The Lone Ranger is an NES game released in 1991 by Konami. The game features the Lone Ranger going "to great guns" to save his love Clara and take revenge upon the outlaw Butch Cavendish. It is interesting in that it has aspects of 2-D side-scrolling, Legend of Zelda style overhead view, and even some first person perspective.
- Emulator used: FCEUX 2.1.5
- Aims for fastest time
- Uses glitches
- Takes no damage
In this, my first attempt at Tool Assisted Speedruns, I decided to try an already optimized game on Speed Demos Archive and just improve it to the more exacting standards of Tool Assisted Speedruns. I chose to take no damage in the run, leading to slightly sub-optimal routes, but even with that this run is roughly 8 minutes faster than the non-Tool assisted version.
The game is fairly interesting, excluding the excruciating "cut scenes" and un-skippable text, showing a diverse collection of game play.
In the overhead portion of the game the goal is to traverse a map and talking to and killing various people to accomplish set goals. This portion was fairly cut and dry simply optimizing the route until I discovered a broken controller glitch not used in the live run. If you hold both up & down or left & right your character's sprite glitches through a cycle of other junk sprite data from the particular level and you travel in either down, left or right at speeds much faster than normal walking. The benefit of this glitch is that you are able to move at a much faster rate, but the issue is that it increases your hit box size greatly so it only works on paths where there is a large enough gaps above, below and to both sides of the Lone Ranger. Another benefit of the glitch is that in some situations while the character begins to move quickly the camera location does not move so you are able to exit portions of the level much quicker by just exiting the screen of view instead of traversing to one of the exits. Finally, in one level only, instead of exiting the level when leaving the camera view you loop around to the opposite side of the screen, similar to Pac-Man or the Legend of Zelda speedrun, saving time moving up the screen.
In the 2-D walking portions jumping is roughly 1.5 times faster than normal walking so almost all of these portions are spent hopping along. There is a large amount of unavoidable lag in these portions so optimizing can be quite a pain. There is also a second version of the broken controller glitch in this section where if you hold the opposing directional keys while firing the gun the same sprite junk data occurs but instead of speeding in any direction your character temporarily is teleported up to the top of the screen and then back down to where your character would have been if a normal fall had occurred. With other button combinations this glitch results in sending you back to the previous room you were in, killing you, or sending you to a out of bounds area that leaves you stuck, these versions of the glitch go unused in the run as I could not find a situation where it improved the speed. This glitch was much more complex to understand so is only used once to avoid taking damage and may be a possible source of improving if someone more experience could understand the glitch more thoroughly.
The other 2-D portion is on the Lone Ranger's horse where you must avoid the Indians who are attacking. Regardless of actions in these scenes roughly 20 frames can be saved or lost so a slight attempt entertaining is done by showing some close calls where the Lone Ranger is almost crushed by a bolder, hit by an axe, or crushed by an opposing Indian's horse.
In the first person portion of the level you are able to use either the NES Zapper or the controller to control where you fire. As I used TAS Editor which lacks Zapper capabilities I used the controller. Unlike is the overhead or 2-D views where silver bullets do 4 hp damage and standard bullets do 3 hp damage every shot in this portion does 1 hp damage and almost every enemy only requires one shot to die. An interesting aspect of the first person portions are that they contain the only randomness in the game as depending on the frame that you enter the portion you will encounter a different layout of enemies.
The re-record count is at zero because the movie was made using TAS Editor. The "TweakCount" was listed at 179275 but that number does not seem to mean much.
Possible improvements would result from figuring out how the 2-D broken controller glitch works more thoroughly. Other improvements could come from taking damage as shorter paths could be taken if damage was allowed.