Submission #7483: aiqiyou & zst's NES Driar in 05:02.40

Console Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator FCEUX 2.5.0
Game Version unknown Frame Count 18174
ROM Filename Driar.nes Frame Rate 60.0988138974405
Branch Rerecord Count 5320
PowerOn Authors aiqiyou, zst
Game Driar
Submitted by zst on 5/14/2022 9:08:56 AM

Submission Comments

Submission Comments


Driar is a game in which you need to collect all the stars in each of the 38 levels.
This submission aims at fastest completion. As we finished our work, we noticed the speed run record of this game has been refreshed recently in Submission #7450. Fortunately, our work performs better in 32 levels as is listed in the following table, while there is a draw in the other 6 levels. Thanks to MESHUGGAH’s former Submission #3893, which gives us much enlightment.

Game objectives

  • Emulator: FCEUX 2.5.0
  • Aims at fastest completion
  • Uses death abuse

List of new techniques and details

Totally this is a game about route planning. Different route choices may lead to differences in time cost by seconds. However, there are still some details that we are willing to share and discuss.

1. Jumping at the platform edge

This technique has occurred in former submissions, but not been systematically researched and utilized.
When the character is located at the edge of a platform and is ready to jump, it leads to different results whether or not pressing Left or Right button at the first frame where Jump button (“A”) is pressed. Of course, the horizontal direction should be away from the platform. If so, a one-pixel-downward-movement is applied to the character, which enables the character to collect a star that is lower than it by one grid without jumping off the step. Meanwhile, the whole trace of the jump would be lower by one pixel.
The following are some applications of this technique.
(1) As is mentioned above, to collect a star that is lower than it by one grid without jumping off the step;
(2) To jump intentionally at the platform edge for a quicker fall;
(3) On the contrary, when you need to jump up to another platform at the edge, avoid pressing Left or Right button at first, and you may jump higher and reach the upper platform faster.

2. Discontinuously pressing Jump button

Similarly, this technique has not been systematically researched.
When you press Jump button for several continuous frames, the jump trace is like a parabolic curve. Compared to continuously pressing Jump button, pressing discontinuously for the same number of frames might make the character get a lower jump height but also fall slower, which is quite useful to save frames when jumping over enemies and obstacles.
Moreover, when you try to fall down the platform faster, this technique may help you adjust pixel by pixel and finally get the perfect solution.

3. Landing judgement

As the character is falling down to a platform, it lands at the frame where the height should have been lower without the platform. Therefore, if the character falls to a height which is equal to the platform, it would not land at this frame but the next, which may delay your next jump by one frame.

List of other techniques

The following are the other techniques that we have used, which has been discussed in former submissions.
1. Earlier jump to fall down faster
2. Position tricks
3. Death abuse

Comparison with the former record

The following table is the number of frames saved, compared to Submission #7450. We played Submission #7450 in BizHawk 2.8, which is the same emulator used by its authors. The frame cost of a certain level in both works is calculated from the frame where the Start button is pressed, to the frame where the Start button is pressed for the next level, or where delayed frame appears at the last level.
Due to different environment and different methods, the frame cost might be calculated differently, but the numbers of frames saved are always accurate.
# of LevelsSubmission #7450aiqiyou & zstFrames SavedTotal
  • Out of all 38 levels, there are different routes in 22 levels, which include level #6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 32, 33, 34, 36 and 38. Although it takes a lot of time and effort to try as many routes as possible, some routes seem to bring numerable improvement. We are delighted that these trials have paid.
  • In level 27, once more death is abused to save frames. As the game ends, there are 8 remaining lives.

Last Edited by zst 1 day ago
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