Digger T. Rock is a NES platforming game released by Rare in 1990, in which the player controls the titular Digger T. Rock as he spelunks through 8 caverns in his quest to search the mythical lost city. The game is relatively obscure, but contains many hallmarks of 8-bit Rare games, including music by David Wise that has tunes reminiscent of Battletoads and a very steep difficulty curve. This run improves the previous movie by 52 frames.
- Emulator used: FCEUX 2.2.2
- Takes damage to save time
- Uses warps
I've always been fond of the published run of this game, having suffered at the hands of this game's awkward control scheme before, and decided to see if I could contribute anything to its current TAS. While I was dabbling I found a way to trigger the third warp just a tiny bit faster than the published run and the rest is history.
- There are no improvements in caverns 1 and 2. Cavern 1 cannot be improved due to the fact that the enemy's spawn frame is fixed. I took a different route in this cavern just for fun. In cavern 2, there's a frame rule for picking up objects. I was able to improve the corner boosting by 2 frames, but the fade out does not occur until the same frame as the last movie.
- Cavern 3 is where the fun begins. With better manipulation of Digger's x-position I was able to tap Up for only one frame to spawn the powerup a frame earlier. Then, when jumping I positioned myself to the right slightly better to grab the powerup faster.
- Cavern 4 is a rather simple stage; it's meant to be a level where you can equip yourself with items, but TASes grab them all in other places, so instead it just turns into a generic "walk right" level. I managed to chop off a few frames on the corner boosts by positioning my xpixels better.
- I improved the beginning of Cavern 5 by jumping into the air to grab the item. The reason for this is Digger's momentum resets after he grabs the powerup, so being in the air/closer the rock allows him to grab it without a speed loss. The rest of Cavern 5 is waiting for the moving platform so no frames can be saved.
- Cavern 6 is a bit tricky, simply because I always arrived at the time pillar glitch with my pixels just slightly off, causing me to lose frames. Bluh. Thankfully I found a way to modify them without wasting any time during the jump section at the start, so yay, crisis averted. The timed saved in this level comes from better acceleration when leaping over that pink spiked wall - the one near the diamond, not the one after Digger takes a big fall.
- There were a few minor optimizations in cavern 7. Ladder climbing at the beginning was tightened, especially the final ladder, where I jumped up to grab the ledge instead of climbing to the top and then ducking. The rest of the level is just abusing pixel positions to be pushed more from the corner boosts, same as cavern 4.
- In cavern 8, I jumped over the first dynamite stick instead of moving up a pixel, this prevents Digger from having to reaccelerate. With the second dinosaur that I crawled under, I adjusted myself a bit so I could just walk straight out with no time loss, as opposed to the published run which is forced to leap up out of him.
And that's the game! Digger has found the lost city. To be honest, it looks sort of crappy. I guess maybe if he's thirsty or something... then Digger falls over, the color dims, and there's a TO BE CONTINUED for a sequel that never materialized. What a shame.
Thanks greatly to nitrogenesis, Kyman, and SilentSlayers for laying out excellent groundwork for this game. It was a nice challenge trying to improve on a run I'd watched many times before.
As a side note, I have no idea what the title of this game is supposed to be. When nitrogenesis and Kyman submitted their movies they both called it "Digger - The Legend of the Lost City", but it was published as "Digger T. Rock: Legend of the Lost City". For what it's worth, I think there should be two "The"s there, as based on the title screen.
Anyway, enjoy! :)