C0DE RED's "G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor"
- FCEUX 2.1.2
- Damage taken to save time
- Heavy luck manipulation
- Genre: Platform
- Genre: Action
- Genre: Adventure
GI Joe: The Atlantis Factor is an NES game released by Capcom USA around 1991. It is known to be a sequel to the original GI Joe NES game released a year before. I did manage to have a look at the TAS of the existing GI Joe publication and no doubt that the entire setup is different between the two. One known difference is a limited number of playable characters. In the original GI Joe, you can play the role of Blizzard, Captain Grid-Iron, and Rock-n-Roll. But those three characters weren't available for this game. However, you can start this game off with one of the characters from the first GI Joe game, and that is none other than General Hawk.
In this game, Gen. Hawk has been introduced to a man code-named "Stalker" as he tracks your movement from stage to stage. After Gen. Hawk completes the first stage, he rendezvous with Wet Suit and they work as a team by choosing another route to take as it splits into a 3-way. If you take any path other than the one I used for the TAS, you're likely to meet four other characters including Road Block, Duke, Storm Shadow, and Snake Eyes - but here, forget all of them!
This is the debut release of GI Joe: The Atlantis Factor TAS as a publication candidate, but this has came from a line of WIP's I posted before hand and I have fairly optimized them a lot. I had my first WIP at 8:37.75, my second incomplete, and my third at 7:54.57; so for those who were following along in the GI Joe Atlantis Factor thread, you get my drift. At least 3 users were contributing to TAS'ing this game: and that's BoltR, Inzult, and myself. I'll break down each stage explaining my feelings, emotions, good news, and bad news toward each one. And also, I would suggest using the second snapshot toward the top as the main thumbnail if this ever goes into publication.
Route 01: Collect POW's to get LV 3 barehands
The only thing that concerned me was the lag caused by multiple bullet icons bouncing and following Gen. Hawk. Other than that, everything was smooth. I had to pick up some ammo after defeating their miniboss. This is where Inzult demonstrated a rapid-kick technique on a mini-boss and it was well laid out. BoltR, Inzult, and myself contributed to this stage.
Route 02: Collect POW's to get LV 4 barehands
This one seems to be a breeze. After I found out about that rapid-kick technique, I made short work of this miniboss. I thought BoltR did okay when I saw one of his WIP's for this stage, but this seems quicker! BoltR and myself contributed to this stage.
Area A: Rescue 8 hostages
It's pretty self-explanatory. According to BoltR, Gen. Hawk is able to rescue the third hostage and barely catch the lifting platform above before it flies away. This is what I got stuck on from my third WIP, but I manage to pull this stunt off here! This is also where I fall faster using knee-drops out of LV 4 barehands. The rest of the hostages are wiped out and Gen. Hawk reaches the door. BoltR, Inzult, and myself contributed to this stage.
Overkill: More rapid-kicking action
I've done this Overkill battle several times. Even though the knee-drops were efficient, it would take more frames to defeat this boss this way than it would to rapid-kick. So, I chose what I thought was best, and it certainly wasn't knee-drops. I contributed more into this stage.
Route 06: Need to buy a snowboard?
This is one of the most difficult points of the game due to a near constant number of descending soldiers that fall - and will attempt to throw Gen. Hawk back, costing you a lot of frames! Hawk is given a laser gun after defeating Overkill, so my goal was to focus on powering up that laser gun since it appears to be Hawk's all-time powerful weapon. Getting a LV 4 laser gun starts here and continues at Route 11. The reason is because I focus only on the standalone POW's while avoiding enemies that drop POW's and pickups. I contributed to this stage, too.
Route 11: Collect POW's and stock up on ammunition
This is where I finish collecting standalone POW's for a LV 4 laser gun while collecting bullets. For now, 180 should be plenty. I don't collect bullets again until Route 16. If I feel that I lost a lot of frames, that is because I have to adjust and manage my ammunition accordingly because they can do a lot of damage from a LV 4 laser gun! I contributed to this stage, too.
Area D: Go through doors in the correct sequence
BoltR and thousands of other players demonstrated which doors in each room has to be taken in order to get to Destro. So I took the doors as they appear. But only BoltR's unfinished WIP ended at a miniboss in the fourth room before Destro. So that is where I take control, make short work of this miniboss here, and contribute to the remainder of this game.
Destro: "Destro Dance Revolution"
This is where Gen. Hawk is challenging Destro to a dance-off. And yes, there will be weapons involved! While Hawk brings out a laser show up close and personal, Destro brings out a wall of disco inferno and then turns himself from human into his own bouncing disco ball. While Destro bounces around, Gen. Hawk rocks out to the enemy music! Then when Destro turns back into human, Hawk finishes him off. For me, though, I had to manipulate the direction that Destro was going as a disco ball, so that Gen. Hawk can dance around with little interference.
Route 13: Get airborne again
As explained. There was lag coming from at least 5 flying objects, but I managed to get past them in a way - that did take manipulation. Also, Gen. Hawk is given a missile launcher after defeating Destro. According to detail, it's completely useless and it has phased out Inzult's rapid-kick technique. Without the launcher, it can take 2 to 4 frames to cycle from laser gun back to bare hands. But if you do get this launcher, that means it will take 4 to 8 frames to cycle the same way.
Route 16: The last stage before the Commander's base, a hallucination of Route 01
This involved a miniboss that didn't take too long to kill. And toward the end, I had to collect bullets to make sure I was ready. I would shoot at the radio because in a TAS, I don't need them. The only thing I had to do was tag them in order to reach checkpoint.
Area F: Commander's Base
This involved four mini-bosses to go through before the Commander accepts your challenge. I did spend more time improving this stage and keeping some of the mini-boss battles a little short. I used LV 4 laser, and then I stopped at 48 bullets - the reason is because that is exactly how much it takes at a minimum to defeat Cobra Commander.
Cobra Commander: GIVE IT EVERYTHING YOU GOT! Leave nothing behind.
You are General Hawk. You are in near-poor physical condition. You have 48 bullets left in your arsenal. You have one more trick up your sleeve. Can you win this time?! I re-strategized this boss battle because you have to know when to jump and how high you should jump in order to get the most out of your ammo. You also have to make sure that both laser rays hit the boss - if one misses, that's it, game over, you're owned. Last but certainly not least, you have to understand his color-based pattern of appearance. He's greenish/bluish when he is relaxed and not doing anything. But if his colors are red, peach, or anything suspicious, that is when he is temporarily invincible - while anything that hits him (even laser rays) are repelled. Defeating the Commander will give the players a fairly decent ending.
These are the frame numbers based on reaching checkpoints and defeating villains (in bold):
Thanks to [user:BoltR] for the recent encouragement of TAS-ing this game while providing an unfinished but useful WIP of his attempt. Thanks to [Inzult] for demonstrating a rapid-kick technique, posting a fast-run of Route 01, and teaching how to better utilize the knee drop for faster falling. Thanks to [J. Styger] (out of speeddemosarchive.com) for posting the fastest route based on his single-segment run from start to finish. And thanks to everyone here. I enjoyed it all. :) Remember - Don't just "Press Your Luck", manipulate it!
~ C0DE RED
klmz: Accepting as it is technically well-done and entertaining to the audience.