Submission #5321: Noxxa's GB We're Back! - A Dinosaur's Story in 16:47.44

Console Game Boy Emulator BizHawk
Game Version unknown Frame Count 60172
ROM Filename We're Back! - A Dinosaur's Story (USA, Europe).gb Frame Rate 59.7275005696058
Branch Rerecord Count 32584
Unknown Authors Noxxa
Game We're Back! - A Dinosaur's Story
Submitted by Noxxa on 12/10/2016 10:59:35 PM

Submission Comments

GB We're Back! - A Dinosaur's Story in 16:47.44 by Noxxa

(initial time: 17:29.37)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time

About the game

This game was developed by Beam Software Pty., Ltd. and released in 1993. Interestingly, the same game was released in various forms, with four editions released in separate regions: the game was released as We're Back in the USA, Baby T-Rex in Europe, Agro Soar in Australia, and Bamse in Sweden. The games are all sprite hacks of each other, but are otherwise almost completely identical (which speaks volumes about the quality of licensed games and respect to their source material). For the sake of normality, I'm going with the USA release, so We're Back it is.
We're Back adapts a movie that was produced by Steven Spielberg and released in 1993, and in that sense it is basically Jurassic Park's animated stupid cousin. The plot of the game basically involves something about Dr. Screweye kidnapping dinosaurs or something, and Rex the T-Rex (not related to Radical Rex) platforms through a bunch of levels and throws blocks at enemies to save them all and to throw blocks at Dr. Screweye. Or something.
While there are no other runs of We're Back that I've seen, some exist of its counterparts: a TAS WIP of Baby T-Rex by Exonym, going up to Crystal Caves 1 (which this WIP beats by 820 frames, mainly due to avoiding the bonus level requirements, but also some seconds saved throughout the stages), and a real-time run of Bamse on SpeedDemosArchive (which this run beats by about two minutes (exactly 2:00 in-game time)).


L+R movement

Holding left and right while moving to the right will fix Rex' speed at 256 subpx/frame, as opposed to oscillating between 256/236 on the ground or 256/244 in the air. This only works when moving to the right; moving to the left this way will fix speed at 236 instead, which is slower than normal walking/jumping. So this is used to move to the right in normal cases, whereas leftward movement spends all the time jumping.

Skateboard tricks

Skateboards generally are beneficial for faster movement, but using them can be sped up a bit by repeatedly jumping off them and landing in front of the skateboard. This will clip the skateboard forward to below Rex' feet if he is close enough, providing a little boost to the skateboard which can be used further.

Acceleration tricks

During movement that's faster than 256 subpx/f and is not fixed (like jumping from skateboards, or running down slopes), acceleration sometimes results to different top speeds, which can be manipulated by reducing your speed until you get past a certain point that it can accelerate again to a higher value. The gains of this are usually minimal, and sometimes the speed reduction is not worth it (however minimal), but it helps extending some skateboard jumps or slope jumps here and there.

Stage by stage comments

The Jungle 1

  • The first level already starts with a few nice slopes that make Rex run really fast. These slopes add some nice pace to the run.

The Jungle 2

  • There's a glitch with the pterodactyl nests where if you land on their leftmost pixel, you drop down the left side of it, which confuses the pterodactyl that spawns and makes it drop Rex at a different location than intended. In this case, it puts Rex in a wall, but this is escapable and does still save a little bit of time.

The Jungle 3

  • This stage provides a few interesting instances where I need to fall down a slope and start moving down a slope in the opposite direction. In one case, with precise movement, I could clip Rex into the floor where he gets stuck decelerating; in another, the steeper floor causes a deceleration immediately. Overall, this stage has a lot of variety in slope action.

The Jungle Boss

  • All bosses in this game, except the final boss, have 10 hit points (the final boss has two phases with 15 hit points). After depleting these, most bosses still have a frame rule which makes it take some time before they actually start exploding and allowing the player to progress. That is the case with this boss, but fortunately beating the boss as fast as possible still makes him start blowing up relatively quickly. The actual blowing up itself takes an annoyingly long time, though.

Crystal Caves 1

  • This stage introduces skateboards, their utility in destroying enemies, and jumping on them to increase their gain.

Crystal Caves 2

  • This stage introduces bowling balls. When touched, Rex automatically grabs them. Releasing with the attack button causes him to throw the bowling ball forward, which keeps on rolling and destroying enemies until it hits a wall or ceiling.

Crystal Caves 3

  • Stages start getting quite long at this point.

Crystal Caves Boss

  • This is one of the bosses in this game that does not have a frame rule, so the objective is simply to defeat it as fast as possible and reach the exit as soon as possible after that. The fastest way turned out to be to hit it with two blocks in five jumps. It's possible to start hitting it earlier by jumping and hitting with a single block at the start, but that turned out 20 frames slower in the end.

Castle Dungeons 1

  • A well-timed and accelerated skateboard jump allows me to skip the hydra sequence in this stage. You'll see what this is in the next few stages.

Castle Dungeons 2

  • This is the second-longest stage in the game.

Castle Dungeons 3

  • This is the longest stage in the game. Ugh.

Castle Dungeons Boss

  • This boss obeys the frame rule again, but nevertheless, an optimal defeating pattern comes quite close to the frame rule, and doesn't really add much leeway. With a precise pair of jumps, it's possible to jump over the boss' spikes while the boss is exploding (the boss' hitbox is removed at this point, but the spikes aren't, and getting hit by them flings Rex to the left side of the screen) - this way, I can go to the exit even when the boss is not done exploding yet.

Screweye's Tower 1

  • It's the return of the speed slopes! Missed these for quite a while.

Screweye's Tower 2

  • Unlike the left side of a pterodactyl's nest, the right side cannot be glitched.

Screweye's Tower 3

  • I do a small bit of luck manipulation here with the flames coming out of the lava in one of the corridors. A worse movement pattern would've forced me to get hit sooner, which would cause me to run into damage issues by the end of the stage.

Screweye's Tower Boss

  • The first phase of the final boss is a snake-esque machine, which acts much like the first boss. There's a safe spot standing right in front of it, which I utilize mostly for simplicity but also for hitting it quickly without causing more lag than necessary. After 15 hitpoints and a bit of frame rule, it goes down.
  • Screweye himself also has 15 hit points, and fights by dropping bombs from the air. He floats just high enough that it is not possible to hit him with two projectiles per jump, but I use a different strategy instead - make it an air-to-air battle, staying up by colliding into him repeatedly (which, like other bosses, bumps Rex upwards and to the left). I do this until I reach the point where I can go to the right for the end-of-stage marker while still pelting him with projectiles while going right. The movement looks a bit awkward, but that's mostly just up to the motion physics of this game, and the strategy with four jumps+projectiles is still faster than other strategies I tried.

Other comments

Screenshot suggestion: TODO
Thanks for watching!

Tompa: Oh yeah, I'll judge this one!
Tompa: Movie replaced with a 2504 frames faster version.
Tompa: It's a nice little platformer that was optimised enough for a publication! Accepting for the Vault.
fsvgm777: Processing.

Last Edited by Noxxa on 8/14/2021 6:50:47 PM
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