Submission #1164: Heisanevilgenius's NES Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six in 06:02.60

Console Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator FCEU0.98
Game Version USA Frame Count 21756
ROM Filename Spider-Man - Return of the Sinister Six (U) [!].nes Frame Rate 60
Branch Rerecord Count 4238
Unknown Authors Heisanevilgenius
Game Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six
Submitted by Heisanevilgenius on 8/23/2006 3:23:25 AM

Submission Comments
My second submission for this game, and improved by one minute and twenty-two seconds and close to triple the amount of re-records.
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates luck
I used FCE Ultra 0.98.15 (from the forums.) My aim was to complete it as fast as possible, and took damage to save time.
Notes/Tricks: (If anyone wants to devote a section of the Why and How page to this, they're free to copy & paste, or reword if they prefer.)
Controls:
B - Jump A - Attack
B+A while in air - Sling Web A Twice Quickly - Jumpkick
You can speed up and slow down while airborne, but you can't turn around, making aerial manoeuvers difficult.
One really cool (and useful) glitch: Every level, and every area inside each level, starts you in mid-air causing you to drop straight down. If you hold B before the level starts, it treats the first frame as if you're on solid ground, and can jump off of it. This has a number of uses. First, it allows you to avoid the straight drop (which is a waste of time) and second, it can allow you to reach areas you're not supposed to (easily) reach.
When you jump, you travel about the same speed as running, however, there's a landing animation of around 12 frames, during which you're effectively frozen in place. Also, if you jump high enough, there's only so far you can jump at once, after which you run out of momentum and drop straight down. In many places it's advantageous to have shorter jumps in order to avoid such a drop.
Swinging on web is the fastest when the web is fully extended. A smaller length of web means that you don't get much momentum. Not only does it take longer to fully swing from one side to the other, a smaller web also means less distance travelled. I try to keep the maximum web-slinging distance at all times. This often means slinging web at the first possible frame while jumping up, or on the last possible frame when falling.
Holding B before you reach the end of a web swing causes you to immediately sling web and continue the swing. A major benefit of this is that unlike slinging web from a normal jump, the web hits its target instantaneously, so you don't need to wait for it to find its target. If it's possible to do so, after a jump, I will sling web so that I can continue moving forward without having to wait the extra frames from a landing animation.
Pressing A while swinging on a web causes you to drop. Often, this will launch you forward much faster than any other mode of travel. The only downside is that, once again the landing animation can cause it to only be useful under certain circumstances. For instance, it would not be faster to continually sling web and drop all throughout every level, but when already swinging, it's the fastest way to clear a lot of distance before landing. In some cases, you have to press A at the right frame to use the momentum of the swing to take you further. Too early and you don't get enough distance. Too late and you've already slowed down too much. One aspect of this is that unlike jumps, the movement is automatic. You can't slow down or speed up.
Slinging web while in midair causes you to halt forward movement when you're moving forward, and causes you to move slightly forward when you're falling straight down. The former is useful when you drop from a web (there's no other way to slow down) and need to land at a very specific point. The latter is useful for when straight drops are unavoidable. So at some points in the run where it appears to be a failed attempt to websling, there actually is a purpose to it.
Collecting those small flashing white containers gives you web pellets. These are fired whenever you punch, or if you tap A while jumping. There are only ten shots per web cartridge, so these should be reserved for when they're important. Pressing A to punch, then A again before the punch animation finishes (to do a jumpkick) will prevent the pellet from being fired. Thus, you can still attack without using ammo.
In some cases, holding A to maintain a constant punch can deal multiple hits. This is especially useful for bosses. Jumpkicks usually deal more than one hit if you stay "on top" of your target as you kick. Web pellets always count as only one hit, giving them limited usefulness. They're more effective at taking down weaker foes from a distance, or hitting airborne bosses (three of the six are airborne) who may be impossible to hit with a standing punch.
A Boss' HP is usually stored at x0415. This is useful to know because the health bar on screen doesn't show the full health, and often you'll want to use a multiple-hit punch, and know the exact frame to start holding A, and the exact frame to let go. The different forms of Mysterio are stored at x0412, x0413, x0414, and x0415. Vulture's HP are stored at x0412.
Whenever I need to drop from a ledge, simply running off of it is often the fastest way to get down. However, in some points (such as stairs) I would need to drop and land on several platforms, and have to undergo a landing animation for each one. Slinging a web from a jump or jumpkick and then immediately dropping often allows me to fall forward and pass by several of these.
A straight jump (IE, a jump from a standing position) is about as fast as a flip (a jump while running) if you move in one direction the whole time. Usually a flip is preferable only because you don't have to stop moving first. However, straight jumps can allow you to grab a climbable object in mid-air. Jumping and then grabbing onto a ladder or the side of a wall (this is Spider-Man, remember) is always faster than simply climbing from the bottom.
Also, doing a straight jump, then grabbing onto a climbable object, and then immediately jumping off gives you the benefit of doing a double-jump. You can clear more distance before landing this way.
If you press A while dropping from a web, you do a jumpkick. But unlike a standing jumpkick, the kick stays extended, meaning you can use this to attack something far away without losing any momentum. This is especially useful on bosses, as a well-timed kick can actually deal multiple hits at once while passing through them. Sometimes, if timed well, a dropping jumpkick can be done even if the web doesn't actually hit anything.
Stopping on a dime is not easily done. If you hold down to duck (to pick up an item for instance) while running, it often forces you to continue running for a while before stopping. This can be avoided by stopping a frame before pressing down. This also happens if you try to change direction while running. Stopping one frame before running the opposite direction fixes this.
Changing directions costs some frames with a "turning around" animation. However, you can avoid most of this animation by quickly jumping in the new direction just as the animation begins. The landing animation is around the same number of frames as the turning animation, so this is only useful if you need to jump or drop from a ledge anyway.
LEVEL 1
Area 1 At one point, I double-jump off a wall and immediately sling a very short web. The reason for this is because the second half of the double jump would otherwise drop me straight down. Slinging the short web and dropping from it allows me to fall forward instead of straight down.
I drop early from a web to avoid getting hit by a bullet. This was because originally I was going to do a no-damage run. I kept it because the bullet causes me to drop from the web anyway, and no frames are lost from the early drop (I land in the same spot on the same frame anyway). Only difference is it looks cooler that I miss the bullet (in my opinion).
The first area is done almost entirely with web. I had to be careful so that the webs didn't cause me to bump into any obstacles that would halt movement. The telephone poles are spaced out a non-optimal distance, so in some cases, I hit A to drop and then sling web in mid-air rather than holding B like usual, to make sure the webs are fully extended.
Area 2 I time a drop so that I land on top of an electric trap. The injury frames actually push me forward and cancel out the landing frames. :D
I collect web pellets for the door and the boss.
The door takes four hits to break open. I fire two pellets while jumping and then when I'm close, I hit A for a punch then hit it again for a jumpkick and thus, a quick two-hit combo to bust it down.
ELECTRO
Electro has a generator that gives him strength. Hitting the off switch before his health hits full is preferable. Before I'd only managed to hit the switch while he's at 3/4. I discovered that by dropping from a web and doing a jumpkick, I can hit the switch while he's at 2/4, making the boss fight much faster. Another dropping jumpkick allows me to pass through him, dealing multiple hits.
LEVEL 2
After getting the TNT and plunger I drop from a web through the rope area and continue forward. I press B+A to halt movement when I'm at the right angle. Even though it doesn't sling web, it still stops me from moving. I drop onto an exploding crate, which bounces me forward.
Later, I jump in place, causing the rat to somehow jump through me. This seems like a waste of frames, but if I run straight into the rat, I get injured and freeze in place for a longer period of time, and the rat bounces off me to where he can easily injure me again. All in all I save more frames in avoiding him.
SANDMAN
Luck manipulation was important for how long it takes Sandman to emerge. This seems to be dependent on the frame in which you enter the room and nothing else, so I had to jump in order to slightly alter the frame I exit the last scene.
I also had to waste my two remaining web pellets (which I did without losing any frames) so my punches could deal multiple hits. The reason I waited longer for the last punch is to luck manipulate Sandman and prevent him from escaping.
LEVEL 3
I avoided getting the goggles in this run. However, in order to complete the dark area, I experimented with the memory dump to see which entry contained the "got the goggles" flag, and poked it while recording. In other words, the area was lit up while I was recording, but it's pitch black in playback. If anyone else plans to attempt a run, the goggles flag is at x0110. It's 00 when you don't have them, and 2F when you do.
I should mention, that landing directly onto a doorway allows me to enter without starting the landing animation. If I have to jump to get to a door, I have to land directly on top of it, otherwise many frames are needlessly wasted.
MYSTERIO
In a few cases I was able to hit Mysterio before he teleports, which is both cool and a time-saver.
LEVEL 4
This level was a headache to optimize. There are many variables, not the least of which are bombs dropping from the sky, which are a huge menace to speed. They cause me to fall of webs a number of times.
The last part just before the Vulture battle looks sloppy, but unfortunately, after many tries, this is the best way I could find to get through. Jump kicking is slower than simply dropping (I fall straight down for several more frames) but the alternative is getting hit by two bombs while trying to run, which severely slows me down.
VULTURE
Let's just say, luck manipulating Vulture into swooping down (which is where I can really deliver a lot of damage) is REALLY hard to do. Strangely, after the dropping jump kick at the end of the battle, slinging web at the exact right frame dealt extra damage. Somehow, I guess this kept my kick connected for a longer time.
LEVEL 5
I time getting hit with the thrown axe with my landing so that I'm pushed forward instead of held still for the landing frames.
HOBGOBLIN
Hobgoblin's positioning seems to be relative to the screen, and not to the map, so I had to scroll a bit to make sure that he stopped over a landing where I could deliver an extended punch. Getting him to stop at the bottom of each landing actually ended up being fairly easy after the first. Strangely, the amount of damage done to Hobgoblin per attack seems to be tied to the frame you hit him, so I had to experiment a lot to see which frame was the best to hit him with.
LEVEL 6
A few points I jump so that when I get hit by projectiles, they don't slow me down.
At one point I sling web so that I can use it to do a dropping jumpkick on one of those annoying birds (which slows me down a lot if I jump right through it) and web the lamppost after.
DR. OCTOPUS
A few times I was unable to prevent him from attacking, and had to waste a few frames to dodge the attacks before punching again (it's faster if I just avoid and counter-attack as the injury frames would waste even more time)
Thanks! Hope you enjoy it.

adelikat: I have followed the progress of this run and know it to be of high quality. Accepting for publication.

Last Edited by admin@tasvideos.org on 1/1/2022 6:13 PM
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