Submission #6680: Challenger's NES Prince of Persia in 16:16.06

Nintendo Entertainment System
BizHawk 2.2.1
Prince of Persia (USA).nes
Submitted by Challenger on 4/1/2020 12:14:10 AM
Submission Comments
The published run is one of oldest TASes, and the most oldest "non-first 500" of this site. Since my experience with POP is so good, I managed to improve the NES version (with more movement optimization), and ended improving even more than I expected: most of those guards were improved and because I discovered a few new tricks!

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 2.2.1 (works even on the lastest released version)
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Some luck manipulation
It's 609 frames (10.13 seconds) faster than the published run (actually 608, and 1 frame due to different power-on) - since FCEUX/BizHawk has a different FPS than FCEU (which the record time was 16:27.82) - that time would be 16:26.19 instead.

Development of the run

Initially, I thought that the published run wouldn't east to improve, but one day, I found and watched the current RTA run, which caught me surprise with a great improvement on the sword room of the first level. With it, I decided to improve this game.
Well, actually, I was lazy with this game, unlike my previous works, because I started this run back from December 2017 (at the time when I was also working on Cadash run), but after 2 weeks, I paused this game because of my work with some SMS runs.
After a bunch of work with some games during the following year, I finally decided to continue Prince of Persia (back from December, after Christmas), and so, I worked for more weeks until finishes this game. This run was completed but... At the time, I was starting to get addicted for animes and also decided to work on Super Back to the Future II game (which isn't done yet) - months have passed, and lefted some rooms for optimization.
Once again, I returned to this game on December 2019, and finally put my lastest optimizations I've forgot before. Seems that my run was done, but... now today, while I was finishing this submission text, I was testing something on level 12, and ended finding another improvement, which was added without much problems.

Stage-by-stage commentary

Level 1 - 117 frames faster
  • Second room: 4 frames gained with only one running jump instead of two.
  • Fourth room: By falling instead of climbing down, 4 frames gained (and some pixels) after switch.
  • Sword room: When you pick up the sword, you can't move until the music ends, but if you press up, down, or "B" button during it, you'll regain control, but the music theme won't return and remains mute until you lose or complete this level. Pressing down is a faster choice to regain control. 100 frames saved!
  • During one transition, 1 less lag frame.
  • Back to the third room, a late running jump leads to gain pixels enough for better movement optinization on the second room - 4 frames saved.
  • After the guard, another late running jump leads to earlier stopping on the exit room - 4 frames gained.
118 frames ahead (it also includes that extra frame from power-on).
Actually, there's a glitch found on this movie which can allow you to bypass that guard on the second-to-last room, so this level can be finished directly. But...
Unlike the other versions, if you don't pick that sword, this game recognizes it, and you can't defeat anyone - so, this level was played with the intended way.
Level 2 - 51 frames faster
  • Second guard: For the second hit, instead of moving, I waited and so, at the end, the guard was defeated 5 frames later, but since I was able to do an extra running jump and still touches the switch, 3 frames were saved.
  • 48 frames saved with a different strategy after the fourth guard: with more running jumps between 3 following rooms + a trick for earlier climbing up on the "third following room" - it works because you must press down, then immediately press up (he doesn't actually climb down on the very first frame, unlike other versions).
169 frames ahead
Level 3 - 64 frames faster
  • Room before skeleton: The first of 3 running jumps was previously started at the end of previous room, but this time, both were done on the same room, and with good adjustments, 8 frames were saved before the third running jump.
On the following room after the skeleton:
  • With late running jumps, he bumps the wall 4 frames earlier.
  • second fall: by stepping on a wall (pressing right button), you regain control earlier, but your position is more pixels right - 20 frames saved.
  • third fall: instead of simply pressing "A" button, running + running jump before falls to the switch room and bumps the wall 4 frames earlier.
Back to skeleton room, another trick: press up+b at the same time so he'll go out the floor instantly (only works on certain floors like that) - 24 frames saved at the next room.
  • Next room: also 4 frames saved by not pressing left after dropping.
233 frames ahead
Level 4 - 30 frames faster
Before starting, 1 frame is lost during loading time for unknown reasons.
  • First guard: first time where a battle stars without prince moving immediately - guard defeated 5 frames faster (also gained more pixels).
With this chance, almost all other battles until the end of this game were affected! (actually it started with the second guard of level 2, when I defeated him 5 frames later - I didn't notice that change until much later...)
  • Second guard: more further movement, and defeats 5 frames later, but gains 12 frames at the end of this room.
  • Third guard: defeats 5 frames faster + more further movement. And 4 frames saved while acrossing this and the next room.
  • Mirror path: with a late running jump between rooms, the prince enters the switch path with more pixels further to right, gaining 10 frames for faster exiting.
263 frames ahead
Level 5 - 43 frames faster
  • First guard: second time where a battle stars without prince moving immediately - guard defeated 15 frames faster - also less movement than before.
  • Before entering switch room: late running jump - enters 4 frames later but saves 10 frames on the next room.
  • Back to previous room, despite different running jumps, no time were lost.
  • 1 frame saved on the next room with a different falling way.
  • First room (when acrossing to the next rooms): different way to across, and a different running jump - 4 frames gained.
  • Second guard: started battle with a few more pixels, defeats guard 5 frames later but with more pixels further, and 8 frames saved at the end of this room.
  • Following rooms after third guard: first, late running jumps - 8 frames lost but gains 20 frames on the next room, and 1 frame on the second-to-last room.
305 frames ahead
Level 6 - 9 frames faster
Only the guard room was improved: he is defeated 5 frames earlier, with more pixels further - saving 4 more frames at the gate.
314 frames ahead
Level 7 - 35 frames faster
  • First guard: third time bla bla bla - guard defeated 15 frames faster but since I walked less pixels than before, 4 frames were lost at the end of this room.
  • Second guard improved by 16 frames.
  • Climbing down room: press left button immediately after dropping - saves 4 frames.
  • Room with 2 gates: Since I stop earlier, the switch is activated 8 frames later but was able to move 8 frames earlier, and loses it while acrossing this room, because I did running jumps less further. But...
  • I did an extra running jump before finishing this room - next room recovers those frames lost + gaining 4 frames at the end!
349 frames ahead
Level 8 - 78 frames faster
  • Third room: with that Up+B trick used on Level 3, it affected the running jumps strategy, and after 2 following rooms, the final result was 69 frames saved!
  • Rooms after the exit door room: different running jumps (no time loss on the first room, 8 frames lost on the next room, 10 frames gained on the next room, and finally on the next room, the same last running jump result = no frames lost)
  • Second guard: fourth time bla bla bla - guard defeated 15 frames saved but since the position isn't further as before, 4 frames were lost at the end of this room.
  • Third guard: 5 frames lost but moved further, saving 4 frames at the switch.
  • Fourth guard: different running jump, fifth time bla bla bla - 5 frames saved on the enemy but due to bad luck, my position is a bit worse than the published run, losing 8 frames between at the end of this room and the switch of the following room.
427 frames ahead
Level 9 - 100 frames faster
  • With different running jumps between the first 2 rooms, it allows him on the third room to do a running jump earlier, gaining 4 frames.
  • 28 frames saved with that earlier climbing up trick used on level 2.
  • Second guard: sixth time...ended defeating guard 15 frames faster, with a few more pixels. With good running jumps...
  • The next room is also improved with that earlier climbing up trick again - 48 frames gained!
  • 2 last rooms before exit door: fourth running jump performed a bit further, and the running jump of the next room with the same adjust + defeating the third guard without moving immediately - beats guard 5 frames faster.
527 frames ahead
Level 10 - 16 frames faster
  • First guard: eighth time...10 frames faster.
  • Second guard: same as the first guard - 10 frames faster, but since this battle ended with a few pixels slower (bad luck), 4 frames were lost before reaching the switch.
543 frames ahead
Level 11 - 8 frames faster
  • First guard: I moved further, so the guard was defeated 5 frames later, but the running jump is done 8 frames earlier = saving 3 frames at the end of this room.
  • Second guard: since the previous guard was defeated 5 frames later, I got a good pattern for the next guard.
The battle starts 5 frames slower, with "B" button pressed (gains 2 pixels compared to running) instead of "A" button, as the previous run did. Once again, I didn't move immediately.
The guard is defeated 10 frames faster = 5 frames saved at the end.
551 frames ahead
Level 12 - 36 frames faster
  • On the below path of skeleton room, after simply pressing "A" button, instead of pressing left for stepping directly to a wall (since you need enough distance to do a running jump), I crouched a bit (gaining only 2 pixels), then turnaround immediately - 25 frames gained.
  • Skeleton room: skeletons are annoying for optimize (although this version has only 2), but fortunately I was luckily because of both level 11 guards optimization!
With a late running jump, I started this battle with an excellent strategy, gaining 10 frames.
  • 1 frame gained during loading transition to password for unknown reasons.
562 frames ahead
Level 13 - 24 frames faster
  • First 2 rooms: running jumps adjusted (4 frames saved on the first room, but lost on the second room) for earlier stopping on the third room - gaining 8 frames.
  • Jaffar boss: last time starting a battle without moving immediately, and defeats him 10 frames faster. Since I moved less pixels than the previous run, I was able to do a running jump earlier, gaining 4 frames at the end of this room.
609 frames ahead
Level 14
Same as the published run, because I wasn't able for improve this level.
Earlier end input (12 frames) can be possible with one less running jump on the "second-to-last room", but reaches the "lastest room" (for ending) 32 frames slower.

Other comments

Some guards and the level 3 skeleton could be improved by changing the RNG (delaying a hit), but I got bad luck with other guards, so it sucks.
  • The glitch I've did on sword room of level 1...I don't know who discovered it, but I only found on the current RTA run.
  • Thanks to SprintGod for the previous run.
Well, I haven't TASed so much as before, but my next game will be Blackthorne, which I'm currently improving a complete TAS I've did recently.

Noxxa: Judging.
Noxxa: Good improvement! Accepting as an improvement to the published movie.
feos: Pub. Leaving this to Dacicus or whoever else, taking N64 instead.
Dacicus: OK, I'll take it.
Last Edited by adelikat 28 days ago
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