Submission #2443: Twisted_Eye's NES Blaster Master (Europe) "European Version" in 04:34.24

Nintendo Entertainment System
European Version
FCEUX 2.1.0a
Blaster Master (E).nes
Submitted by Twisted_Eye on 11/8/2009 11:58 PM
Submission Comments

Blaster Master in 4:38:68

This run uses the E rom! It will not run correctly with any other!
  • Uses FCEUX 2.1
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Uses no deaths or continues
  • Heavily abuses programming errors and glitches
  • Manipulates luck

The Game

If you don't know Blaster Master, learn it. It is widely considered one of the greatest action platformers on the NES. The music, controls, graphics and stages provide excellent replay value and backs it up with enough difficulty and depth to keep you coming back over and over until you one day, finally, defeat it.
Blaster Master's published run, made expertly by Namflow, is one of the older ones on this site, dating back to mid-2005. This run, however, will not be obsoleting it.
This run uses extensive glitches discovered recently to exist in only the European version of the rom to beat the game so quickly that Jason's tank never even leaves the beginning room! The rest of the run is a journey of zipping through walls and transporting through wormholes, finding elusive seams that lead directly to the final bosses in record time.

The glitch

Traveling outside the tank but still in the overworld screens, when you reach a door to another room, there is a short time frame where if you suddenly reverse direction, Jason will do his pre-programmed walk-through-door action in the wrong direction--not only vaulting him several tiles across the room, but also dislocating his graphical location from his programmed location by a whole tile.
This disconnect can be stacked up to five or even six times before the game will try to fix itself, leaving unexpected results to follow. This all applies to the other versions of the rom as well.
What makes the Europe version special is that when Jason is stuck inside a solid tile, he zips upward 16 pixels per frame until he is ejected out the top. Crouching or pausing will stop the movement, allowing the game to catch up to you graphically. With enough of a head start, the game can even get so confused that might zip you up through the air as well--ducking or pausing here will let the game catch up and stop the zip, giving you the option to regain control over Jason at opportune times or to keep zipping. Another interesting feature is that if Jason touches a door tile, he can walk through it in a fashion similar to the original disconnecting door glitch. The overall strength of this glitch is clearly immense!
The other Europe specific glitch used here is that when returning from the pause screen, Jason's movement is entirely negated and he is treated like he is standing on solid ground for exactly one frame. Thusly you can jump again to gain infinite air, and thusly negate all falling velocity so that you can land lightly like a feather, avoiding damage.

Area by Area

Area 1
  • Tank? What tank?
  • Pausing in between room transitions saves roughly a dozen frames per use.
  • The first example of the zipping glitch can be used to put us right next to the passageway to Area 2; thanks to Lord Tom for finding this.
Area 2
  • The third pit jump was the first real obstacle to this final work--the worm falls to close to kill without jumping, but the flying monster kept getting in the way. I ended up having to take fall damage (obnoxiously easy to do outside the tank) to continue on without losing time.
  • Disconnecting graphical from programmed locations just once is enough to get Jason close to the boss room door, but since the Crusher item is no longer needed in Area 8, I went right past it all.
  • That last flying eyeball didn't want to get out of my way! I barely snuck past him.
  • A minor glitch you'll notice is that if you pause in the air while touching a door, you can enter it even though you're not on the ground. Nifty for a couple frames of improvement, but just for show otherwise.
  • The movements in the Area 3 passageway room look weird, but they really are the fastest way to get to the door.
Area 3
  • Manipulating the little bomb spitters to drop a small number of bombs was tricky, but necessary to reduce lag.
  • I wanted to try zipping upwards, running to the left, and zipping up again to get to the Area 8 passageway, but neither of the first two doorways are usable for the glitch in either direction, and using the third door ended up so far behind in time that I decided to go the direct way, pause screens be damned.
Area 8
  • Getting to the boss dungeon was the final key to this entire stinking run. Beyond the walls in the second to last room, unlike the rest of the game, is open air. Glitching into this space let me get to the bottom right corner of the room with the boss dungeon. I couldn't carry enough tiles of disconnect to just skip right into the hall, though. Eventually I got the idea that if going through rooms horizontally or vertically in unintended places confused the game this much, how screwed up would it get if I went at a corner and came back up from the bottom? The result gave me a couple tiles of walking while the game desperately reoriented, and I could then walk through the wall after a short zip right to the boss dungeon! One problem though: In the final run, I had little health and a mass of spikes to zip through! By crouching to pause the zipping just long enough for the game to reorient the spikes right out of the room but not so long that the game zips me past the dungeon and upwards into the bottom of an enormous spike pit, I was able to just walk right out of the zipping wall and right into the doorway with confidence!
  • Those rotating lever monsters got in the way of my gun about twice, making it trickier to get through the already awkward destructible solid tiles.
  • I could not use the pause screen to cut frames when entering the final boss room. It glitched me out of existence no matter what I did. I'm not sure if this is Europe specific or a result of glitching.
  • In boss fights, the optimal rate for firing grenades is one every 6 frames. This does the most damage possible (2 every other frame for 6 frames) while causing no lag that may arise from unused explosions during standard turboing.
  • Between bosses, any weapon blasts on screen are carried over to the next fight, and there's also two frames of movement allowed at the very moment between the two fights. I use these facts to start the murdering grenade cycle the very frame the final boss appears fully.

Thanks to

  • Youtube user Joescoma for posting the video of the original major glitch discovery, and Sp00ky for bringing it to the boards's attention.
  • Lord Tom for the discovery of how breakable the Europe rom is, and for his demo run.
  • UraniumAnchor for his excellent maps. They made hunting for places to zip very easy and accessible!
  • Everyone on the forums who helped in the process of figuring out the details of the glitches used.
  • itself! I can't believe it's been a year since I last submitted a run, and it was another year before since my prior; unbelievable how fast everything goes.

mmbossman: Accepting this movie as a new "European version" category, as discussed here.

Raiscan: Processing under a new category.
Last Edited by adelikat on 9/16/2023 4:34 PM
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