Submission #4779: xy2_'s DS ZeldaDS in 02:41.05

Console Nintendo DS Emulator DeSmuME 0.9.11
Game Version unknown Frame Count 9635
ROM Filename NewZelda.nds Frame Rate 59.82609828808082
Branch Rerecord Count 3472
Unknown Authors xy2_
Game Unknown Game
Submitted by xy2_ on 7/27/2015 11:25:18 PM

Submission Comments
ZeldaDS is a short and sweet homebrew where Link jumps, doublejumps and throws a boomerang to rescue a green shell from a floating cape dude, then jumps into a warp and whoops - the quest's over. Also features ripping off some Megaman engine and having the most out-of-place boss of all time.

Sync settings

  • Config -> Emulation settings -> (uncheck) Enable Advanced Bus-Level Timing
  • Config -> Emulation settings -> (uncheck) Use dynamic recomplier

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: DeSmuME 0.8.11
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Colors a floating dude red


Gameplay elements

ZeldaDS is your typical - not so typical platformer. It is unusally complex and offers a wide range of movement options and attacks that Link can do.


Walking makes you go towards a direction, and is the same speed as jumping.
Jumping is extremely complex.. When starting a jump (by pressing A), you will not have a fixed upward velocity (AKA going upwards), but instead going in three phases: fast upward ascent, moderate upward ascent, and slow upward ascent. If we need to go up something as fast as possible, it is best to execute a double jump (and input 2 frames before, because of input lag). If I don't do that, I need to corner boost or don't need the height.
Double jumping resets your upward velocity when going upwards, but after that is exactly the same as doing a normal jump in terms of mechanics.
Spindash jumping is executed by pressing ^ + B. It is the same as doing a normal jump, but hurts ennemies. After doing it, you cannot jump, no matter if it was your first or second jump. It is also the only move you can do when jumping off mushrooms, but is not used except in places we need the extra speed.
Vertical mushroom jumping is the fastest form of upward movement in the game. You can't land in a vertical mushroom from the ground: you have to be in the air for it to work.
Diagonal mushroom jumping is the fastest form of horizontal movement in the game. You can actually go faster by holding > after landing on a diagonal mushroom. There's only two in the game, by the way.


Link has a quote-on-quote "wide" arsenal of "combat" tools, most of which waste a lot of time.
Spindashing (^ + B) is Link's greatest weapon. It costs no frames to use and attacks all around you; best of all, it has no recovery!
Bow (R) is Link's uh, second greatest weapon. It costs 1 frame to use if you're NOT going left (for some reason, you can't do R + >, go figure) and can be charged to make the arrow go faster (useless.) Used where spindashes don't reach and because it looks way cooler than the sword to snipe 4 pixel wide ennemies. Can shoot at eyes.
Master Sword (B) is pretty bad, actually. It costs no frames to use and attacks in whatever area you're looking at, but we only use it to look cool or where the spindash cannot be used. Also is the only thing that can hurt the boss. Has a 26 frame recovery.
Boomerang (X) is bad. Actually really bad. Always wastes 1 frame, only stuns ennemies, and a pain to control where it goes (can waste up to two frames.) Also cannot be fired down, from what I know, while you are in the air (which is problematic, for like, the ACTUAL FIRST room of the game.) Worst of all, it has two recovery: one when you launch the boomerang, and one when you recieve it (both 26 frames). Very hard to optimise.
Bombs (Y), you want it? It's yours, my friend, as long as you have enough rupees! .. They would be useful if they didn't explode in your face and do damage to you. Every single other combat option is better.

Tricks used

Fast recovery
All combat tools have a 26 frame recovery (except for the boomerang, which has 26 x 2, once when you throw, once when you recieve.) However, while the recovery makes you unable to move on ground, you will still be able to move while in the air.
The aptly named 'throw-slash' is exactly that: throw, slash. Use a weapon, apart from the bow, then use the Master Sword one frame later. This does a cool visual glitch (the sword slash graphics stay stuck on Link until you do another) and most importantly, it advances the boss's RNG.
Corner boosting
.. if you watched the You Have To Burn The Rope TAS, you know what this is. The act of 'cutting corners' will boost us off that corner and push us a bit in a desired direction (usually forward).
Spindash cancel
You can cancel a spindash by bonking a wall and falling. Is used at the start of stage 1.
Astro jump
By doing a double jump then spindash jumping and going in a direction close to a solid platform for 1 frame, the collision of the platform moves in the opposite direction. This allows you to stand further on a ledge than you should.
Door opening
Between door opening and actual going in, you have 3/4 of a second to play around. I use it to the fullest of its extent. You can also not open a door while airbone, sadly.

Stage by stage comments

Title Screen

We aptly press a button really fast. Changing the dialogue to Spanish makes it slower (no red tunic for us :( )

Space Case

Link awakens from his long slumber into.. space? It's not protected and is made out of dirt, thankfully Link picked up that astronaut suit, hidden aptly under his cloak, practices some hardcore parkour and goes in without worries into the wormhole of 'Wind'.

Stage 1

It was all a dream, and Link awakens at the top of a sky fortress. Since the plot of this game is written in collaboration with Adam Sandler and makes a 5-year old the master of getting to the point, we won't pay too much attention to it. This is where the fun begins. We do a tight corner boost, and a spindash cancel against the first enemy of the game. It is frame perfect and only lasts 1 frame, but dispatches it really quickly. We do astro jumping (the only place where this trick is used) to get closer to the exit, and fire a single arrow. Because the boomerang cannot be fired downwards while we are in air, we have to go into the pit just enough, fire the weapon left, and do a double jump out of it. The diagonal mushroom is boosted off; we then go immediatly right to do a corner boost on the ledge and go back. Then, a bottomless pit is jumped across with a double jump + spindash.We kill the bat, do a corner boost on the way back, then jump up and do more corner boosts. The first use of the bow comes up: since we charge the bow while we're going to bounce on the mushroom, we don't waste any frames. Another tricky bow shot comes up. There is no other way to kill the Octorok apart from bombs, and they would hurt us, so we have to shoot him. We fall down and Stage 1 is down.

Stage 2

The very first part of this stage is very very precise jumping. Afterwards, the diagonal mushroom does not one, but TWO corner boosts in a row. Afterwards, one corner boost after the chest, one corner boost to get to the door, and.. yeah.

Stage 3

This stage features a rising platform (the only one in the run). We start off by bouncing up a bunch of mushrooms. The bow shot has a perfect animation cancel and wastes no frames. I play around while bouncing up the shrooms (wastes no frames). Another corner boost, slash at the air to breath easier, then get the key. The run then features the second most precise boomerang in the run: we shoot as soon as the boomerang can hit, and aim it right: this way, the boomerang comes back immediatly and we don't waste frames for recovery. More jumping, then another boomerang: this time, it is much harder to skip both recoveries. We open the door into the first, last and final boss.


The true antagonist of the game: a floating dude who is somehow able to explode into a multitude of bullets. Jokes aside, to hurt the boss, you need to hit him with a boomerang THEN use a sword slash on him.. twenty times. He can spawn in one of four positions: up-left, up-right, down-left, down-right, as well as teleporting in the exact same location. Him going down-right is faster because we can make the boomerang go out of bounds and as such, don't have to catch it. Throw-slash is used every single hit here, as each sword slash advances the RNG. You can't get him to go to the same position over and over. Twenty hits later, he dies into a flurry of green bullets. The shell is only grabbable when it's on ground, we jump into the warp, and bam, the end. Pretty anticlimatic.

Other comments

This was pretty fun to TAS until I got to the boss (this is the reason this submission took 2 days to make.) I was impressed by the quality of this game and will continue to tas low-efforts homebrews in the future. The main improvements I see are: - better boss fights. You can save up to a second with good RNG (maybe more) - better jumping. Can save a lot from just getting good jumps. - Stage 1 boomerang cancelling. I'm not sure if this saves times, but it should.

Suggested screenshots

Have fun watching!

ars4326: edit: Added in sync settings at the top of the page. Judging!
ars4326: Hello, xy2_. Technical quality-wise, this wasn't a bad run. The level design does have some interesting platforming elements (e.g. the spring-like mushrooms), while the final boss fight at the end was a bit lacking in entertainment value (although you had some nice sequences). Normally, such a run would be publishable under the Vault. However, being as this is a homebrew game, it is subject to a higher level of scrutiny than other runs.
As for notability, aside from the Zelda name, this game doesn't appear to have much of an exceptional following. The game itself also plays like an incomplete demo, where there was obviously more content intended for it at one time (e.g. the intro cavern containing a larger hallway to accommodate more stages.). Under the higher criteria standards for homebrews and hacks, there's just not enough that's exceptional here to warrant a publication.
Finally, I read where you posted that you spent two days working on this. I would recommend taking your time more to ensure that your runs are as polished and optimized as they can be. I spent some time making a brief test WIP of your first section and managed to save 40 frames due to better-timed jumping and use of the boomerang to activate that second door switch quicker. Keep at it, xy2_. I hope to see a publish-worthy run from you in the future!
Rejecting due to game choice (non-notable homebrew).

Last Edited by Spikestuff on 11/1/2015 11:43 AM
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