Bonk 3: Bonk's Big Adventure is the final Bonk game to be released for the PC Engine/Turbografx16. This one adds a new twist with candy powerups that allow Bonk to change size to become tiny or big. The plot of the game is quite simple: King Drool, villain of the first two games, decided to steal the top half of the moon. AGAIN. Maybe he ran out of ideas or really liked that specific half of the moon.
- Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.3.1
- Takes damage to save time... but not nearly as much as previous Bonk TASes
I first played the game back in january when I was in between projects. I felt it was mostly pretty good but unfortunately it ended with a rather buggy final boss. However, I noted that the game actually ran on Bonk's Adventure's engine rather than Bonk's Revenge's engine. Speed worked exactly like it did in Bonk 1. Hovering was made a bit weaker from Bonk which initially turned me off from the game aside from a quick first level test.
Fast forward to March, I still really hadn't found a project that interested me, so I decided to try the second screen of this game. This second screen resulted in me totally falling in love with this game and its mechanics.
Mechanics and tricks
- Hovering: Spamming the attack button in midair results in your vertical speed being repeatedly reset to a lower value. Works pretty much like it did in Bonk 1, except it doesn't accept the inputs if they're entered as quickly. Sometimes I need to deliberately space out my inputs even further in order to gain a pixel or two off a hover without adding additional rotations. This is probably where a ton of my rerecords came from. Unfortunately it interacts with slopes in a dumb way. If you do a hover and then land on a slope, you will land on your head even if you were facing up, unless it's an ice slope.
- Flower Boosting: Also works pretty much how it did in Bonk 1. Attacking a flower from the side will result in you moving at speed 7 which you can then extend by jumping and then hovering and hopefully bouncing off enemies. Unfortunately, just like in the first game, you can only actually successfully bounce off a flower every other frame for some reason. If you do an attack on the wrong frame you just miss. I try to get a little extra distance from the flower if trying to attack it the first frame possible would result in a miss.
- Bouncing: Hitting an enemy from above with a midair Bonk will cause you to bounce off the enemy and deals double damage to it. Very useful since...
- Damage Boosting: Still gives a ton of height BUT doesn't allow you to maintain horizontal speed in this game unlike in bonk 1. The other reason this is not used often has to do with size mechanics.
- Large meat (or eating two small meats consecutively) will make you temporarily invincible, allow you to build up to 6 speed by running/jumping and allows you to jump higher. Any form past no meat power up will change up the timing for hovering. Butthead Bonk breathes fire while on the ground instead of headbutting so he cannot do flower boosts. Bonk slowly reverts back to normal over time but will instantly drop a form if he takes damage unless he is big or small.
- Size: if you are either big or small you will return to normal size if you take damage. However, your meat powerup level is not affected if this occurs. Additionally, if you collect a meat while small/big, the powerup animation will not play, saving a considerable amount of time every time you need to collect a meat. Size status is maintained between screens.
- Small: Has same hovering mechanics as regular sized bonk but cannot jump as high. It is used for the majority of the TAS due to the meat canceling ability and exiting out of it costs time.
- Big: Hover inputs are incredibly slow, meaning hovering is almost worthless as big. Not used very often, except for a shortcut near the end.
- Walking off a ledge will reset Bonk's horizontal speed to 0 so it would NORMALLY be preferable to jump off instead if possible BUUUUUUUUUUUUUT...
- Wall jumping: Sets Bonk to 5 speed and gives a good amount of height. Note that normal walking speed is 4. That means if you are not abusing a flower boost or a meat powerup, this can be used to move slightly faster. It combines quite well with the walking off ledges speed reset and is part of why I fell in love with the game. It's often most optimal to perform the wall jump from as far away from the wall as possible.
- Meat Flower Trampoline glitch: Normally only the yellow flowers are supposed to let you jump off of them like a trampoline, but if you press jump within 5 frames of entering the air after bouncing off an orange flower, you will rocket into the air. This doesn't hold true for other colors.
- Swimming: still annoying to optimize
- Grabbing this sapling powerup with two leaves will cause a flower to grow on top of bonk's head. This will allow him to swim through midair if you press up. It can be cancelled by performing an attack. Taking damage loses the powerup and it is automatically lost in between screens. Can be useful for shortcuts.
- Landing on ice after doing any midair flips (even if you cancel the attack and land on your feet) will cause you to slip along the ice at speed 5 and you will not stop unless you press the opposite direction and jump which will freeze you in place for a while or simply slide off a ledge or into a slope. Combines quite well with the walk off ledge speed reset and wall jumps.
- The longer you slide down an ice slope, the more speed builds up.
- If you are moving up an ice slope, repeatedly tapping the jump button will maintain your current speed no matter what it is.
- Glitched ice slide: If you perform a flower boost while on ice, the game tries to slow Bonk down after a certain amount of time. However, even though the RAM address I use says Bonk is at speed 3, for whatever reason, he is actually continuing to move at speed 7. If you let it hit 2, then he will actually slow down, but it's possible to maintain this state by repeatedly jumping. You need enough space to do this though so it's only applicable in one spot.
- Waterfall jumping: Exiting a waterfall from the side will cause Bonk to jump. You can perform this repeatedly to scale waterfalls quickly.
- Boss triple hit: Kinda. So if you land on a boss from above you deal double damage. However there is an additional hitbox that appears briefly after you press the attack button in midair that will hit an enemy in front of bonk for 1 damage. If you attack a boss at the corner of its hitbox you can deal 1 damage from attacking it from the side and then deal 2 damage by bouncing off of it. Typically the setup for this is slightly slower than simply bouncing off the boss but the extra point of damage is worth it most the time.
Stage by stage comments
I specifically waited to land on Huey (first boss of Bonk 1) until he was moving to the right so Bonk would be moving right along with him.
Bouncing from atop flowers gives 5 speed so I abused that plus the meat flower trampoline glitch to get to a spot where I could flower boost more quickly.
The trap doors still have collision on top when they open up, navigating through them was tricky.
The wall jumps begin.
It is possible to land on a flower bud on the same frame but at different vertical positions. Typically I aim for as high of a position as possible on them to get as much of an advantage on vertical position as I can, but sometimes it is not necessary.
There doesn't really appear to be a feasible way of avoiding the crab transformation here. As you can see, I wasn't particularly close. I needed to get rid of the transformation somewhat quickly though, so I took damage on the fish and then immediately dived back into the water to get some speed back.
If you hold up while spinning on the horizontal bars and press jump, then no matter which direction Bonk is facing, he will jump upwards. That allows for very quick climbs whenever they show up.
Like in the first game, there is essentially an invisible line near the ahead sign where if you're walking past it, the stage will end.
A small candy is used here to take an intended shortcut through the stage, skipping a fair amount.
I aimed for triple hits until the boss jumped in the air, at which point I intentionally took a hit, losing small but gaining a bunch of invulnerability frames to quickly kill the boss.
Losing small in the previous boss didn't really matter because the pipes in this stage would remove small anyways.
Juggling the scorpion and bouncing off it was incredibly precise to pull off.
I spent a fair amount of time on this level optimizing the amount of hovering such that I spent as little time airswimming as possible.
Wall jumping to the clouds to the left is very precise, possibly not intended.
There was a glitch I abused where I was able to treat the first cloud I landed on like a trampoline flower. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to determine the exact cause to replicate it elsewhere.
Navigating the pillar climb with the rocks blocking the way was fairly tricky, I ultimately abused wall jumps to quickly start moving vertically again after hitting a block from below.
If your meat power-up runs out, you can keep the speed until you jump and land or if you stop for whatever other reason.
A lot of triple hits here. I could have gained 2 extra frames on the previous stage, but that would cause me to transition to 1 meat Bonk at a bad time, causing the first triple hit to fail.
I had to land on my head prior to the orange flower I used for a boost else I would fall off the ledge or spend more time hovering than not landing on my head would save.
I had to land before the slopes at the beginning when I hover. If you bounce off a flower into a slope, you just stop.
Navigating the enemy in the antlion hole as quickly as possible was a huge challenge.
I manipulated the crocodile enemy that steals your smileys in such a way that it didn't get in the way when I was about to wall jump.
The boulder moves slow but there didn't really seem a way past it until I got to the huge opening. Taking damage on the spikes is way faster than waiting for the boulder.
The meat + small combination is what allowed me to skip past the crab crusher.
Due to being small, I couldn't actually make it to the platform with the elevator with a regular jump. A wall jump ended up being necessary.
This boss works quite a bit differently from the others. Rather than being based on damage, it is more based on how many times it expands. It also has an invulnerability period of sorts, meaning triple hits do not help.
On later hits, if you're attacking from above, the boss will actually expand into you. The last hit I did from above, I very narrowly avoided getting hit, but I wasn't able to avoid it if I tried on the hits after, so I came up with a different strategy.
After the fight I breathe fire out of my forehead.
It ended up being faster to use meats here than flower boosts.
Making it through the gap between the moving platform and the wall next to some lava can be tough. This can happen.
The ending is fairly tight, getting the right heights is critical.
I generally tried to optimize landing as soon as possible on each platform. I didn't collect a meat in this stage because it lost time at the start of the next.
Avoiding the snowballs from the enemy near the top was fairly tricky.
The flower boost at the start is why I do not grab a meat in the previous stage.
Going through the flower obstacle before the water section works if you hit 15 y speed right when the camera's y-position is -98.
YOU LOVE BONK 3
Making it to the first platform is fairly tight.
The first instance of waterfall jumping... and the last because the only other waterfall I climb I start near the top.
Abusing the jellyfish enemies the boss spawns allows me to bonk my head on them on the way up, canceling my upwards momentum and allowing me to get attacks in more quickly. I pulled something similar in my Bonk's Adventure TAS with the T. Ractorhead boss.
Making it past the ballerina from bonk's revenge was somewhat tricky to optimize.
It's possible to take a sort of bottom path at the start but it's way slower.
The ice slopes mean I reach 9 speed at towards the very end and keep it up to the wall jumps.
I abused wall jumps, hovering, and bouncing off enemies to skip these platforms that start to the left and pass above where I needed to go.
Landing on the trampoline flower near the end allows me to bounce off an axe that would otherwise hit the ground above and vanish.
This boss moves very slowly so it's convenient to get triple hits.
OH YEAH THIS GAME HAS A PLOT
The boss rush was mostly approached in such a way to reduce the amount of time spent traveling between elevators. Conveniently it ended with the first boss so I kept small until then.
I had to delay my flower boost at the start to be able to bounce off a fireball and land on a later platform.
I collect a large meat at the end without first grabbing a candy because I needed the meat to skip the lava, but I needed to be normal sized for the next level.
Because I wasn't small, I was able to quickly get rid of butthead bonk in order to flower boost.
Due to the long stretches of ice, the glitched ice state was really useful here.
Going through the hole in the wall with the spike block going up and down ultimately ended with trying to minimize the length of the damage boost by getting hit right into the ceiling.
Those swimming dinosaur things with the big lips will try to eat you and you will have to navigate out of their stomach. Avoiding them was a high priority.
The only usage of big Bonk.
You need to deal 3 dive hits worth of damage per phase to move to the next. However, the damage does carry over for some phases, but not for all. I ended up just wailing on him.
While I was waiting for the second phase to begin, I accidentally mooned the final boss.
After dealing enough damage to win the fight, Bonk got really tired and needed a nap.
THIS TAS IS FOR ALL YOU BONK KIDS.
THANKS A LOT!
No but seriously, thanks to everyone that showed interest in this TAS, from the Bonk RTA community to those that really just liked watching the game.
slamo: Really well thought out and optimized as usual. You handled this weird engine very nicely.
Feedback was great, and I was personally entertained by it, so I'm accepting to Moons.