This is a pretty self-explanatory platformer for the Super Nintendo. Jerry goes through a movie theater, a Lego world, the living room, the kitchen and some more to shoot marbles at Tom's face.
Here is YouTube encode of the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHB4tvtGam8
- Emulator used: BizHawk 1.11.0
- Aims for fastest time
- Takes damage to save time
- Abuses programming errors
This is my first TAS, so I wanted something rather short and simple to begin with. As I have speedrun this game in real time, I knew some improvements I could bring to the published movie. I aimed at beating the game as fast as possible, and tried to make it entertaining as much as I could (whenever I have to wait for cycles for instance). No speed/entertainment tradeoff was made.
General knowledge and speed tricks
- Double jump: This is a particular mechanic of this game. If you jump immediately upon landing from a fall, you can make a bounce jump which is noticeably higher than a regular jump. This can be useful to reach certain platforms early. As far as I know, there is only one place in the game where such a jump is actually required to progress (a tricky jump in the Kitchen). It is also possible to get a bounce on enemies, which requires a tight timing (sometimes, only one frame depending on the enemy's position).
- Corner-boosting: By walking off certain platforms or bumping Jerry's head on a corner, you can gain a boost of 1 or 2 pixels depending on your position (at full forward speed, you move at 2 pixels per frame, so being on odd or even pixels can give different results for corner-boosting). It does not work on all platforms though.
- Taking damage: Taking damage has no influence on your speed in this game, so on various occasions I choose to take damage in order to get into an advantageous position for a corner-boost or any other speed trick.
- Marble throws: When Jerry throws a marble, there is a 25-frame cool-down period before he can shoot another one. This has to be taken into account when optimizing a Tom fight.
- Super jump: I did not discover this glitch, I saw it in a YouTube TAS made by xRavenXP. Basically, there are a few places where Jerry can bounce from both an enemy and a platform at the same time. It saves a lot of time in the first level (around 17 seconds), but I didn't find any other use for it. It can be triggered in two possible ways:
- if the enemy is inside the platform Jerry bounces from, such as the mosquito in the first level,
- if Jerry falls from high enough so he reaches an enemy while in his "falling down" animation; then, he can bounce from the enemy and the floor at the same time. This version of the glitch is featured twice for entertainment purposes (it does not lose or save any time).
- Ceiling jump: If the floor and the ceiling are close enough, keeping down the jump button for long enough can result in Jerry doing a jump, bumping his head, and then doing another jump in mid-air. Unfortunately, I didn't find any place where this would save time, so I just execute the glitch for enjoyment purposes in levels 9 and 12. This can even lead to small zips in level 12, again with no real speed benefit.
- Jump on cheesbits in level 1: Another useless glitch but I'll mention it anyway. In level 1 only, you can actually jump from cheesebits by pressing Down and B when falling on top of them. It is easy to do but wastes time because Jerry's speed is reduced when he hits cheesebits from the top. This only happens in the first level for some reason.
Stage by stage comments
Level 1: Movies 1 - the Marquee
A pretty boring level. Fortunately, the super jump on the mosquito allows for a big 17-second shortcut. I took care of not jumping on the top of cheesebits, because that slows you down (I don't know why; but it only applies to this level) and to get on and off the elevator platform optimally. When you get to the ending zone, you have 1 frame to make Jerry pose, so I do that for every ending zone in the game.
Level 2: Movies 2 - the Projectors
This level is full of conveyor belts and corner-cutting. Double jumps were used a lot to reach the next conveyor belts as soon as possible. I take damage from an enemy near the end because killing it with a marble seemed to cost a pixel there (using marbles on conveyor belts can have undesirable effects). The jump at the end skips the whole last section of the level.
Level 3: Movies 3 - Backstage Pass
This is almost an autoscroller: only the pop-corn and the gum on the floor can stop your movement it you hit them from the side. In the Tom fight, I managed to barely get six hits in for the second cycle. The first cycle is very brief and it doesn't seem possible to land more than two hits. 10 hits are required to defeat Tom, and this applies to every Tom fight in the game.
Level 4: Junkyard 1 - the Old Shoe
Corner-boosting saved several frames there. The "jumping to the left" pose at the end does not cost any time. Apart from that, there is not much to say about this level.
Level 5: Junkyard 2 - the Apple Core
While TASing, I discovered a trick that I didn't find when I did RTA runs of this: it is actually possible to bounce on a pretty high mosquito and get on a tube platform early. This saves about 1.5 seconds. I also took damage from toxic waste and falling garbage to get extra corner-boosts.
Level 6: Junkyard 3 - the Fishbone
This level has some lag, so I had to kill enemies early or take damage to get the least laggy route. It is important to keep as many hearts as possible for the last section with the boss because I sacrifice all of them for corner-boosts and optimizing the Tom fight, as you are forced to get hit by the big magnet in order to stay at shooting range.
Level 7: Toy Land 1 - Wind-up Toys
I take damage on purpose from the spiky things because it is possible to get a corner-boost off of them. I discovered that you can spawn a rocket to get on the first horizontally-moving Lego early, and bounce on a second one to get on the second green Lego without having to wait for it. It is very tricky to do in RTA.
Level 8: Toy Land 2 - Legos
At the beginning, the lower route has one more corner-boost, so I chose that one. Unfortunately, it seems you really have to wait for the first green Lego to move up; I didn't find any other way... I also perform a super jump in this level, for no particular gain other than entertainment value. In the later parts, I jump on the ceilings for a faster route.
Level 9: Toy Land 3 - Bouncy Balls
I take damage from two balls because that seems to be necessary to progress while keeping constant full speed. I was amazed when I discovered that you can actually get in the top part of the Tom fight screen, but that does not help in any way to defeat him faster... You have to lead the way to 10 robots carrying bombs, which is quite boring, so I tried my best to make it entertaining.
Level 10: Around the House 1 - the Kitchen
Here you can corner-boost off of shelves and books, but not salt shakers or those things which look like brown sugar bags. The last corner-boosts required me to take damage from the fire at the end, but fortunately, damage has no impact on Jerry's speed.
Level 11: Around the House 2 - the Living Room
You can get glitchy mouse graphics by pressing B at the right frame when entering the fish tank. The fish tank was the real difficulty of this level: the fishes cause significant lag so I kill two of them. I also get off-screen and do full jumps out of the water, for maximum forward momentum. I tested different solutions for this, and it seems that killing two fishes is the best choice. Close to the end of the level I super jump off of an ant, for some extra fun.
Level 12: Around the House 3 - the Mousehole
This level is the real challenge of this game. You have to defeat three Toms, each of which gives a key to unlock a rocket part. When you unlock a rocket part you must drop it to the bottom of the stage to recreate the rocket and push it into Tom's hand. It is impossible to hit Tom more than 4 times on each cycle, so each kill requires three cycles. Optimizing this level required some well-placed jumps to make sure I spawn Tom at the earliest possible moment. In particular, before the first Tom I wait for a spider to come close so I can bounce on the top part: in terms of pure movement, this is actually a bit slower than going there the normal way, but it ensures that Tom will get spawned quickly and not get despawned immediately after, which ended up saving a whole second. I also discovered that keys can work on any lock, so I already unlocked the middle and top parts of the rocket while fighting Toms #2 and #3, to save time. When Tom is defeated, the key will spawn either on the left side or the right side of the platform, depending on Jerry's position. For the first two Toms, the left position is optimal, so I had to make sure I wasn't standing too close to the left edge to get the key to spawn there. As I want to drop down immediately after the third Tom, getting the key on the right side is better. For the big fall to the bottom, I need to land on several platforms because you can die from falling from too high in this game! The last part is to deliver the rocket to Tom, which seems impossible to do in only one cycle of Tom's hand (you are missing about 13 pixels of rocket movement). So I go up and kill enemies to pass the time. I checked that doing this doesn't make the process any slower than just pushing the rocket all the way immediately. I also demonstrate some ceiling jumps and little zips to make the movie more entertaining in idle times between Tom phases.
After finishing the movie I discovered that the Tom fight in the Junkyard (level 6) could be improved by having still 2 hearts instead of 1 at the start of the fight, so you can fully jump towards Tom for the last couple hits and not die from the big magnet. I then implemented a solution which ended up saving 7 frames, but that led to weird desyncs in levels 11 and especially the last level, where some damage on Tom did not register the same way at all (forcing me to actually lose about 7 or 8 frames to get the first kill). Apart from that, this is my first TAS so I probably overlooked some other things as well.
I hope you enjoy it!
Suggested screenshots: frame 26135 or 28816.
Noxxa: As opposed to the previous publication, this run has been received much better thanks to better playing around during downtime and some new shortcuts and improvements. Great effort! Accepting to Moons as an improvement to the published movie.