Archon>Battle Chess>Chess. Two equal but slightly different teams pitted on the battlefield in a notably chesslike fashion, except of course for the fights to the death, a cyclical advantage/disadvantage in the field itself, and magic of several kinds from the two king-types. Battle, strategy, and a silly glitch all in a shorter-than-a-minute-thirty movie? Hey sounds like a good TAS to me. -Plays back on FCEUX 2.1.5 -Originally recorded on FCEU 98.16 -UD/LR on -Aims for fastest time -Manipulates computer movements -Appears to take damage once but never does -All outta bubble gum
To win a game of Archon, you have to either defeat every one of your opposing team's pieces in combat or hold all five Magic Squares at one time, the latter of which is chosen for this movie. The two strongest pieces, Wizard and Sorceress, start off holding one Square each and pretty much have to be defeated if those Magic Squares are to be taken. Each piece type is different, from Goblins and Knights being melee only fighters to Banshees and the Phoenix who only damage the area around them to the Shapeshifter who assumes the form of his opponent for each fight etc. etc. The Wizard and Sorceress have an array of spells at their disposal, including Teleport, Summon Elemental, Imprison, Heal, and others, none of which are seen here due to being too slow and unhelpful for a TAS.
The glitch is purely graphical; pressing up+down at the same time on the chessboard screen causes the visible cursor/piece to move down, but the actual location stays straight, so it just looks funky and doesn't affect gameplay at all.
For strategy, I chose dark->light moves first. If I choose to move first whether light or dark, the computer will always attack while I'm setting up my pieces. Waste of time. If I choose light->dark moves first and use a similar strategy, I come out behind. The Djinni's shot may recharge faster than the Dragon's, but it is weaker enough that having to hit the opponent that extra one or two times becomes slower.
I changed my movements from the WIP I posted in the NES forum. I saved a lot of time by manipulating the enemy movements; having the lowest Knight and the Djinni move saved a good number of frames over Valkyrie and inconveniently placed Knight. This caused two problems, though: The in-fight field changed to include shot-blockers in unhelpful places (I believe that the board layout does affect the in-fight field and not randomness) and the CPU instead chose a Unicorn-vs-Dragon battle instead of the ironic, iconic Knight-vs-Dragon battle. As a result of the misplaced tombstones, I lost a dozen frames in the Wizard fight and two in the Unicorn fight, but that's okay because in my WIP I was two-frames unoptimized in the Knight fight anyway, har har. The end movie is 44 frames faster than my WIP. Huzzah!
As a final note, part of me is aware that with the glitching causing quick confusion it might be preferred that a non-graphical-glitch movie miiight be preferred. Wouldn't be hard simply hex-edit wham boom bam so it's an idea that I can fulfill if preferred. Never know. I like the wacky addition but I'm a sucker for glitches.
NesVideoAgent: Hi! I am a robot. I took a few screenshots of this movie and placed them here. Here goes! Feel free to clean up the list.
Truncated: To me, this movie does not look impressive, at all. Five moves, and two fights, all of it looks very simple. I'm sure the luck manipulation was very tricky, but it doesn't show in this movie. I will reject it.