Submission #6092: ThunderAxe31's GB Rolan's Curse "hardest password, game end glitch" in 04:36.89

(Link to video)
Game Boy
hardest password, game end glitch
BizHawk 2.3.0
Rolan's Curse (USA).gb
Submitted by ThunderAxe31 on 9/3/2018 10:03:48 PM
Submission Comments

Movie objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 2.3
  • Beats the game as fast as possible
  • Uses a password for making the game harder
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Genre: Action
  • Genre: Adventure

About the game

Rolan's Curse is a game that kinda resembles The Legend of Zelda for NES, but with simpler and slower gameplay.

About the run

I got inspiration from zoboner's Shinobi Legions movie, in which a password is used for accessing the secret hardest difficulty and reducing the player HP to 1.
This submission aims to improve the current publication for using a harder difficulty. However, technically Rolan's Curse doesn't have any difficulty modes... But its password system can still be used in order to make the game objectively harder. Rolan's Curse features a password system used as form of progress storage: instead of saving the data into the cartridge, the games gives you an 8-charater password that can be used to resume your game after resetting the console. Here is the data contained in the password:
  • Current world
  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  • Temporary HP
  • Permanent HP
  • Temporary Attack
  • Permanent Attack
Note that temporary values are the ones that indicate the current stats; the permanent values instead are the amounts that will be set upon accessing the following world.

The password choice

The password used is TMDB BBBB. This causes the player to start the first world with the minimum amount of HP possible: half heart. The rest is the same as a clean new game, as the other stats are already at their minimum value. I left the main weapon unchanged, as there is no conclusive way to assess if it's better to have the Sword or the Wand: they're just different.
This password can't be generated under normal gameplay, as the player normally starts with 2 hearts and there are no known ways to reduce them on purpose; in order to get this password I had to poke the RAM value before asking the game to generate the password.
Since this movie, like the previous one, uses a game end glitch in order to finish the game without proceeding to the following worlds, the Permanent HP value doesn't affect gameplay. However, I still wanted to set it to the lowest value as well, as this resulted in generating a password that can be inserted faster.

The strategy

Like for the previous movies, the best strategy known is to reach the boss of the first world as fast as possible, while also getting one attack power-up, which requires getting a pickaxe from an enemy drop.
The route is adjusted in order to be able to abuse as many damages as possible, as well as taking in accound the broken RNG of this game.
Some enemies are killed for getting extra HP that are necessary for damange abuse, while other enemies are killed for clearing our path or for RNG manipulation necessities.


There are eight bytes containing pseudo-random generated values. The game uses only one of these byte at time, for determining if the relative item should be dropped, and it will use the following byte for each subseguent kill you perform, except when you kill an enemy that has a 0% or 100% drop rate.
...except that due to a bug, after the first loop the game doesn't get back to the first byte, but instead to the 6th, and then continues until getting 1 byte out of range, into the byte that contains the kill count... Which also has a bug. Long story short, after the first six kills, the game will enter a loop that makes the third kill guaranteed to give a drop, and the sixth kill instead is guaranteed to never give one. If you're curious, watch the encode with my RNG script specifically made for this game.

feos: All the details about this submission are posted in the discussion thread, I'll just summarize.
In this game, one can set arbitrary amount of hitpoints (and tweak other stats) using the in-game password system. The password serves to save the player's progress and automatically updates after every important event, allowing to return to the situation where you stopped playing. There is no trace of internally defined difficulty modes. Using the password to poke your stats can't serve as am objective difficulty mode. So just like there are movies using passwords to gain unfair advantage, this movie gains unfair disadvantage, which is even impossible to gain during normal play. This does make the game marginally more difficult, but the arbitrary nature of this setting at least means this movie can't go to Vault where this branch belongs.
While we allow some degree of freedom in choosing difficulty, which is just a guideline, it's supposed to make the game generally harder in various aspects, rather than simply allowing less time-saving damage. So even if there was an in-game difficulty mode doing exactly what this movie does via the password, it wouldn't be considered justified. In addition, such a movie isn't different enough from the existing movies for this game, so even if it was entertaining, it wouldn't deserve a separate branch.
Last Edited by ThunderAxe31 on 5/14/2022 6:05 PM
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