Submission #6398: Lobsterzelda's A2600 Montezuma's Revenge in 03:00.55

Console Atari 2600 Emulator BizHawk 2.3.1
Game Version USA Frame Count 10819
ROM Filename Montezuma's Revenge.bin Frame Rate 59.9227510135505
Branch Rerecord Count 4860
Unknown Authors Lobsterzelda
Game Montezuma's Revenge
Submitted by Lobsterzelda on 5/23/2019 4:35:30 AM

Submission Comments

Emulator Version:

BizHawk V. 2.3.1

Deaths Taken:

At five points in the run, I die so that I can exit a room faster, since dying puts you back at the spot where you entered the room that you died in.


The goal of this TAS is to beat all 3 levels of the game as fast as possible.

Game Description:

Montezuma's Revenge was released in 1984 for several consoles, including the Atari 2600, ColecoVision, and the Commodore 64. In the game, you play as Panama Joe, a brave explorer traveling deep into the ruins of a temple dedicated to the Ancient Aztec ruler Montezuma. The ruins are guarded by monsters, laser gates, and lava, all of which can kill Panama Joe in one hit. The goal of the game is to make it to the treasure room in the bottom left corner of the fortress. Once there, you will have a few seconds to collect treasures before you fall through the floor and advance to the next fortress/level. In total, there are 3 levels in the game, with enemies moving faster as you reach higher difficulty levels.
In the Commodore 64 and Sega Master System versions of this game, you can press both up and down at the end of a ladder to climb in midair, which lets you skip most of the game. However, this glitch does not work on the Atari 2600 version, so you have to go through the levels the intended way here. In each level, the treasure room is blocked by 2 locked doors, so you have to find 2 keys (not including the key needed to escape the starting room) in order to beat the level. However, there are 3 keys scattered throughout the level, meaning you have to choose which 2 of the keys to get and what order to get them in. Additionally, you have to decide which way to go to get to the first key, and which way to go to get from the first key to the second key.
One notable difference between this version of the game and the ColecoVision version of the game is that you can't touch a pole on the right or left-side of the screen to exit the treasure room. Instead, you have to wait for a timer to run out before you can advance to the next room.
I have attached a link to a map of the first level of Montezuma's Revenge for the Atari 2600, so that it's easier to see what options there are for routing in this game. Note that rooms that have a colored wall at the end of them indicate a wall that you cannot pass, and that the all blue room in the bottom left corner is the treasure room. The room you start in is the top center room in the fortress. The page also includes a route for collecting all items in the dungeon, which I ignore since I'm not going for 100%. Below the map is a link to a map of the second level, which in turn has a link on its page to a map of the third level of the game.
Link to the page with the first level map:
Level 1:
In the first room, I jump to grab the vine, since this is faster than going down the ladder. Also of note is the fact that if you fall to the ground in this game, you die, so you always have to climb ladders or vines to land safely on the floor below you. After collecting the key, I die in order to exit the room faster (thanks to Spikestuff for discovering this). I keep moving and eventually reach the laser walls. You can make it through 3 lasers in one cycle, but not 4. As such, I make it through the first three after an opening appears, but for the second one, I need to get through it in 2 cycles, since it involves going through 4 total lasers.
Once I get the second key in my inventory (the third so far including the one used in the first room), I die by falling off the vine. This is done because there is no way to get back up to the platform that I started on without going all the way down, left and back around through 2 other rooms, so dying is faster. In the next room, I cannot jump over the bug in front of me, so I wait for him to move out of the way, climb up the ladder, and then back down to reload the room with him back on the rightside of the room, allowing me to enter the room on the left. The bottom floor of the fortress is all dark, but if you look at the map of the level, you can see what's going on (in casual gameplay, you could get the torch to see here, but that would waste time).
Once I reach the treasure room, I collect as much treasure as I can within the time limit. The only way you lose time here is if you are mid jump when the timer runs out, since you would have to fall a greater distance to start the next level.
Level 2:
Level 2 starts off with the same first room as level 1, although enemies now move faster. From TASing different routes and orders of movement, I was able to determine that the fastest route through level 2 is thus: Go right out of the first room. Get the rightmost key first, then get the key that is one screen left and one screen down from that key. From there, head to the treasure room.
Level 3:
Level 3 was a lot more straight forward to route than level 2. The route I took through the level was: go to the right to exit the first room. Get the rightmost key. Get the key on the last floor of the level, and then go to the treasure room.
For my TAS BK2 file submission, I end input after the last input needed to enter the third treasure room, since at that point I have done all inputs necessary to beat the game. However, in the encode I have of my TAS, I chose to include collecting the treasures in the third treasure room, as a bonus to the viewer.

TASing Process:

One thing that took up a lot of time when making this movie was determining the fastest route through the levels. More specifically, level 2 required a lot of testing to find the best possible route. The laser walls that appeared throughout the levels also made TASing difficult, as I had to be faster than the next upcoming laser wall opening to actually save time. Fortunately, I only go through 2 laser rooms per level, and any time save after the last laser room of a level will be faster even if it isn't fast enough to beat the next laser cycle.
Here is a link to my encode of the TAS:

Last Edited by ThunderAxe31 on 6/23/2019 8:00:53 AM
Page History Latest diff List Referrers