Submission #7003: c-square, mrprmiller, davidtki's DOS Hero's Quest in 00:40.90

Console DOS Emulator JPC-rr 11.9-alpha
Game Version v1.000 Frame Count 2454
ROM Filename SIERRA.EXE Frame Rate 59.99559934479134
Branch Rerecord Count 1785
Unknown Authors c-square, mrprmiller, davidtki
Game Hero's Quest
Submitted by davidtki on 1/16/2021 8:53:41 PM

Submission Comments
Not yet happy with how much Hero has OPENed the world of Spielburg, he has decided to abandon his name forever, USE some new tricks and HOP right into it.

Game objectives

  • To become a hero!
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Emulator used: JPC-rr 11.9-alpha (I was able to play this back on JPC-rr 11.8 and JPC-rr-segmented release 3)
  • Game Version 1.000


This is a modification of c-square and mrprmiller's current publication. While digging into the SCI code and playing with high-speed hero, Mr. Miller made a few discoveries:
  1. You can "use chair candle" in the cafeteria, saving 1 character over "move chair candle".
  2. You can "hop" on to the table rather than "climb" it, saving 2 characters.
  3. With high-speed hero it's possible to go off the lower-right side of the screen in Yorick's room and wrap around to the chain.

Name of the hero

I removed the "TAS" name from the name of the hero. This is because of some of Elsa's behavior; see below for details. Removing the TAS name saves about 300 milliseconds.


I modified the parser input to make use of "use chair candle" and "hop". Some of the mouse-click timings had to be modified to get the rest of the room in sync. Overall this change saved about 200 milliseconds.

Yorick's maze

Unfortunately while the discovery of using high-speed hero in this room was a neat discovery, it is currently not panning out. In order to actually make it to the right side of the screen the Hero has to "RUN". Leaving high-speed hero on through the wrap around will dump the hero into the pit unless there is a keyboard input in the buffer to interrupt it. Turning off high-speed hero will work and leave the hero in the normal expected location. Typing "PULL" will let the hero pull the chain and then miraculously appear on the platform below him (unfortunately not near the door). I tried some keyboard and mouse inputs to see if I could make the hero clip to the final door but was unable to find anything that would work. The best outcome I could get with this trick looked something like this:
The linked video is somewhere between 1-4 frames faster than the old walking movement, but leaves you RUNning when you enter Elsa's room which unfortunately means you need to WALK again to leave it. Still this is worth documenting because...

Elsa has some sort of frame rule

C-Square noted in his previous submission that despite the improvement of 1.8 seconds, Elsa took 0.8 seconds longer to hop the desk. She seems to be on some sort of frame rule that is anywhere from 0.95 to 1.05 seconds. With the changes I have made above (including removing the TAS name), Elsa's room finishes drawing about 514ms faster than the published TAS and her animation to jump over the desk begins about 956 ms sooner. Out of curiosity I experimented with delaying the final click to "open" the door to her room:
  • 0-92 ms delay - animation begins at 41892ms
  • 93-1042 ms delay - animation begins at 42834ms (currently published TAS)
  • 1043-2092 ms delay - animation begins at 43833ms
  • 2093-3092 ms delay - animation begins at 44831ms
  • 3093+ ms delay - animation begins at 45887ms
The improvements in the cafeteria were not enough to make this frame rule. In order to make it, the TAS name entry also needed to be removed. With the frame rule varying between 950-1050 milliseconds, it is highly likely that the next one would require another 900 milliseconds or so to be saved. The alternate movement I came up with in Yorick's room by itself is not faster because of the need to WALK again, but WALKing in Elsa's room would take about 600 milliseconds (very rough estimate) to type and enter. Thus if the alternate movement above is the difference between making a frame rule and not making it, it's worth doing (also worth it for entertainment purposes if you happen to be on the lower end of a frame rule).
This submission was mainly to familiarize myself with the workings of JPC-rr and Hero's Quest and to make sure recent findings were reflected in the TAS. A big thanks to c-square for their work on previous submissions, all I have done is to make some minor changes to the already-existing file. And big thanks to Mr. Miller for his discoveries that I tried to add. Mr. Miller also discovered a few things in Quest for Glory 2 that should be easier to add with less learning curve.

HDD, 16 tracks, 63 sectors, 16 sides.

slamo: This looks to be a legitimate gameplay improvement. Even though the name being shortened is a trivial time save, it being combined with actual gameplay optimizations to reach the next frame rule makes this an overall non-trivial time save.
Feedback was really good. The current publication is in Moons, and the ratings on it seem to justify that, so I'm accepting to Moons as an improvement over the current publication.
fsvgm777: Processing. EZGames69 is handling the encodes for this one.

Last Edited by fsvgm777 on 1/28/2021 6:06 PM
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