuses programming errors in the game
adelikat: Rejecting. This game has many problematic spots and is most likely a bad game choice. Reasons for this rejection are thoroughly explained in the discussion.