Submission #415: adelikat's NES Zanac in 37:54.20

Console Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator Famtasia
Game Version USA Frame Count 136452
ROM Filename Zanac (U).nes Frame Rate 60
Branch Rerecord Count 1208
Unknown Authors adelikat
Game Zanac
Submitted by adelikat on 11/11/2004 1:55:29 PM

Submission Comments


  • Recorded With Famtasia
  • Uses warps
  • Aims for fastest time
I’ve always considered Zanac to be the hardest game for the NES. It took me an entire year to beat it for the first time! As the prequel to The Guardian Legend, it is a space shoot-em-up, where you are the hero ship that is trying to save earth (or something like that).
It is also an awsome example of Nintendo engrish with "l
The game is a dubious choice TAsing because the game is primarily an auto-scroller. Optimizing the speed comes from the boss fights and through the use of “fairies” to destroy bosses instantly and level warps.
What makes it a great game for TASing though is the fact that the game was programmed exceptionally (especially considering it was an early NES game). Incredible numbers of enemies can be on the screen without an ounce of lag. The screen also srolls very fast. The combination of speed and large amounts of enemies and projectiles makes for an action packed TAS. Also, the music is probably some of the best NES game music of all time.


Level warps are hidden throughout the game (some send you backwards in the game). I use them to skip as much of the game as possible, including skipping area 8 entirely (the longest level of the game). The warps I take are: Area 1 to Area 2, Area 2 to Area 3, Area 5 to Area 6, Area 7 to Area 8. There is the option of skipping Area 7 instead of 8, but 8 is longer.


Upon making contact with a fairy, it will turn red and destroy the next boss. I wait and use them on the hardest boss possible. Several seconds are saved doing this.

Rapid Fire

Collecting 6 weapon 6 upgrades will cause all enemies to be turned into “round faces” (1-ups). Shooting them causes them to turn red. Getting red “round faces” increases your rapid fire. I max this weapon out as early as possible in order to beat bosses as fast as possible. The maximum rapid fire is actually 1 frame per shot which is twice as fast as autofire would be.

Programming Errors

The only programming errors involve flash-animation from destroying turrets or from plasma balls, only once can this be exploited to save time. The second boss in area 10, by destroying the mini-turrets at the right time before the boss activates causes to of its turrets to remain closed, saving valuable time.
A lot of this game is auto-scrolling. During these times I tried to make it as interesting as possible. I vary my goals, sometimes I aim for %100 kills, other times I play pacifist. I try to get as high as a score and as many lives as possible without making the run any longer. I use a variety of weapons whenever possible and uncover as many secrets as possible.
I abuse a few errors purely for aesthetic value: when igniting a plasma ball (or using weapon 6) all enemies are destroyed, their “remains stay on the screen for a split second, using another plasma ball immediately destroys those enemies again. I use this to destroy the same enemies many times and obtain a few extra lives.
Anyone who has played this game will certainly appreciate the run. Those who haven’t played it will to because of how busy this game is. There is not another NES game with as many enemies that moves as fast as this one; certainly an under-rated and under-appreciated game that few people seem to know a lot about.

Bisqwit: Your message is spaghet. Please reformat it better. I can't read it like that.
Bisqwit: For reference, Yy's Zanac movie was 49:54 long.
Bisqwit: Queuing for encoding. Good enough.

adelikat: Re-editing Done. (Though about two years too late ;p)

Last Edited by adelikat on 1/2/2022 10:12:29 PM
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