Submission #3509: goofydylan8's NES Nightmare On Elm Street, A in 13:25.57

Console Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator
Game Version USA Frame Count 48414
ROM Filename Nightmare On Elm Street, A (U) Frame Rate 60.0988138974405
Branch Rerecord Count 16726
Unknown Authors goofydylan8
Game A Nightmare On Elm Street
Submitted by goofydylan8 on 3/27/2012 12:43:29 AM

Submission Comments
In this game a pair of teenagers must use their jumping, punching and javelin skills to defeat the man who creates lethal Nightmare(s) on Elm Streetâ„¢ and save the day. This run is a 3959 frame (65.98 seconds) improvement over Randil's 1 Player run a 10131 frame (168.85 second) improvement over chupapi's 4 Player run.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: fceux 2.1.6 with TAS Editor
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates luck
  • Abuses programming errors in the game
  • Controls two players
  • Genre: Platform

Game Description

In Nightmare on Elm Street there are a few different objectives to accomplish to complete the game. First you must traverse the exterior of Elm Street moving between 4 houses, a cemetery, a junkyard and finally Elm Street High School where Frederick Charles "Freddy" Krueger is located. In each of the buildings there are between one and four rooms you must travel through collecting the bones spread throughout. After the bones are collected you can either move on to the next room or, if you are in the final room, continue on to the level boss. When you encounter the boss you can transform into a "Dream Warrior" if you collected one of the tokens earlier in the level which give you special powers. Regardless of which token you pick up you can transform into any form of the Warrior in the boss so only the most convenient are picked up even though the only Warrior used is the acrobat. The acrobat is chosen as he can fire every 3-4 frames drastically reducing the boss fight length.
You also have the choice of how many players to use ranging from 1 Player up to 4 Players using the NES Four Score accessory. The differences between having 1 or more than 1 player are:
1) Boss life is uniform across 2-4 players but is between 2X and 3X larger than the 1 player version.
2) You save a great deal of time as you no longer have to back track with multiple players as you can collect bones located directly above each other in 1 pass.
3) Due to poor programming the more players you use leads to greatly increased amounts of lag with 4 player nearly coming to a standstill at some points.
I was recently re-watching the old runs and it was clear that if the lag wasn't ridiculous the 4 player run would be much faster due to the quicker bone collection and that only the exteriors and bosses could be slower. I was reading the submissions texts and it said that the majority of the lag occurs when 6 or more items are on screen, so I thought why not try with with 2 less objects on screen at any time? It gives the best of both worlds since lag is close to non-existent (at least far less prevalent) and you can collect all of the bones quickly.
With that in mind I set out to use the tricks present in Randil's run that were not present in the 4-player version, along with optimizing the path and strategy used in the 4-player run, to try to create the fastest possible play through of this game. As stated above this yielded great results as the 1-player run was beat by over a minute. Also the improvements over the 4-player version is not just through less lag due to less players. Overall there are 8425 frames (140.4 seconds) less lag present between the 4-player and this 2-player game. This means that if lag carried over identically regardless of movement (which is a slight exaggeration) the 4-player run was improved by 1706 frames or 28.433 real seconds. This is good news for this 2-player run, but also great news for a potential 4-player improvement because it means it could potentially be improved by almost 30 seconds.

Tricks, glitches, and playing strategies (stolen with some edits from Randil's submission description)

Common Tricks

  • In most situations jumping down ledges is faster than walking off due to the increased falling velocity.
  • If you've hit an enemy you can walk through them without taking damage for a small amount of time. This helps allow to continue forward momentum.
  • If you get hit, you will become invulnerable for a few frames, allowing you to pass through enemies.
  • As in so many other games, you can't attack and move forward at the same time on the ground. But if you're in mid-air, you keep your horizontal movement when you attack. That's why I avoid attacking enemies while on the ground.
  • It's faster to jump up or down a stair rather than walking on them. Your speed is 1.5 pixels per frames normally, on stairs it's 1.2857... pixels per frame.


  • If you enter a new room through a hole in the ground the game believes you are on the ground for the first frame of the new room allowing you to jump in midair which is used on three levels to pass through the roof. This trick is used in the 3rd room of house 3, the 4th house and in the high school.

Boss Strategies

As stated earlier when fighting bosses the ideal situation configuration is to have two acrobats due to their extremely fast firing rate. The best strategy is to follow around the boss staying as close as possible rapidly firing in mid-air. When bosses are hit you are able to pass through them without taking damage so the majority of the boss fights take place with acrobats actually within the boss reducing firing times.
Due to the extra hp boss fights along with exterior is the only portion of the game (excluding exterior) that is sometimes slower than the 1 player run. Though in some cases (like the final boss room where you must re-fight all of the bosses) the two player run is actually faster by almost a second.

Luck manipulation

The only manipulation present in the game is during and directly before the boss fights. For most boss fights your position directly controls the path that the enemy takes which can save a lot of time during the fight.
For the first boss on the last level the boss' movement is actually controlled by a 5 frame cycle of when you exit the previous room so 4 frames are lost to speed up that boss fight.

Time saved

Level2 Player1 Player Frames Saved4 Player Frames Saved
House 12572540333
House 231451511053
House 33744721729
House 41011014422485
High School133639663690

Other comments

Thanks to Randil for your previous run for tricks and strategies to use. Also thanks for the ram addresses as that saved me a ton of time and was quite useful.
Thanks to chupapi for your previous run as it gave me a nice comparison and strategy to improve.
In regard to which run this should obsolete should it be accepted I do not have a preference. DarkKobold and Randil have both expressed that they feel it should obsolete the 1 player run due to the unique case that this game is essentially the only TAS'able 4-Player game on the NES. The only qualms I find with this is that the 4-Player and 2-Player would be much closer from a game play and strategy perspective than a 1-Player and 2-Player would. This is up to the community and judges to decide though.
I hope you all enjoy

feos: HD encoded.

DarkKobold: Accepting as an improvement to [780]NES A Nightmare On Elm Street "1 player" by Randil in 14:32.88. This will not obsolete the 4 player version. That run is the only foreseeable NES 4 player run, and provides a different viewing experience.

Brandon: Doing primary encodes / publication underway.

Last Edited by on 1/1/2022 6:13:23 PM
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